(Video) Social, organization and innovation leaders gathered at the YouthSpeak Forum in Budapest, Hungary to empower young people from across the globe to take part in the sustainability conversation and create actionable steps on important issues in our world today. Watch our video that covered the day-long event.
“It’s young people like you who are going to play a key role in implementing the goals overall . . . your involvement in the YouthSpeak Forum is already a big step to make your voice heard.”
This is the motto spoken by the Director of the United Nations IS Vienna, Martin Nesirky, that opened the notable event, a youth movement day held annually in more than 100 countries.
The aim of the gathering is to enable participants, youth from 18 to 30, to harness their leadership abilities to voice their opinions and turn them into reality for positive change. Powered by AIESEC, a global youth-driven organization, the forum centered their theme around the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.
Guest speakers kick-started the day with presentations on sustainability, the various issues facing our society and the need for solutions.
Within every message, the prominence of youth importance remained the same. As Jon Hoisater from UNHCR shared his account on the refugee situation at the Hungarian border back in 2015, he said, "an impression that remains is how strong community engagement was, especially the young people. It was encouraging."
As Dr. Barbara Botos from Climate-KIC represented the stark inequalities in our world with visual building blocks, she concluded with a statement to the participants, "I believe in opportunities, I believe in you."
(Dr. Barbara Botos presenting the issues facing our society)
Where Collective Creativity came into play
Participants engaged in their closing activity: a session hosted by us, Be-novative, where teams collaborated to create projects with innovative solutions to the challenges discussed. They used the Be-novative platform, an online software that allowed them to brainstorm ideas within 30 minutes, anonymously evaluate their peers' ideas by impact and feasibility, then finally piece together an action plan to address their sustainability goals.
The results were outstanding. 331 ideas were produced in 30 minutes with 10 finalized projects after the three-hour workshop.
(Check out all the challenge results in our open platform here)
A panel of judges decided on three winning and creative projects—and it didn't stop there! The chosen teams will be supported by AIESEC to move forward with their projects into actual implementation.
“I was impressed at not only the quantity of ideas produced, but also the quality. I think it is important to encourage the youth to look at real-life issues and use their creative skills in a positive way,” shared Réka Boronkay, one of judges from Be-novative.
(One of the participants sharing his team's project)
What we can can express as the Be-novative team, is that the YouthSpeak Forum provided us with a rich experience demonstrating how social good can happen and should happen through communication, technology and creative collaboration. We can assume that every guest speaker, facilitator and participant from not only the event held in Budapest but globally, agrees with the strength that comes from the collective versus the individual.
And to emphasize once more for the young people who will become our future business leaders, policy makers and innovators:
"Learn and share what you learn. Engage with your peers. Don’t think for a moment that your actions are not important. The whole agenda of 2030 depend on people like you.” —Jon Hoisater