In May 2022, I attended the Bank of England’s Youth Forum workshop to discuss the importance of writing about the economy as a young adult. The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and its role is to maintain monetary and financial stability. A Youth Forum was set up for a group of 16 to 25 year olds, so they can meet regularly to see what young people think about different economic issues. This helps the Bank to understand the economy better. I am an editorial intern for Economy. I help out with publishing Economy’s editorial content such as the weekly newsletter, posting on social media platforms and writing VOTE pieces.
There are not many opportunities for ordinary people to discuss the economy without jargon-y language, and there are even fewer chances for younger people such as myself to meet and discuss economic problems that are experienced mostly by young people.
Because of this, I wasn’t sure what the youth forum was going to respond with when asked about how they feel about traditional economic reporting. While observing the group it turns out most of the members had the same views as me; economic articles use a lot of technical terms which makes them inaccessible to the wider public, and there is not much economic analysis on the impact of the economy on regular people.
I also learned that the members of the Bank of England Youth Forum, like myself, were not optimistic about the current state of the economy overall. As young people, we had the same concerns like university fees, the housing crisis and climate change. The lasting impact these issues will have on future generations is not discussed and only talked about in the present. These overlapping concerns made me feel like I am part of a community, linked with other people who share the same struggles as me. This made me realise the importance of having a space to share concerns about the economy - people can identify problems and work together to overcome them by being involved and active in the economy as a community.
This is where the importance of writing about the economy comes in. As well as discussion in a group setting, participating in the economy also means to convey your thoughts and ideas into a written article for others to read. We spent the second half of the workshop discussing why opinion pieces are important and what differentiates them from news articles. The members also shared ideas that they were really passionate about and learned how to convert these ideas into a written article. This exercise encouraged members to have a go at writing down their own experiences and views of the economy, in a coherent way, to share with others. Written articles can be a medium to spark discussion and form communities based on shared experiences - which is exactly why I am writing this VOTE article. I want young people to have more opportunities to discuss their economic concerns.
I was glad to have an opportunity to talk to other young adults about the economy and I learned a lot about their attitudes towards the economy through this workshop. I hope more economic institutions can create their own youth forums and networks, so young people can be given a platform and be taken seriously when voicing their economic concerns.
About the author
Nayeema has been interested in economic inequality and disparity since university. After graduating, she is focusing on researching the impacts of economic policy on marginalised communities and engaging these communities in discussions around their finance. In her spare time, she enjoys taking pictures of the sunset and going on long walks to beat her personal record of the most steps walked in a day.
This article is part of our Voices of the Economy series. The project brings together the economic experiences and opinions of people from a range of different backgrounds and showcases voices which are not heard as often when we talk about the economy. To find out more and share your own story, click here.