The International Youth Foundation (IYF) is pleased to announce the publication of a four-page supplement in the January 27 2012 edition of the Financial Times that spotlights the growing role of young people in setting their country’s social and economic agendas. Referring to recent worldwide youth-led protests, FT reporter Sarah Murray writes: “2011 was a year in which young people’s voices achieved unprecedented prominence. Yet,” she says,” the protests have also highlighted the severe challenges many young people face.”

In an article that underscores this theme of an increasingly active younger generation, Peter Shiras, Executive Vice President at IYF, talks about the growing number of young people in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico who feel responsible for making life more bearable—and even hopeful—in one of the world’s most violent communities. “This is a city that’s devastated by drug-related violence,” says Mr. Shiras, “yet these young people are organizing sports events and arts programs and turning graffiti into murals.”

Highlights of the “Investing in Young People” report, which is produced biannually through a collaboration between the Financial Times and IYF, include a one-on-one interview with Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), who discusses the Agency’s soon-to-be released Youth in Development policy. According to Mr. Shah, this new policy initiative “recognizes explicitly that young people are important actors, partners and leaders in shaping their communities and economies. “

Other articles in today’s publication tackle tough social issues such as the challenges facing an unlikely group—university graduatesas they struggle to find jobs; the kinds of support systems, including mentoring and organizational skills training, needed by even the most inspired young social entrepreneurs; and why China’s young people are experiencing high degrees of anxiety about the future.

Read the 2012 “Investing in Young People” FT Special Report.