Highlights from Asia Pacific's Biggest Gathering of Young Social Entrepreneurs Climate Change
, fromCitigroup Inc.
The Regional Youth Co:Lab Summit celebrates five years of putting young people front and center to address the region's most pressing problems. It is jointly organized by Citi Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
At the Youth Co:Lab Regional Summit 2022, nearly 250 participants from 20 nations and territories gathered in Singapore to talk about how they can contribute to solving the world's most pressing problems. Participants came together to support a common agenda to speed up the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. The conference's themes were Youth in Climate Action and Leaving No Youth Behind.
The hybrid summit, which the Citi Foundation and UNDP are hosting in Singapore, is taking place in collaboration with the National Youth Council of Singapore (NYC). Through the Youth Co:Lab virtual platforms, more than 3,000 people from more than 100 countries registered to join us as well.
The two-day summit will feature discussions about youth leadership and empowerment for sustainable development, creative financing solutions, a gender inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the future of work with participants interacting with both public and private stakeholders, including governments, investors, incubators, and accelerators.
A number of prominent speakers gave opening remarks at the summit, including Mr. Christophe Bahuet, UNDP's Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific; Mr. Peter Babej, Citi's Asia Pacific CEO; Mr. Alvin Tan, Singapore's Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth; Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary General's Envoy on Youth; Ms. Lei Motilla, Co-Founder of AI4GOV
According to Peter Babej, Asia Pacific CEO of Citi,
"Asia Pacific is home to 60% of young people worldwide, making it crucial that we harness the creativity and potential of youth in the region to address society's most pressing concerns, including climate change. By bringing together pertinent stakeholders and participants, the annual Youth Co: Lab Summit will further expand the ecosystem being created to support social entrepreneurship among youth in the region. We are dedicated to providing young people in the region with economic and employment opportunities while advancing the UN SDGs, together with our partners at UNDP, he continued."
"The youth are powerful actors in addressing some of the world's toughest development challenges if given space and a voice,"
said Christophe Bahuet, Deputy Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.
"UNDP is committed to supporting and mobilizing young people, especially social entrepreneurs who are driving innovation in communities across the Asia Pacific region. This summit is a priceless opportunity to collaborate with these young, passionate social justice and business leaders, to increase our efforts in creating a greener, more inclusive, and sustainable future."
Alvin Tan, the minister of state for culture, community, and youth as well as trade and industry, gave the summit's opening remarks. He focused on the value of partnerships in enabling and preparing our youth to take action.
Additionally, more than twenty budding social entrepreneurs will present their ground-breaking ideas for tackling the issues of climate action, women's empowerment, and leaving no one behind.
The Summit will also consider how young social entrepreneurs can be a game-changer in the fight against the climate crisis. The discussion will center on the conclusions from a Youth Co:Lab research report titled "Climate Concern to Climate Action: The Role of Young Social Entrepreneurs." In a regional survey of 1,085 young entrepreneurs from 25 countries, 74% said they expect climate-related challenges to have a negative impact on their business. Meanwhile, 66% said they are actively involved in providing goods or services to help mitigate the effects of climate change through advocacy, education, and training for green jobs. After the summit, the study's findings will be formally released.
Youth Co:Lab, which was co-created by UNDP and the Citi Foundation in 2017 and has been implemented in 28 countries and territories, is the largest youth movement in Asia Pacific for empowerment, social entrepreneurship, equality, and social inclusion. Young people everywhere are tackling today's problems from new angles and viewpoints, forging connections, and constructing the world they desire. Youth Co:Lab works closely with a variety of regional stakeholders, including governments, civil society, and the private sector, to improve the policy environment and entrepreneurship ecosystem in order to better position young people to take the initiative on novel solutions that will aid in the achievement of the SDGs.
Over 200,000 people have taken part in the initiative since it began, 11,000 young social entrepreneurs have benefited from it, and over 1,240 social enterprises have been started or improved thanks to it.
Source: Citi group news