The Young Initiative’s mission is to participate in envisioning alternatives to the status quo in the Global Political Economy (GPE). To that end, we have a vision of GPE as an interdisciplinary academic enterprise that takes as its focus both structures of exclusion and possibilities of political-economic transformation that are systematically overlooked in traditional academic approaches.

We are advancing that mission by:  

  • Connecting the Young Initiative to Occidental students and faculty. This includes  supporting impactful global research and stimulating campus intellectual conversation in order to give space for all members of our community to contribute to re-imagining our political-economic status quo.
  • Expanding our connections to Los Angeles.  This is part of the Young Initiative’s commitment to showing how sub-state actors might improve local policies by engaging  with international norms and academic partners.
  • Linking our theoretical/practical work to global academic and policy conversations across disciplines, across theoretical-policy divides, and across geographical spaces. A more expansively constituted GPE can more imaginatively approach global/local crises in governance around the world.

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Since February 2018, the Young Initiative has partnered with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office to localize and adopt the 2015 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to better reflect and address the needs and priorities of the L.A. community. Learn more  about this exciting partnership.

Fall 2020: Welcome Back

About the Young Initiative

John Parke Young (Class of 1917) was a distinguished international economist, former chair of the Occidental College’s Economics Department, and the son of the Rev. William Stewart Young, one of Occidental’s founders and a 50-year member of the board of trustees. Dr. Young was the former chief of the State Department's division of international finance, helped draft the original charters for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He also attended the international conference that drafted the Charter of the United Nations in 1945. Dr. Young received his master's degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in economics from Princeton University.

The Young Initiative Newsletter provides updates and reviews on current and upcoming activities. This dynamic newsletter builds a community around topics of international affairs and the Global Political Economy. Read the Spring 2020 edition.

If you would like to be added to the newsletter mailing list, please contact