The Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment was developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat , working closely with Ministers of Youth and young people themselves. It encourages youth mainstreaming and contains thirteen action points for governments. The first of these is: “Develop and implement measures to promote the economic enfranchisement of young people” through a range of measures ranging from micro-credit and entrepreneurship education through to reviewing macro-economic planning and trade regimes and how they affect young people. Other action points address gender equality, HIV/AIDS, education, the environment, youth participation in decision-making, and democracy and human rights.
In 1981 David Gershon and Gail Straub founded Empowerment Institute to explore the question: how do you empower people to grow and realize their full potential? They wanted to shift from focusing on fixing problems and healing the past, to focusing on what we want for our lives, our organizations, our communities, and our world—and how to achieve it. Enabling people to envision and realize their dreams was the approach they called “empowerment.” The term “empowerment” was new in the vernacular of transformation, as was their approach. This transformative social innovation soon began attracting attention.