Youth Vikalp Sangam

Youth VS graphic - Ashik K. Kangaparambil
Picture courtesy: Ashik Krishnan Kangaparambil

Introduction to Youth Vikalp Sangam

  • A process to engage diverse youth in developing a common understanding of the principles and values of true transformation and help them in co-dreaming of alternative ways of living
  • Making a youth friendly space to engage, learn and share across sangams
  • Creating space for the youth to lead their process and join in intergenerational spaces
Youth Vikalp Sangam 2017, Bhopal 

The first Youth Vikalp Sangam was held between 3rd and 5th February in Bhopal at Poornodaya Training Centre. The Sangam was co-organised by ComMutiny-The Youth Collective, Pravah, Samvedana, Blue Ribbon Movement, Synergy Sansthan, Agrini and Kalpavriksh

The Sangam was a vibrant event that saw the coming together of 68 participants from 17 States across the country. Most of the participants were associated with youth collectives or worked with young people on issues like education, social inclusion and change, livelihoods, alternative spaces for learning, developing leadership, journalism/media and agriculture.

Youth Vikalp Sangam 2017 | Picture courtesy: Ashish Kothari

Read the Youth Vikalp Sangam 2017 Report.


1. Participants list 

2. Discussion points on Alternatives Framework Note

Youth Vikalp Sangam 2019, Bangalore

The second Youth Vikalp Sangam took place between 8th and 11th June at Bhoomi College, Bangalore. This was a special Sangam since the entire event was planned and designed by tribal youths from Samvedana, Amhi Amchya Arogyasathi, SRUJAN, Shramik Sahyog, and Bhandara Nisarga Va Sanskruti Abhyas Mandal from Pachgaon Gramsabha. The youth organisers were helped by Kalpavriksh, Samvedana, Bhoomi College, Blue Ribbon Movement, and Bhandara Nisarga Va Sanskruti Abhyas Mandal. 

The Sangam had 41 participants (community members) from across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka. The group was a mix of youth from tribal regions, villages and urban spaces working on issues ranging from forest rights, indigenous knowledge conservation, alternative education/awareness, women empowerment, natural farming, sanitation to biodiversity conservation. 

Youth Vikalp Sangam 2019 | Picture courtesy: Ashish Kothari

Read the Youth Vikalp Sangam 2019 Report

Watch the video documentation of the Sangam.

Youth Workers Vikalp Sangam 2019

The Youth Workers Vikalp Sangam workshop was envisaged as a confluence of youth workers towards making common meaning of the world’s paradoxes that are curbing the potentiality of humanity. This was done through a 5th Space exploration at various levels of the self and social narratives with a view to inform and learn from the Alternatives Framework

The Sangam was born out of a conversation in the Maharashtra Vikalp Sangam on the Alternative Framework and the appreciation that there are 715 million people of our country below the age of 35, each representing a power and potential of talent, skills, entrepreneurship and the ability to co-create completely new possibilities.

There were 32 participants representing an intergenerational mix from a range of organizations. The Sangam provided the space to get a holistic understanding of the current civilizational crisis and how various processes and initiatives are voicing the urgency of looking at the fundamental alternatives to the current order. This workshop has emerged from the processes of engagement among practitioners and youth workers in and among different spaces including Youth Vikalp Sangam, ComMutiny and many other members organisations in the common space.

Youth Vikalp Sangam 2020, Virtual 

The Youth Vikalp Sangam in 2020 was hosted online between 27th November and 5th December following the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 40 individuals working in the larger domain of ecological justice were part of the five-day event, including the organisers, participants and invited speakers. The group engaged on varied themes such as ‘Sustainable Livelihoods & Resilience’, ‘Sustaining Movements & Building Synergies’ and ‘Visioning Alternatives’. 

This Youth Vikalp Sangam was co-organised by Kalpavriksh, Blue Ribbon Movement, ComMutiny – The Youth Collective, vartaLeap Coalition, Travellers’ University, Vayali and Bhoomi College, and supported by Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust. 

Read the detailed documentation of Youth Vikalp Sangam 2020.

Youth Vikalp Sangam 2022, Bangalore

Youth Vikalp Sangam in the theme of Ecology and Politics of Ecological movements gathered 33 participants from across the country working in the area of Environment and Ecology. The group explored the need for alternatives in today’s time and context, interacted with elders in the movements space and explored the possibilities of building ecosystems for collective action. 

Read the documentation of the Youth Vikalp Sangam 2022.

Youth Vikalp Sangam Initiatives

Extraordinary Work of ‘Ordinary’ People: Youth Stories 

‘Extraordinary Work of ‘Ordinary People: Beyond Pandemics and Lockdowns’ (EWOP) is a series of reports documented by Vikalp Sangam, which showcases stories of community resilience in the face of COVID-19, how different organisations, collectives and groups positively responded to the multiple challenges brought forth by the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed by the government.

Post the Youth Vikalp Sangam in 2020, a smaller group from the organising team came together to create the fifth volume of EWOP on ‘Youth Stories of Hope, Resilience and Collective Dreaming’. The report showcased stories of nine youth initiatives from across the country and their attempts to keep hope alive during the times of the pandemic.

Indigenous vegetable cultivation by members of Chinhari | Picture courtesy: Amit Shehrawat

Read and download the EWOP Youth Stories Report.

Read and download the Malayalam and Hindi translations of the same.

Pluriverse: An Immersion into Plural Worlds of Justice 2021

Pluriverse was a three day programme for working youth designed around two influential books ‘Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary’ and ‘Alternative Futures: India Unshackled’ which brought together world views, perspectives and practical experiences from different countries that envision an inclusive and just world for humans and the rest of nature. The programme was hosted at Tapovan Ashram, Swaraj University between March 19-21, 2021 and found the participation of 28 young individuals from 11 different states. The programme was facilitated by Ashish Kothari, K. J. Joy, Sujatha Padmanabhan and Manish Jain.

The ‘Flower of Transformation‘ emerged through the Vikalp Sangam process was explored through the essays from the books. The group also interacted with a few international authors of Pluriverse via Zoom sessions. Democratic Autonomy in Kurdistan, Beun Vivir, Swaraj, Alternative Economy, Alternative Education, Ubuntu, Degrowth, etc. were some of the some of the areas studied. 

Pluriverse 2021

Pluriverse was organised by Kalpavriksh, Swaraj University, Travellers’ University, ComMutiny – The Youth Collective, vartaLeap Coalition and Blue Ribbon Movement

Connect with us

If you would like to join us in our explorations, please reach out to Sujatha ([email protected]) / Ashik ([email protected]) and we will get in touch with you soon. Thank you!