Youth Summit: An international meeting in "gather town

Virtual dance floor: screenshot from the "gather" platform

They stand in front of the screen in their apartments and let an imaginary ball circle in their bodies: Bonny in Taiwan, Aron in Switzerland, Joan in Cameroon. Instructor Jessy gives instructions from Berlin. "Imagine the ball rolling down your spine and back up again, all the way to the top of your head." On three continents, the young people simultaneously put their heads back and pull in their bellies.

Explore physical and mental health

The workshop with dancer Jessy Layne Tuddenham was part of Youth Summit 2021, a young@mission21 event for Mission 21's global youth network, held June 5. The theme this year: physical, mental and spiritual health, during the pandemic and beyond.

Great variety of topics

While Bonny, Aron, Joan and other young adults explored the relationship between stress, movement and well-being, numerous other workshops ran simultaneously. Mission 21 partners and external experts provided input on the experiences of refugees in Hong Kong, trauma healing in Cameroon, political activism and self-care, and sexual health and rights.  

Worldwide networking

The list of participants was as diverse as the workshops on offer: Around 100 young adults from 30 different countries around the world were registered. Despite different local situations, different time zones and some connection difficulties, a lively exchange took place.

Virtual site with café and festival stage

With the "gather" platform, the young@mission21 team turned the Youth Summit into much more than just another of many online conferences. The main part of the day took place in an interactive space where visitors could move freely as avatars and address each other, just like in a computer game. A virtual site with an entrance hall, café, garden area, exhibition space and festival stage was available. It was designed and furnished by the participants of the Youth Ambassador Program from Mission 21.

The casual conversations among the participants revolved around comics and quarantine, exam stress and travel plans - small talk was just as possible as deeper exchange. For the latter, several trained chaplains were also available.

Dancing with the avatar

After workshops and exchanges, the Youth Summit was brought to a fitting close with a virtual party - those who wanted to danced in front of the camera at home or let their avatar shake on the screen. Information was exchanged in the chat and on virtual exhibition boards to stay in touch with each other.

Miriam Glass, Mission 21

More information on young@mission21 and the Youth Ambassador Program at:


► young@mission21 on Facebook

► young@mission21 on Instagram

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Mission 21
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