ICT4SDG | Youth
December 23, 2019

Meet the 2020 ‘Futurecasters’

By ITU News

Experts predict that our world will look completely different in 10 years.

“Next-gen displays” will replace our TV, computer and phone screens. The first AI machine will be on a corporate board of directors. Some 10% of all cars in the US are predicted to be autonomous.

Most of these changes will occur by the time today’s primary school children graduate from high school.

Technology is having a greater impact on the lives of the young people who will inherit the very world that it is shaping. And with a global population of 1.8 billion young people – the largest generation of 10-24 year olds in history – engaging youth in shaping the direction of this technology-enabled future is more important now than ever.

“The younger generations are the most aware today of the consequences and contributions of technologies. We are, therefore, the generation that must act to ensure ethical and responsible development of technologies,” said Laura Jiminez, a student at Lycée International de Ferney-Voltaire

The Futurecasters: Global Young Visionaries Summit 2020, hosted and co-organized by ITU and the Model UN programme of Ferney-Voltaire, France (FerMUN) will welcome over 700 high-school students from 25 countries worldwide. Under the theme, ‘Technology for Development’, students will debate how technologies can be harnessed to advance progress towards the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2020 Futurecasters will discuss how technology can change the world in a collaborative and global environment, focusing on key issues such as the environment, cybersecurity, digital skills and healthcare.

ITU News asked some of the students what being a Futurecaster means to them and what their vision of a technology-enabled future looks like.

Laura Jiminez – 16

“This will be my second FerMUN conference. I like being able to exchange ideas and insights with people from different countries on current topics.

Being part of Futurecasters 2020 gives me the opportunity to share my vision of the future with other young people from around the world.

Technologies develop and environmental conditions change rapidly and in parallel. To respond to these new environmental challenges, I think it will be essential to use technologies to identify and support long-term solutions over short-term ones. With natural disasters and climate change increasingly affecting telecommunications infrastructure, ITU is becoming more and more necessary and essential.

Though I haven’t made a formal decision about my future career, I am leaning towards architecture. I think that technology has already started to impact this profession; diagrams are now computerized and technology can provide several functions in relation to the construction of models or even in the choice of materials.”

Diana Yang – 17

“I’ve participated in the Model United Nations (MUN) conference at The Hague in the Netherlands. The conferences gave me the opportunity to learn about and engage with global issues, and it allowed me to figure out what I would like to do later in life. After High School, I hope to study international law at the University of Montreal in Canada. I think technology will have a big impact on my future career by helping me to communicate with foreign countries and learn more about them.

To me, a Futurecaster is someone who wants to change the world, to develop ideas and to make the issues that we fight every day known and recognized so that tomorrow is a better day. Young people have a big role in this because we are the ones who will change the future world.

For me, the vision of technology in the future years is that it innovates, improves daily life, and transforms business and society. To achieve this vision, we must allow everyone in the world to be connected to each other.”

The Futurecasters Global Young Visionaries Summit will take place from 8-10 January 2020 at ITU Headquarters in Geneva. Learn more here.

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Meet the 2020 'Futurecasters'

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