Beyond 2015: UNESCO at the Global Youth Summit
From 9 to 11 September 2013, some 700 young people from around the world have gathered in San José, Costa Rica to lend their voice and influence decisions at the United Nations on the “Future We Want”. Over 3000 young people in 25 different countries tuned into the BYND2015 Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica, using a unique crowd-sourcing platform and other social media channels.
On the first day of the Summit, UNESCO opened the HACKATHON – 24 Hours to Hack the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) – with a framework presentation on the role of education in sustainable future and health care for everyone. Inspired by ideas and examples of solutions to the major challenges faced by the world, outlined by UNESCO, Ericsson, Microsoft and INTEL representatives, the young people formed teams and worked the next 24 hours on developing applications in the area of education, health care and environment.
As judge at the education panel, UNESCO picked up on a few interesting micro and macro applications. It turns out that in Hackathons, like in football, the home crowd helps winning, as the 24-hour battle of brains ended with the decisive win by a team from Costa Rica. Their idea “Activistas del medio ambiente”, a real-time online database of pollution sources across the country, was voted the best application by judges and the Summit participants.
During the Change Your World plenary session on the last day, UNESCO’s views on entrepreneurship and innovation were echoed by young activists who took the floor. President Chinchilla, Kofi Annan (via remote connection), Disney, UNICEF, Facebook and ITU presented their initiatives in digital citizenship, child online protection and the Post-2015 global development agenda. The BYND 2015: Global Youth Summit Declaration adopted by young delegates will be part of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals process