Mete Coban, CEO of My Life My Say, on the importance of youth engagement in politics
Mete Coban
14 Jun 2024

Growing up as a young person in Britain is not easy. We are often labelled as the apathetic generation, dismissed as less likely to vote and deemed not worth engaging with politically.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Young people passionately care about having a decent roof over their heads and a job that pays with basic respect and dignity. One need only look at some of the biggest debates of our time to see how young people have been at the forefront of demanding change. This is evident in the youth climate strikes, which have propelled climate change to the top of the agenda for many governments around the world.

As we gear up for arguably the biggest general election of our lifetime, My Life My Say and Mission 44 have partnered to deliver the largest youth voter turnout in recent times. More than 4.3 million young people are currently not registered to vote, meaning they won’t have a voice in shaping the future of our country (you can register to vote and encourage the young people you know to register here).

We launched the Give an X voter registration campaign, a dynamic youth-led initiative designed to get every single young person voting. While there have been many successful voter registration campaigns in the past, the difference with ours is that we are meeting young people where they are. We want to connect with young people where they socialise and spend most of their time digitally, ensuring their voices are heard and their votes count.

Give an X leverages the power of collaboration and creativity to reach young audiences. By partnering with cultural influencers, artists, and youth organisations, the campaign creates compelling content and events that resonate with young people, making the registration process accessible and engaging.

On April 16th, 2024, ahead of the local elections, Give an X achieved a groundbreaking milestone by registering a record 75,200 young people to vote in a single day. This remarkable feat underscores the campaign’s effectiveness and the enthusiasm of young voters eager to shape the future of their communities and country.

Mete Coban, CEO of My Life My Say, on the importance of youth engagement in politics

We’ve had incredible partnerships with companies including Tinder, Snapchat, Ben & Jerry’s, Pearl and Dean cinemas, Rolling Stone, Premier League football clubs, SpareRoom, Outernet, and many other spaces where young people interact. My favourite collaboration was the “Don’t Sit on the Sidelines” campaign, where football fans were able to scan a QR code in their matchday program while watching a Premier League match.

Why does all of this matter? In My Life My Say’s most recent Youth Index poll conducted by Opinium Research, three-quarters of young people say politicians don’t care about them. Furthermore, at least three in ten young people have not registered to vote, with more than half (57 percent) saying they are not optimistic about the future of the country and four in ten (42 percent) feeling their vote doesn’t have the ability to change things.

We’ve got some incredible partnerships ahead of National Voter Registration Day on June 18th, where we hope to register 1 million young people to vote and empower a new generation of voters. Our partnership with Mission 44 could not be more important.

Mete Coban,
CEO, My Life My Say