Colombo, 08 November 2017: ‘#WeAre2030: Youth Dialogue and Incubation Programme,’ a youth dialogue bringing 350+ young people from across the country came to an end today at the BMICH.
This two-day Dialogue, hosted by UNDP together with the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, the National Youth Services Council (NYSC), the Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA) and Unilever brought together young people to create a youth dialogue on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership in Sri Lanka so together we can achieve the future we want to live in by 2030.
The Asia Pacific region is home to 60% of the world’s youth and in Sri Lanka, 23.2% of the population is young people. Through social innovation and entrepreneurship, young people can take control of their futures and have an impact in their communities. Hence this Dialogue comes under the Youth CoLab Programme, introduced by UNDP Asia Pacific, to promote the role of youth entrepreneurship as a driver for social change across 15 countries, including Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the closing session on the power of youth, Ms. Una McCauley, UN RC and UNDP RR stated “youth are the force behind the 2030 agenda; the key to ensure that we leave no one behind. As you build your innovations and work with your communities, keep in mind that the UN is here to support you… Together we can bring #WeAre2030 to life and realize a better future for us all”
Parallel to this Dialogue, together with the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, the National Youth Services Council and the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) Sri Lanka, the 9 winning teams from the recently conducted social innovation hackathons ‘Hackadev’ in Badulla, Matara and Jaffna were also in Colombo over the past two days for an Incubation Programme where, their solutions were guided with the support of mentors and seed funding.
Addressing these winners of the Hackadev, Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure stated “Amazed at the talent we have in Sri Lanka. You need to fail to win again. If you know the taste of failing you know how it means to win. Never worry about somebody condemning your innovation. Keep going forward. I thank all the partners who have come together to create this platform for youth”
Speaking about the social impact of entrepreneurship and startups, Mr. Wan Mohammed Dazriq from Magic Malaysia stated “Innovation can only be created through disruptive thinking. I applaud the change makers of Sri Lanka today, both the private and the public sector for taking this first step in creating a platform such as HackaDev for a better Sri Lanka”
The vision of the ‘#WeAre2030: Youth Dialogue and Incubation Programme,’ was for all partners to come together to initiate a youth dialogue on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership in Sri Lanka, so together we can achieve sustainable human development by 2030. Providing concluding remarks on the role of youth in achieving this vision, Ms. Sheshadri Kottearachchi, UN Youth Delegate from Sri Lanka for 2017 urged young people to “Set your standards and goals high and work towards being a better human being. Sri Lanka need better young people who can move mountains so we can achieve a better tomorrow because #WeAre2030.”
This article was originally posted on the UNDP Sri Lanka website.