Emerging Trends | Infrastructure | Youth
September 4, 2013

#BYND2015 #GetAhead with the ITU

By Elizabeth Hart

The modern workforce is very different from the workforce of previous generations. While in the past most people would usually stay within the same industry or company for the majority of their career, the current young generation is expected to have an average of 6 substantial career changes in their working life. With this in mind, the nature of job competition has changed substantially and employers are expecting increasingly high levels of training and experience.

The first day of ITU’s #BYND2015 Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica will be dedicated to interactive workshops to allow participants to reconsider the way they think about the job market of the future, and their place in it. They will be challenged to consider issues of information access, the talents the job market will require of them, and whether they have the right skills to stand out from the crowd. Through mentorship and collaborative activities, entrepreneurial skills will be discovered and refined. This series of 2-hour workshops is facilitated by Zen Digital , United Nations Volunteers, and the Fondación Omar Dengo. Workshops cover:

  • building a digital enterprise
  • negotiating for success
  • the role of volunteers in social change
  • creative online business
  • strengthening entrepreneurial skills

Getting experience: One of the main challenges in seeking employment as a young person who has recently finished their formal education is the expectation of experience. This is a particular challenge for those who may not be able to complete secondary, vocational, or tertiary education and ensuring access to this level of education must first be addressed. Young people must take increasingly creative steps to get a foot in the door of their desired industry. The workshops associated with the ‘Get Ahead’ theme should inspire participants to consider alternative ways of demonstrating their skills and proving themselves to potential employers.

Telework revolution: The role that broadband and technology can play in this new world of work is already being seen, with a significant rise in the number of companies promoting teleworking and teleconferencing to reduce travel and time costs. Now is a great time for young entrepreneurs who want to connect with a broader international community of experts in their field of interest, to share experiences and inspiration. Communications technology has bridged geographic boundaries and allowed for real-time international collaboration. Already, we’re seeing great collaboration on the ITU ideas crowdsourcing platform, powered by Crowdicity, with over 1000 unique ideas being generated on how young people and technology can change the world.

Crowd-funding: In addition to a different style of working, broadband facilitated technologies are allowing young entrepreneurs to raise funds for innovative projects outside the scope of usual business loan investment. Multiple online fundraising platforms have arisen to allow entrepreneurs and innovators to share their ideas with the world and seek funding contributions. This unique form of entrepreneurship is being most utilised by ambitious young people and developing skills in online creativity and persuasion will allow more innovative ideas to be brought to life.

With the 2015 deadline fast approaching for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), it is essential to refocus our efforts on how best to ensure that we reach our targets in order to give everyone around the world a better future. The ultimate outcome of the #BYND2015 Summit is to produce statement to be delivered by President Laura Chinchilla to the UN General Assembly. This statement will be based on the outcomes of Summit discussions and contributions from the online crowdsourcing forums. It will cover how young people see themselves and technology shaping our future and contributing to the MDGs.

The MDGs are:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality 
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Adequate and meaningful employment contributes to lifting individuals and communities out of poverty, particularly if employment opportunities are initiated by those communities that directly benefit them. If innovative solutions can be developed and young people feel sufficiently empowered in their skills with the confidence to seek out challenging employment, or to establish their own businesses.

The #BYND2015 Summit itself encompasses the spirit of platform for young people to share their vision of the world they want. This is a unique opportunity for young people to ensure their voices are heard and, more importantly, included in the policies that are going to shape their futures. 

Elizabeth Hart is a graduate from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of International Studies, and is currently interning as a policy analyst at the ITU in Geneva, Switzerland. She is assisting preparations for the #BYND2015 Global Youth Summit and sees it as a powerful way of having young voices heard on the world stage. Elizabeth tweets at @lizzie_adl

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