The support and advice of older people involved in the Green movement was incredibly important to the GYG founding conference. Beyond financial help, we received vital assistance from seasoned activists, some that we don’t even know about and probably never will.
The relationship between the Global Greens, Green parties and GYG is still to unfold but we do know a few things. There has obviously been a strong relationship from the beginning, as the GYG founding conference was supposed to be a ’side conference’ to the Global Greens 2008, which was originally slated for 2007. GYG hopes for a strong relationship with Green political bodies but also wishes to remain an autonomous organisation. Many of GYG’s members are from political parties, but roughly half of the conference participants are invovled with NGOs. There is no pressure in GYG to sign up to a Green party, and it must be acknowledged that there are parties existing in some countries that our members would not consider joining: either because they feel the organisations are unacceptable or they feel it is too dangerous.
It was so worthwhile to establish GYG as open to anyone identifying as Green and subscribing to the four principles. The conference was much better for the diversity in backgrounds, and the work we did there developed a strong ideological unity. While our members may only be individuals, we believe that holding this Global Young Greens conference has in some way helped to seed the Green principles and movement around the world. When’s the next one?!