It is a quarter of a century since the Cold War. Yet the debate over nuclear weapons has the shadow of that ideological struggle hanging over it, and investment decisions are being taken that will commit states to deploying nuclear weapons for half a century from now. What little debate exists has become elite, cyclical and politically divisive. Many looking to the future increasingly see nuclear weapons as less relevant to their global concerns – an issue that is a throwback from another time.
In order to see effective long term solutions on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, we believe in the importance of encouraging engagement from the next generation. But how do we engage a generation of individuals on an issue they cannot relate to, nor do they feel they can affect the outcome of? How do we reframe the narrative on nuclear weapons in order to engage the interests, passions, and concerns of the next generation of policy shapers?
With the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation over the past year, BASIC has been exploring these questions. We began by engaging with our particular target group of next generation of policy shapers, millennials in the US and UK interested in shaping the future of the nuclear weapons debate or other connected geopolitical issues, through focus groups and events. Our goal has been to ascertain their concerns and consider effective communication strategies to bring them into the debate on nuclear issues. We – as a policy community – need to raise our game, think outside the box, and find a way to get lasting involvement from the next generation in the debate over nuclear disarmament or else we will not see any changes for the future.
On October 15th, BASIC’s executive director, Paul Ingram, will be reporting back to the nuclear weapons policy community in Washington D.C. about the findings from our research over the past 12 months.
Time/Date: 15 October 2015, 4:00 pm
Location: FCNL Wilson Conference Room, 245 Second Street, N.E., Washington D.C.
RSVP: Rachel Staley, [email protected]