These major events attract nearly 3000 people and many partners took the opportunity to confirm their support for the BYND 2015: Global Youth Summit ( #BYND15 ) to be held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 9 to 11 September 2013. Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, announced the first partners for the Summit which will gather some 500 youth in addition to engaging millions more online through leveraging our collective community networks.
The Secretary-General gathered everyone at ITU headquarters to thank them for their contributions and review preparations for the Summit, including: UNICEF, Kofi Annan Foundation and One Young World, Microsoft, America Movil/Claro, Cisco Systems, Telecentre.org, Ooredoo, The Walt Disney Company, Azerbaijan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ICTQatar and Intel.
The Global Youth Summit will not be a typical UN event of speeches and protocol. Youth and mentors will come together on-site in Costa Rica for interactive sessions and workshops, highlighting the work of inspiring youth that are changing their world for the better using ICTs. Key themes include Get Ahead, Be Smart-Be Safe, Be Healthy, Protect Your Environment and Change Your World. The Summit will also feature a “HacktheMDGs”, 48 hour hackathon where young developers will be given the challenge of developing solutions to social and economic problems they face in their communities. But this is just the beginning.
ITU will also be launching a shared online platform with partners to consult and give a voice to millions of youth so they can share their vision for the #post2015 UN development goals. This will be the biggest, most ambitious undertaking of its kind. We will give them a direct channel to world leaders: youth will develop a crowd-sourced message that the President of Costa Rica will deliver to the UN General Assembly in September, directly after the Youth Summit. To help generate momentum and interest, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was in ITU’s studio yesterday to launch a series of online dialogues with youth, in partnership with One Young World, on hot topics around skills, jobs, leadership, political engagement and the environment.
And there is more, much more, to come….
Christopher Clark is Head of Sector Membership at ITU and is coordinating the BYND2015: Global Youth Summit.