On the eve of WYD Lisbon 2023, the 4th International Conference on Care for Creation will take place on 31 July at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa.

Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. We lack awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone. his basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and forms of life. A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal” (Laudato si’, 202).

“Young Guardians of Creation: The human-scale future that we seek” (Rio de Janeiro 2013); “For an integral ecology: Young people as agents of change” (Krakow, 2016); “Youth for our Common Home: Ecological Conversion in Action” (Panama, 2019) — this is the path taken so far by the John Paul II Youth Foundation, and now, on the occasion of the 38th World Youth Day (Lisbon, August 2023), we are organising the fourth International Conference on the Care of Creation. The theme is “Young people’s commitment to integral ecology: Lifestyles for a new humanity” and it will be held in Lisbon at the Universidade Católica Portuguesaon 31 July.

As young people prepare spiritually for WYD 2023, many of them have made it clear that they regard integral ecology to be one of the main themes of the current pontificate, and that they want to commit themselves to it personally.

The conference is organised in a way that will bring the young participants together with experts who will offer their reflections on five areas of human life: the economy – education and family life – natural resources – politics – technology.

The novelty of this meeting is that some of its spaces will be “inhabited” by virtual experiences through the use of metaverse immersive technology. This will allow participation in the meeting to be more inclusive and accessible.

The path followed in recent years by the John Paul II Youth Foundation, is in tune with the pontificate of Pope Francis. It flows from concern for what is happening to our common home towards awareness of the human causes of the ecological crisis, and to commitment to specific ongoing action aimed at safeguarding Creation.

“The aim of this exchange of ideas,” says the president of the Foundation, Daniele Bruno, “is to collectively articulate a reflection on the lifestyles we have already adopted, and also to speak of new ways we need to adopt in living our lives in order to be prepared for the cultural, spiritual and educational challenges that await the younger and future generations. Our new humanity must not look on the Earth as a resource to be exploited but as a gift from God to us.”

The participants will be young university delegates from episcopal conferences, international movements and associations and Catholic universities who are going to Lisbon to attend WYD.

As in previous conferences, it will conclude with a document — a final Manifesto resulting from the discussion that will serve as a basis for further action and reflection.

The following entities are collaborating in the organisation of the conference: Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, of which the Foundation is an auxiliary body; Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; WYD Lisbon 2023 Foundation; Universidade Católica Portuguesa, which is hosting the event;Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and its Alta Scuola per l’Ambiente; Laudato Si’ International Movement; Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Magis Foundation; under the patronage of the Embassies of Portugal and the Principality of Monaco to the Holy See.

The immersive technology platform is provided by the innovative start-up Metamouth.

Here is the full programme
Here are the technical notes
Here is the form to register and attend the event