MISSION The Institute of World Culture / Group 21's mission is to fill a crucial gap in educating and empowering college-age youth for meeting the challenges posed by globalization. Due to the failure of social institutions and the mass media to educate our youth about these challenges, NGO action (in concert with established educational institutions) is vital to encourage young people to take an active role in the world they are about to inherit. IWC/G21 attempts to bring about a better understanding and appreciation of our road to the future by activating a youthful involvement in and commitment to the direction the road will take.

SYMPOSIA Our goals are met through an ongoing series of symposia, which synergize the concerns of youth with the wisdom and experience of involved, visionary elders. These dialogues also allow the elder generation to better understand and acknowledge the hopes and fears of the young. An additional feature of the symposia is the intercultural communication and network building that takes place among members of our next generation of activists and leaders.

SPEAKERS All our speakers are actively engaged in practical solutions as well as theoretical analyses of the problems humankind now faces, a combination especially appealing to youth. The issues they address include: peace, democracy, economic and social justice, the preservation of the environment, respect for and appreciation of cultural diversity, gender equality, and human spirituality.

YOUTH DELEGATIONS The youth delegations for the symposia include young people, from developed and developing countries, ethnically diverse, from varied economic backgrounds and academic interests. Deeply involved in the challenges of globalization mentioned above, these youth are citizens of, or are currently studying in, the United States, Japan and Russia - the sites of the currently planned symposia. Others are participants of previous symposia brought to these sites. All youth delegates are between the ages of twenty and thirty, with most being undergraduate or graduate students at colleges, universities and other educational venues. In addition, youth from around the world are able to participate through networking and/or by visiting the project website.

FOLLOW UP Follow-up to these meetings includes the cultivation of an international network of committed individuals (participants, speakers and organizers) who are working toward and disseminating the project's goals. In addition, the organizers encourage and assist participants in developing meetings in their home countries based on the symposium model. Finally, symposium proceedings, interviews and panel discussions are published in local and international newspapers, magazines and journals.

PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS The IWC/G21 past accomplishments include a highly successful youth empowerment campaign for the COP3 Global Warming Conference, held in Kyoto, Japan in December of 1997. This campaign brought in 12,000 postcards from 55 countries, which expressed a concern that young peoples' futures were not being represented at the conference. These postcards were presented to a COP3 delegation at Kyoto's Heian Shrine that received top coverage by the media.

Our first symposium, "Youth At The Millennium," held in cooperation with the Kyoto Museum for World Peace of Ritsumeikan University in November of last year, brought together college-age youth from thirty countries for dialogues, workshops and nature retreats with Johan Galtung, Satish Kumar, Nandini Iyer, Adam Wolpert, Aileen Smith, Kinhide Mushakouji, Paul Leslie and Arun Gandhi, among others. See our website: Several hundred students and members of the community also attended the event. Local support groups greatly assisted in the organization, promotion and running of the symposium. Again, considerable media attention was generated by the event.

MEMBERS The Institute of World Culture/Group 21 is a diverse group of educators, administrators, NGO activists, writers, public relations specialists, website managers, youth advisors, and community workers. This volunteer group, which includes men and women of all ages, is committed to working under the principles of truth, equality, non-violence and mutual respect. Our strategy involves frequent meetings with young people to determine the contours of future programs. Consultation with our Board of Advisors, which includes past and future symposia speakers, provides a balanced perspective in creating more meaningful dialogues and workshops. Many of the group's leaders are university educators closely in touch with the problems and concerns of today's global youth.

AFFILIATES / SPONSORS / SUPPORTERS Each of our programs involves working with a coalition of progressive groups, internationally and locally. These include: Transcend, Resurgence Magazine, The Occidental Art and Ecology Center, The Kyoto Museum for World Peace, The Student Way Committee of Ritsumeikan University, Asia-Pacific University, The International Soroptimists, The Japan Foundation, The Mitsubishi Bank Foundation, Moscow State University, Kyoto Journal, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, The State Center Community College District (CA), a wide variety of student groups at symposia sites, and others.

The Institute of World Culture / Group 21 is a non-profit NGO which has no affiliations with religious or political groups. The organization has an on-going fund raising campaign in order to support its current efforts and future plans. Information concerning contributions or sponsorship is available upon request.

If you should have any inquiries concerning The Institute of World Culture / Group 21 and its current and future programs, please send an email to:

Mr. Robert Kowalczyk, Director, at

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Workshop Leaders
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