The 18th Annual International Youth Media Summit

A Fearless Future: Advancing Boldly in the Face of Uncertainty

La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
July 24 – August 6, 2023

About the 18th Summit

Over the past 17 years, 1,600 changemakers from over 70 countries have created 120 films, with one common goal: to shine a light on the most urgent global issues and prepare youth from around the world to take action.

IYMS is a creative place where you will learn basic and advanced filmmaking and storytelling. You will learn how to make your message strong and powerful and how to tell a story in an effective way by making a short film with a strong message. The filmmaking aspect will be combined with awareness of the 7 Issues: Discrimination, Environment, Health, Poverty, Violence, Women’s Rights and Youth Empowerment, as well as Sustainable Development Goals.

IYMS is also a platform where you will find friends and partners across the globe to collaborate with, sharing your experiences and skills. It is a place for joy and commitments together with so many changemakers. Then, you will go back home and have new tools for your daily life as a changemaker. And you will have a great worldwide network to communicate with.

We want you to join that community!  Coming together in the U.S.A. in 2023, 100 delegates from around the world will use their talents and determination to produce compelling films.  Be one of them. While working to inspire change in the world, you might also inspire change within yourself, joining others who say, “This experience changed my life.”


We are so excited to welcome you to IYMS 2023!

List of selected delegates

Delegate Categories

IYMS explores seven issues:  Discrimation, Environment, Health, Poverty, Violence, Women’s Rights and Youth Empowerment. Each delegate will be assigned to an issue group, and the group will research that issue with an Issue Mentor, and then write and produce a short film about solutions for that issue.

Youth Delegates: We welcome delegates from 16-26 years of age in one of two categories.

  • Filmmakers: you have experience creating videos, animations or films and are eager to work with others who share your passion.
  • Diplomats: you are a journalist, activist, writer or diplomat-in-training. You love researching the issues and articulating positions for positive action.

Experienced Advisors: We welcome filmmakers, diplomats and educators over 26 years of age to apply to be an Advisor.

  • Advisors: Serve the youth in the issue groups in a variety of ways, depending on their area of expertise. Advisors are skilled at being able to listen, understand and let youth take the lead. They make their first priority the safety and success of their young delegates.

Host Organizations

The Teen International Media Exchange

The Teen International Media Exchange (TIME) is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization created after the events of 9/11 to help young people from different countries bridge cultural, ethnic and religious divides by collaborating on film projects that reflected concerns about their lives.  Founded in the fall of 2001, TIME organized two in-country exchanges with So. Korea and Belize, and dozens of online projects with Scotland, Afghanistan, Armenia, Israel and Palestine.  TIME founded the International Youth Media Summit in 2006 and hosted the first and ninth Summits in Southern California.

The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

The University of Wisconsin, LA Crosse (UWL) has been ranked among the top Midwestern public institutions for more than two decades by U.S. News & World Report. The University serves as a regional cultural center, and its students live out the Wisconsin idea of public service and community engagement. UWL works with many partner in La Crosse, givng back every day to a community that generously supports its teaching, learning and service mission.


New IYMS partners will be announced throughout the year!

Where: La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA

La Crosse is a beautiful city in western Wisconsin positioned on the edge of the iconic Mississippi River, the second-longest river in America. New visitors to town are immediately taken by the friendly, welcoming nature of the residents. A college town, La Crosse has a population of 52,680, with approximately 20,000 being college students attending one of three universities in the city.  La Crosse has over 30 active arts organizations, including The Pump House Regional Arts Center which will host the IYMS 2023 Talent Show.  Film, theatre, symphonic music, dance and visual arts can all be enjoyed throughout the city, as well as fine dining and one of the world’s top-ranked bakeries. There are many ways to enjoy nature within the city, including hiking and biking trails. 500-foot bluffs surround the city, with Grandad Bluff as one of the most prominent – from the top, you can see three states. Myrick Park has many recreational amenities as well as a nature center and environmental education department.

Eagle Hall at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse will be the home of the Summit from July 24 – August 6, 2023.  We will also enjoy other amenities on the 128 acre campus and be within walking distance of Riverfront Park, where the International Friendship Gardens feature landscape styles from around the world.

Preliminary Schedule

July 24 Arrival Day
July 25 Orientation and Opening Ceremony
July 26 Mini Excursion Day
July 27 Issue Group Explorations
July 28 Issue Group Scripts & Talent Show
July 29 Pre-Production Day 1
July 30 Pre-Production Day 2
July 31 Production Day 1
August 1 Production Day 2
August 2 Post-Production Day 1
August 3 Post-Production Day 2
August 4 Excursion Day
August 5 Closing Ceremony
August 6 Until Next Time!

Cost of Attending

Delegates will be charged 900 USD for the two-week Summit. This payment will cover:

  1. Transportation to and from the Minneapolis Airport and the University.
  2. Housing in Eagle Hall Residence Building (Two delegates per room. Those desiring a single room can pay extra.)  Eagle Hall has kitchen, laundry and recreation facilities.
  3. Three meals a day, with special diets available (Halal, Kosher, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free).
  4. The excursion on the La Crosse Queen, a paddle-wheel boat on the Mississippi River.
  5. All special events: The Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and Talent Show and dance parties.

These are ‘hard costs’ and we cannot waive this fee. Delegates will be provided with official invitation documents to use for their fundraising efforts, as well as fundraising suggestions.  Beyond those things, IYMS cannot take any responsibility for helping delegates to raise their funds.

Delegates will need to pay their own round trip flights to the Minneapolis, Minnesota Airport from their home cities, and any passport or visa costs. (This is the nearest international airport.)

Please note: Delegates who have been chosen for the Summit will need to pay a $100 deposit to hold their spot no later than 14 days after they receive their selection letter.


Many of the U.S. Embassies around the world have a very long waiting time to get a visa interview. Please check now and see what city you will need to travel to and book a visa appointment.  For delegates who are accepted, we will be providing a letter for your visa appointment, stating you have been invited to the Summit.

Before You Apply

We are so excited you want to join us at the 18th Summit! To help guarantee your success, we suggest following these steps before beginning your application:

Please read this webpage carefully

  • Look at the 7 issues; decide which 3 you are most passionate about
  • Decide what category of delegate is right for you
  • Research your travel costs and your visa needs

Get these attachments and links ready:

  • A 1-2 minute video (selfies preferred) telling us why you want to attend IYMS and what you expect to gain from this experience. Upload and have a link ready.
  • One sample (short story, video reel, script, photography portfolio, article, etc.) of what you believe to be the best example of your creative work.
  • Your CV, a letter of recommendation or anything else that will impress us

Good luck! We can’t wait to see you in La Crosse, Wisconsin – IYMS 2023!

Have a question? Check these answers first.

We will issue out invitations to the accepted delegates on January 31st, 2023. The link for online payment of non-refundable 100 USD deposit to hold your spot via credit card, Apple Pay or wire transfer will be provided.

Whatever your application type is, we invite you to spend as much time on preparing your application to showcase your talent in the best possible way. There is a section in the application for showcasing your creative work.

Yes, the certificates are publicly handed out to all delegates during our Closing Ceremony.

We wish to involve as many people in our activities as we possibly can. At this time, we will be focusing on providing the best possible in-person experience. Certain IYMS events like the Opening Ceremony, the Masterclasses etc. might be available for watching live online.

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