Emerging Trends | Infrastructure | SDG10 | Youth
August 15, 2013

#BYND2015 – national hubs promoting youth engagement at the global level

By Kabita Gautam

By definition, #BYND2015 is a Global Youth Summit, and as part of our long-term goal to connect the unconnected, during the Summit there will be a number of hubs around the world that are going to be set up and run by enthusiastic young people that want to contribute to making the world a better place through the use of technology. Initiatives like this will help to make the Summit truly global as there are several options that allow individuals to participate; either online or through a hub. We are actively encouraging young people to create their own hubs which is precisely what Kabita has done in Nepal:

There is none who will say, Hey! You have this or that kind of skills so I will give you a job. It depends on every individual to recognize their own abilities and belief to transform their dreams into reality. Being an active, energetic and passionately curious youth, I aspire to be a self-motivated young leader. I have been motivating, empowering and engaging hundreds of youth and children from local to global level for environmental issues using different platforms especially emerging online platforms such as Social Media.

Although I am only young, I have already worked on a number of youth related projects including; an appointment to be the Country Director for the Youth Climate Report in 2011, as part of this I have been encouraging young people to make videos on climate crisis. My project “The Environ Vibes: Social Networking on Move” where I taught 100 young people to blog, was granted funding from the Youth Action Fund 2012. I was also nominated as the Social Media Focal Point for UNCSD Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY), a Team Leader for Green Economy Youth Task Force during the preparation process of Rio+20 Conference since 2011 and a delegate of UNESCAP for The Asian and Pacific Regional Implementation Meeting on Rio+20 Outcomes 2013 held in Thailand.

I hope to inspire young people to become as active as I am because in this new era of development, ICTs play a vital role in society, as they provide a platform for young people to engage with global issues and to find solutions to such issues through the use of ICT. Young people can now use ICTs to learn, engage and solve problems. In the long-term, this could generate job opportunities for them in the future, particularly if they see the successes that other young people have had online. BYND2015 realizes the need for better access to ICTs for all young people so that everyone has an equal opportunity to further their development, on a personal and academic level. The BYND initiative and crowdsourcing platform actively engages young people in the policy and decision making processes, which is good for young people like me who live in developing countries as this gives us a voice during high level negotiations.

Moreover, forming a national level hub is an essential step to unite like-minded young people for sustainable development. Though there will be a variety of ideas regarding different issues, the hub will act as a bridge to bring like-minded young people together at a global level and to develop a working strategy along with information exchange and experience sharing. Most young people are unaware of platforms, like the one the ITU has created, so the hub plays a vital role to promote youth engagement at a global level and is a good example of team work to create a strong outcome.

I will be utilizing my expertise and network to run the activities like blogging competition, Twitter and Facebook campaigns entitled “A Day for ICT”, Google Hangouts, making videos, organizing different workshops/forums on ICT and publishing a declaration. The hub is just the beginning as I plan to continue it even after the BEYOND 2015: Global Youth Summit. In time, I hope to get official recognition and guidance from the ITU as well as the Ministry of Information and Communication in Nepal.

“ICT is like a bread factory for those who have idea on how we can make bread and a hope for those hungry stomachs which are even happy with a piece of bread.” – Kabita Gautam

By: Kabita Gautam

Kabita Gautam is passionate about emerging technologies that have made the world smaller than ever, in addition, she is an active social media campaigner, blogger and an enthusiastic female activist who has been motivating and building the capacity of hundreds of youth from local to global level. Ms. Gautam is a Founder and Mentor of a youth network: Nepal Tunza Youth Environment Network (NTYEN). She is also the founder and coordinator for the BYND 2015 Hub in Nepal. She can be contacted at kabitagautam1@gmail.com.
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