In August 2013, official statistics showed that unemployment for young people in Greece had reached an alarming rate, exceeding 60%. That October, SNF’s Board of Directors issued a call to action to help create new opportunities for Greece’s younger generations, committing $136 million through a long-term grant initiative, Recharging the Youth.
In announcing this new initiative, SNF aimed not only to assist unemployed young people in Greece, but also to establish a forum and develop a paradigm for discussing effective ways to address the issue.
The Foundation recognized that revitalizing the employment landscape for young people could not be accomplished through philanthropic resources alone, but would require innovative collaborations and the convergence of the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. To this end, the Foundation convened a conference in New York City in April 2014 that brought together economists, policy makers, foundations, nonprofits, government officials, and business leaders to explore enterprising projects that could provide job opportunities.