By Eston McKeague
Eston McKeague is the President of the Young World Federalists
I got involved with the Young World Federalists (YWF) in August 2020. By proxy, I got involved with the wider community of world federalists at that time as well. Since that time, YWF has introduced world federalism to young people around the world.
YWF could not have gotten where we are today without our Board of Advisors. Donna Park, Jim Barton, and John Vlasto have stepped up to mentor us kids and show us the ropes. YWF would not be the same without their support. Back in August 2020, Daniel Blewitt was very active in the movement. As the co-founder of YWF, he was an outspoken proponent of a united movement. He spoke with great fervor, calling for a united, collaborative movement. A movement that is easy to understand from the outside looking in. A movement that shares resources and exemplifies world unity.
Daniel’s call for a collaborative movement resulted in YWF reaching out to other world federalist organizations, and these organizations coming together to collaborate. Under the leadership of John Vlasto, they formed a “Working Group”. This body met every two weeks, in two separate calls due to timezones. They designed collaborative projects like campaigns, model world parliaments, and a news site.
As we tried to sell these ideas to the wider movement, it became obvious that something was missing. Where was our umbrella? Where was the World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy? How can we collaborate without them? Are we replacing them? These questions came to the forefront as we learned about WFM-IGP’s ongoing crisis.
The collaborative efforts of the Working Group paused. All attention turned towards WFMIGP. The Working Group meetings became WFM-IGP Strategy Calls. We spent hours deliberating the pros and cons of the “Draft Strategic Plan” produced by WFM-IGP. Daniel Blewitt’s vision of a united movement was on hold for the foreseeable future.
The Advisory Council
At the WFM-IGP Congress in July, a new body, the WFM-IGP Advisory Council, was voted into being, tasked with revitalizing communication between WFM-IGP and its member and Associate Organizations. In a way, the Advisory Council is the spiritual successor to the Working Group. It was also agreed that the election of a new Executive Committee for WFM-IGP should be deferred until October, when some of the current uncertainties should have been resolved.
While a great success, the formation of the Advisory Council is only the start. Daniel Blewitt’s vision is still just a vision. Integrating our movement will take patience, persistence, and compromise. Yet it must happen. We must become a united movement for a world federation if we are to maximise our impact.
Right now, an outsider coming into our movement will likely find one small group of people. An outsider will see that this small group has limited resources. An outsider will see that passion is not a material resource. And an outsider won’t see room for growth. But we are not small! And we have many resources! And we have ample opportunities for growth! The problem is not that we are weak.
The problem is the division between us. Operating in silos makes us look weak. It makes our movement look like a bunch of utopians who couldn’t organize our way out of a junk drawer. We are a mess. Our strength lies beneath the recent in-fighting and apathy towards one another.
A clear and concise public image is necessary. A single, movement-wide membership option for youth and adults to pool resources. A single, movement-wide annual event to rally our supporters and gain new ones. A single, movement-wide system of chapters – with the same branding – to make it easy for people to move and find us again. A single, movementwide governing body with equity for large and small organizations. A single, movement-wide logo on every website leading to the central hub for the movement. To get there from our current silos will take time, but in the shortterm much can be achieved simply by recreating the umbrella function of WFM-IGP.
This was Daniel Blewitt’s vision that guided the formation of the Working Group. This is what is necessary to keep young people involved. This is how we build a world federalist movement that uses our diversity and our resources. And this is what I am pushing for as a member of the Advisory Council, and will continue to push for as a member of the Executive Committee if elected in October.