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Insight in the Youth Parliament of Swiss Abroad

18.09.2019 – Roberto Landolina

Roberto Landolina, President of the Youth Parliament of Swiss Abroad (YPSA), presents in this article the aims and current activities of this institution. And he looks back on the YPSA event in Italy last May and its significance for the future.

YPSA is an association whose purpose is get in touch Youth Swiss living abroad to give them the chance to meet new people living in other countries and change information in different field (educational, life in other country, politics opinions and so on). Recently, we decided to address our policy in a different direction: we would like to improve the presence of youth people on our activities in a direct way, for this reason we are planning to organize activities and workshop which allow you to work with us and both improve your soft skill and knowledge about different topics related to Switzerland (thanks to round table, online interview and in situ events).

This year we organized two main events which saw the participation not only of youth people from different countries but also external partners who helped us to make the event the most interesting and engaging possible.

First event took place in May in Palermo (Italy), during the 81st Italian Congress of Swiss Abroad. With the support of the Sicilian Club of Swiss Abroad, our partner of UGS and the Council of Italian Swiss Club, we organized, for the first time, a congress which could put young people at the center of attention and directly active in first person. To do that, we invited the Junior Enterprise (JE) from the University of Genève (JeG) and from the Polytechnic of Turin (JEToP); the Junior Enterprise are university organization who help student to develop soft skill and create a link between the university life and workplace. In order to do that, they are organized into six main areas: Financial, IT and software development, Law and legal support, Design and visual communication, Social Management and Data analysis. Students could work in JE as an enterprise and by means resolution of work problems, teamwork and self organization, they improve some skills university can’t help them to increase.

During the Saturday morning, participants were called to solve two case study, one financial and one economic, designed by JE; divided into groups composed by 4/5 people they had to develop an idea to resolve the cases. At the end, each group had some minutes to present his idea and discuss the method carried out to design it. It was wonderful to see people working together and developing interesting ideas although they don’t know each other, we hope they had improved their team working skill and had learnt something more about enterprises organization.

In the Saturday afternoon, younger had the chance to participate to the general congress which this year was focused on the entrepreneurship and start-up. Speakers from the major Swiss companies (like Nespresso, Camille Bloch, Jiraud Perregaux,etc..), talked about their experience in big companies and the guide values of these; for instance, Nespresso talked about the engagement of the company in the environmental and social issues by giving work and protecting people who lived in the country where coffee is cultivated and encouraging the recycle of capsules.

The last speech was held by a special guess, Claude Nicollier, the first Swiss astronaut. Prof. Nicollier, now retired from astronautic activity, talked about his experience in the space (4 times a board of Space Shuttle) and some details about importance of space economy and space development for human life on Earth (and not only).

The second main event took place also in May, but this time in Chile. The Swiss Embassy in Chile organised an event especially aimed at the young Swiss living in that country. The event, that took place in the Swiss Club in Santiago, had the goal of informing the community about the duties and rights that the assistants have on behalf of their Swiss nationality. The participants of the Youth Parliament for the Swiss Abroad living in this country were invited to the event and were able to inform the community about the different activities that they’ve been organising, inviting them to take part in their Facebook Group “YPSA Chile” and the “YPSA” Group, the international group that we have, to inform them about upcoming events.

In this event, the youth had the possibility to talk and share with other Swiss who live in Chile, with the objective of having fun and meeting other people in their same situation. Furthermore, the Swiss Embassy in Chile organized a cocktail with a variety of typical Swiss food for our community, in order to enjoy the traditions. Finally, this event finished with a gift from the Embassy to every Swiss abroad that came to the event.

We will plan more and more events like the Italian and Chilean one, so if you are interested in joining it follow us on our social page Facebook (YPSA) and Instagram (ypsa_switzerland).

Roberto Landolina, President of YPSA
Francisca Espinoza, YPSA committee member from Chile
Vreni Caro, YPSA committee member from Chile

Continue reading: Who or what is YPSA?