Youth Forum programme unveiled

Youth Forum

The 4th UNCTAD Youth Forum will open its doors to a cohort of 500 youth to debate on emerging topics and prepare a Youth Declaration on Investing in the Future.

From 16 to 20 October, the Youth Forum – which is part of the World Investment Forum – has youth who share the same passion for shaping a better world coming to Abu Dhabi.

Two times Youth Forum participant Thomson Ch’ng from Malaysia explains “UNCTAD Youth is a network of global youth leaders from various backgrounds, aspiring to create positive changes across the world regardless of who you are and where you are.”

Together with UNCTAD, youth designed a promising programme consisting of deep dive sessions, youth debates, unique Youth o’Clocks with VIP guests and workshops with an important focus on the creation of friendships for life.

As part of the pillar on technological innovations, youth plan to deep dive into jobs and the power of human factors in the age of the 4th Industrial Revolution and start-ups for social impact. They will also debate on how AI can be a technology for good and delve into how to navigate the online world responsibly and create cyber security.

The greening of industries has been chosen as a second pillar and incorporate discussions on how to foster a culture of green innovations within existing industries and mechanisms to support the adoption of green practices as well as how to get to global net zero emissions by 2050. In addition, there will be an exchange of views on the re-thinking of the future of consumption.

Reimagining education is on the mind of the youth with a session on education 4.0 that transforms the traditional learning system and embraces technologies and innovation under the third pillar. Youth will also talk about education for sustainable development and how to navigates today’s interconnected challenges without compromising the future.

Finally, soft skills development, a recurring and well appreciated subtheme, will this time focus on how to be a leader that motivates teams, negotiate win-win outcomes and speak in public and make presentations. Experts will join the youth and, in an interactive way, give insights and propose role plays.

In total, over 30 sessions and workshops are designed that, in addition to what has been mentioned, include the need to break gender barriers and how to participate in political processes.

Youth will be exposed to Youth o’Clocks with special guests who share inspirational stories and insights, an emergence into the world of blockchains and access to World Investment Forum sessions, among which on youth entrepreneurship, the future of urban ecosystems and businesses riding the circular wave.

Last but not least, youth are in the design process of a Youth Declaration on investing in the future and more details are coming. The declaration will be formally handed over to UNCTAD and its member States at the closing of the World Investment Forum.

As Linda Okero, a 2018 youth forum participant from Kenya said “Speaking at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-Youth Forum was a reminder that I may only be one person, but I can be one person that makes a difference. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide the kind of difference you want to make. Yours from now to make sure you can say you choose your life and didn’t settle for it.’’

Since 2016, youth from around the world gather at the events of the United Nations body on trade and development, UNCTAD. Here under the overall theme of shaping the world we want, they exchange views, network and prepare a youth declaration in which they share their concerns and propose actions to be undertaken.