Youth Futures: Connection and Mobility in the Asia Pacific

15 – 16 November 2018
9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Deakin Downtown

Deadline: 14 May 2018

The Alfred Deakin Institute’s flagship conference for 2018 will explore the increasingly interlinked, complex and uncertain world that young people across the Asia-Pacific live in.

Event details

Young people across the Asia-Pacific live in increasingly interlinked, complex and uncertain worlds. New mobilities as well as new kinds of connectivity, enabled through changing global economic, geopolitical and technological circumstances, have created unprecedented possibilities for youth pathways and networks to span spatial, temporal and social differences.

This conference considers opportunities and challenges for young people in and beyond the region as they make a place for themselves and imagine their futures in an era of increased mobilities, de-standardisation of the life course, hyperdiversity and digital connectedness. Mobilities and the possibilities to which they give rise have long been a defining feature of youth transition regimes (Wyn 2015), but today such aspirations and demands are increasingly transnational in scale, as youth are urged towards mastering ‘global’ opportunities linked to the inter and intra national movement of goods and labour, and the acquisition and leveraging of digital skills, entrepreneurialism and cosmopolitan capital in ways which cut regional and class divides (Robertson et al. 2017).

In the face of these demands and opportunities, young people are also living in conditions of structurally uneven experiences of mobility, digital access and competence, socio-political and economic precarity. The extent to which young people can pursue new forms of mobility and connection have also become a key challenge in an era where increased diversity and technological affordances have simultaneously multiplied, intensified and fragmented networks, affiliations and connections, making the ability for young people to imagine a future where belonging and security are attainable pursuits increasingly precarious. At the same time, young people are also constructing and negotiating new terrains of togetherness within/across local, national, transnational and digital spaces, contesting stable notions of community, identity and belonging.

This conference seeks to address the temporal and spatial dimensions of youth mobilities and connections, bringing into conversation questions of migration, un/moorings, transitions, pathways, stagnation, aspiration, futurity, and hope, with those of (digital and social) networks, aspirations, solidarities, cultures, communities, participation, belonging, and social and civic lives.

Hosted by the Alfred Deakin Institute, and animated by its engagement in problem-oriented research into social issues associated with globalising processes, the conference’s underlying thematic context is the Institute’s core focus on citizenship and globalisation. It aims to explore these issues for young people as they navigate new and old pathways through the life-course, establish and disrupt forms of connection across multiplicity and differences, and put down roots/stay on the move in a globalised world. It seeks to share and build knowledge at the multidisciplinary interfaces of youth/childhood/media/migration/mobility studies.


Keynote speakers

A/Prof Sandrina de Finney (University of Victoria, Canada)

Dr Shanthi Robertson (Western Sydney University)

Dr Crystal Abidin (Jönköping University, Sweden)

Organising committee

  • Professor Anita Harris
  • Dr Rose Butler
  • Dr Amelia Johns
  • Dr Jessica Walton
  • Mr Andy Zhao

Submit an abstract

Please submit your abstract (200 words max), paper title and a short bionote (100 words max) by 14 May 2018 using the form below:

We welcome papers which may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • young people’s digital practices, spaces and cultures;
  • intercultural relations, diversity and migration;
  • (re)configurations of cultural/racial/ethnic/local/national/trans-local and ‘post’colonial identities through various forms of connection and mobility;
  • experiences of mobility/immobility and place-making;
  • precarity, opportunity and futurity;
  • new (contested) terrains and temporalities of social or civic togetherness.

Abstract submissions

Current students interested in presenting may be eligible for a small bursary to support travel/attendance costs, see full details:


Key information

Date and time

Thursday 15 November to
Friday 16 November 2018
9.00 am – 4.00 pm


Deakin Downtown
Tower 2, Level 12,
727 Collins Street,


Registrations to attend the Youth Futures Conference will open later in the year, please fill out this form if you wish to be notified when registrations open.