In 2001, UNEP and UNESCO scoured college campuses, shopping malls, markets and cinemas around the world in search of young people willing to have a chat.

They wanted to understand what makes young consumers tick - to discover what runs through their minds as they make hundreds of lifestyle decisions, both big and small, each day. So they asked 10,000 youth in 24 countries around the world: 'Is the future yours?'

Conversations focused on sustainable living and its connections to other aspects of development. What do you think about the economy, the environment and respect for human and labour rights? Do you consider these issues when you shop? Do you think you as an individual can make a difference?


Some 75 per cent of those surveyed identified reducing environmental pollution, improving human health and increasing respect for human rights as the biggest global challenges ahead. Nearly half agreed that ordinary people could and should do something to help.

On the whole, the young people interviewed felt they had real power to change the world - that the future was indeed theirs to shape for the better.

      photo: Sara Lee Luther/UNEP/Topham  

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