Societal draft – young people work together and across divides for a better society
Photo: Lars Joelsson
A “societal draft” is another of Fika’s methods. The idea is to create a modern kind of draft. All young people would – together and across divides – get a basic education and then choose to work on a project geared towards the betterment of society.
It could be to help with integration, homework, keep company to elderly people, sustainable finance, algae- or beekeeping.
Similar to mandatory service, but without
Interest, aptitude and needs should rule. The science-oriented could choose to work with environmental issues, the extrovert with social ones, the seeker with existential questions. There should be room for everyone.
It could also be done in different forms, some might want to start their own organizations, for or not-for-profit, others to volunteer in the public or civil sector.
Some might want to consult, others to do physical work.
The idea is to get a large number of organizations, from different sectors, to help by guiding and providing opportunities for the young. This could also create collaboration between sectors, which is something most municipalities say they need.
The structure would be similar to the old military service, but contain no military elements, and be mandatory not only for men, but for all. Such a year could glue society together.
Everyone would be forced to live and work with people from different backgrounds and other areas, with different interests and beliefs.
Someone from a privileged background would work together with someone from a less privileged background, someone from a city with someone from a rural area, an atheist with a Muslim, an activist with a gamer, etc.
In addition, it would of course be done with limited screen time, which could increase both mental health and drive. It would be a meaningful experience for the young. Unemployment among young people is higher than in the 1920’s, which makes it even more important to get experience and to find out what is meaningful to you.
Further, the basic education would give skills that everyone needs in today’s society, like how to deal with complexity, take care of yourself, and have conversations with people unlike yourself. One idea is to get newly retired people, with a lot of knowledge, to help with mentoring the young, to overcome some generational gaps. Having this kind of force could also help in times of crisis.
Many people want to help, but the structures are not always there.
There are similar initiatives in other countries. Germany, for example, has its “Freiwilligendienst”, where you can choose to engage in voluntary social or ecological service for a year, or work abroad. The European Union its European Solidarity Corps , where young Europeans can work at home or abroad with social services. Both are, however, voluntary, and might therefore miss out on bridging divides.
At Fika, we think it would be even better if we could create a mandatory service, where everyone would meet.
It could help solving some of the problems we are facing in society today, especially when it comes to growing divides.
The idea is under development. If you want to engage or have ideas, please reach out.