About Us

About Us

As a policy think-tank Youth Lab works to provide various platforms for young people and decision-makers to exchange ideas, develop strategies and execute plans that will enhance the lives of young South Africans. Our programme areas are designed to meet these objectives by leveraging unique methodologies, our broad skill sets and our organisation's social capital to deliver projects that produce new thought and inspired action through interaction, knowledge sharing and empowerment.



Youth Lab’s dialogues and policy conversations are platforms for frank and productive interactions that are facilitated between youth as citizens, policy-makers, political leaders and leaders in private and civic sectors of society.

Through engagment we provide:

  • a non-partisan and structured dialogue that allows young people to share their views
  • for decision-makers to consult youth openly
  • for the dialogue outcomes to be both clear and useful for policy formulation and implementation.
  • policy briefs that provide youth perspectives on policy and programming decisions and strategies.

Our engage platforms include Policy Conversations and Policy Dialogues.


Youth Lab has a focus on capacity development of young people, youth and development practitioners and decision–makers. Using participatory methodologies Youth Lab hosts workshops with young people in communities and organisations.

Equip activities include:

  • training on policy implementation, youth mainstreaming and entrepreneurial development.
  • development of training manuals.
  • Facilitation of training for governmental, political, civic and business.

Our equip programmes include iCre8SA, PIN-Youth Assets, Understanding Youth and Youth-Sensitive Budgeting.


Youth Lab values evidence-based governance and upholds the value that knowledge empowers young people as individuals and active citizens. Research and communication are thus important for improving the quality of policy formulation, implementation and developmental outcomes.

Inform is achieved through:

  • innovative use of website and social media platforms.
  • drawing together trends in youth development and analysis of government, political policies and programmes.
  • critical  and accessible information sharing for young people.

Our inform programmes include #YLManifestos Elections infographics and our ‘Things young people should know’ infographic series.

The Toughest Questions Are An Opportunity To Create The Most Innovative Solutions

The ethos of the organization is also in its name – we do not believe that the right solution is necessarily the easiest one to find. Youth Lab is a laboratory, with young people using our various programmes and platforms to create new thought patterns, challenge norms and devise solutions for the challenges facing South Africa's past and present. Youth Lab empowers young people to create their own desties. 

Youth General

Who is Youth Lab?

Youth Lab was created by a group of young people—professionals and students—to be a connector. We aim to be a bridge for South Africa’s youth to be able to mould their futures. In the same way that a bridge, for all its strength, is a passive connector, Youth Lab will be a non-partisan connector between young South Africans and the policies that shape their lives. 

The focus of Youth Lab’s approach is empowerment. Youth Lab aims to create spaces for young people to significantly increase their understanding and engagement on policy and socio-economic issues that directly affect them, with the objective of increasing the youth’s voice and participation, and the nation’s consideration of youth efforts, in policy definition and implementation.

Youth Lab, a registered non-profit company (NPC), aims to achieve the following:

  • Creating a platform for young people to have open discussions with political parties, policy-makers and other people of influence;
  • Educating young people on key issues of policy, society and economics in South Africa to empower them to become active citizens;
  • Providing a platform for other stakeholders to have access to an accurate point of view on the youth perspective, directly from the youth.


  • Facilitating discussion and lectures through face-to-face and digital events, forums, and discussion papers;
  • Providing a single access point to youth thought-leadership, ideas, analysis and critiques;
  • Developing policy and informing policymakers about youth position on key issues.

Youth Lab's long-term vision is to be part of the group of organisations consulted by government, business, civil society and other organisations on the stances of young South Africans on socio-political issues.