On 12 June 2013, ITU organized the Millennials Jam Workshop in preparation for the BYND2015 Global Youth Summit to be held in Costa Rica in September. This session was attended by 40 Millennials from different countries and backgrounds.
The morning session led to the creation of five groups working on different topics, each tasked with coming up with a question in the form of “How might we…” The goal of the afternoon session was to bring together the creativity, knowledge, and passion of these young people to develop and find potential solutions to those five questions. Here’s a quick summary of what each group worked on and the solutions they came up with.
#Revolutionaries: How might we use ICTs to promote Social and Political Engagement?
In a world where social media can have a critical influence on citizens’ lives, the #Revolutionaries thought about using those tools to give a voice to every citizen and to enable them to become engaged in the political process and its outcomes. The solution they came up with relies on the development of an online government portal easily accessible by every citizen. The portal would store each country’s data, from law to transcripts to budgets. Political initiatives can then be proposed and discussed on online platforms by citizens and legislators alike, and users can rate and support the most popular initiatives.
Wide Open World: How might open data be a means to turn knowledge into action?
There is almost an unlimited amount of data out there. The goal of this group was to find a way to make this data “open, free, useful and relevant”. Indeed, information is power, and by giving access to relevant data to the public, everyone will have the power to create change. Wide Open World came up with a model involving everyone from governments to private sectors which would facilitate access to relevant data and would enable people to create projects or press for social action.
Youth for Change: How might ICTs be leveraged to engage youth across the globe in decision-making processes at local, national, and international level to promote their well-being?
Voices of youth are often missing in decision-making processes and this is why there are discrepancies between the outcomes of these processes and what young people actually want for the future. Inclusion of the voice of youth in policy/decision-making processes is crucial for the future development of countries. The group focused on how ICTs can be used to give youth a voice in conversations around policy-making at local, national, and international levels, and proposed several ICT solutions to empower youth.
The Shifters: How might we use ICTs to minimize footprints?
Considering the threat the environment is facing, individuals’ and companies’ footprints are a major concern. The Shifters developed the idea of using detailed metrics to evaluate footprints of companies’ services and products and to encourage smarter consumption. Moreover, using sensor networks to a greater extent can help improve the efficiency of acquiring accumulated footprint values along companies’ supply chains. ICTs can be used to gather and propagate this data on products’ footprints along the value chain and provide accurate and useful awareness to both businesses and consumers.
Greeneration: How might we make young entrepreneurs aware and involved in environment?
The idea was to find a concrete and useful way to convince young entrepreneurs to become eco-friendly and responsible in their future strategies and to help them launch their projects. The solution exposed was a start-up “eco-incubator”; a program that provides young entrepreneurs with the necessary information and resources to create, launch and evaluate their project in an eco-friendly way. The program consists of five interconnected modules for each step of the project creation and a database containing information on projects for potential funders and partners. Specific ICTs facilitate the process.
The day-long session was driven by the enthusiasm and passion of the participants. Many ideas were shared, discussed, and developed, and I think this is what #BYND2015 is all about: gathering talented and passionate young people together to give them a voice and prove that young people are ready and able to change the world. Following the Jam session, I am really optimistic about what the Global Youth Summit can achieve and am looking forward to seeing its outcomes.
More updates, idea-sharing as well as information about each group’s ideas are available on the BYND 2015 Google+ Community.
Many thanks to the authors of the really interesting articles available on the Google+ Community: Ashley Lee, Raoul Joshi, Owaseye Oluwaseyi, Nicolas Heidrich, Laetitia Angba , Lorrayne Porciuncula, Edda Montes, Roxana Radu, Minji Kwak, Gaëtan Noverraz, Ricardo Sanchez Torres, Raquel Mendes and Chris Ip.
Benoit Martinetti is a student from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and is interning at ITU as Junior Project Officer for the Child Online Protection initiative. He is working on the development of the Global Youth Summit and participated in the Jam Workshop with team Greeneration.