Telenor Youth Summit 2014
and welcome to Norway!
It is a pleasure to be here, and to get the opportunity to meet 27 young opinion leaders and social entrepreneurs.
I believe this meeting place is of great importance. I’ll tell you why, but first I would like to thank Telenor Group, and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who together with the Nobel Peace Center are hosting this Youth Summit, and bringing us all together.
I believe meeting places like this, that gather future leaders like yourselves, are essential. It is essential because you are the ones who will decide how our world is going to look like in the coming decades. Young people’s participation in, and access to, decision making is important to create social change.
I really enjoy working with young people. You are optimistic, you go on with great enthusiasm, you are often creative and not locked in old mind set. You are also born at the same time as Internet started to spread, and have developed alongside with modern technology. No one knows technology, and its possibilities, like your generation. This makes you important agents of change.
Technology is essential – not as a goal in itself, but as a powerful tool that can strengthen human development.
Take Jyotsna Kalra from India for example…
She is engaged in an online platform created to map areas of sexual abuse – ranging from comments to physical abuse and rape, called Safecity. Through the mobile app women, and men, can mark out potential hotspots prone to crime, send out alerts, and ask for assistance from the police or friends. I have understood that you already have received several thousand reports from more than 50 cities in India.
Arkar Min Aung
By using technology I have learned that Arkar Min Aung from Myanmar is known as the iOS Ninja among his team members, due to his iOS skills. I also learned that Arkar is using these skills to create an Open Education Platform. The platform is supposed to enable students who don’t have access to internet to be able to access open online courseware by using mesh network based Open education platform. I believe one of the most important ways to empower youth is to ensure access to education. This project proves that technology can help providing that access.
In the year 2000, the United Nations summoned the world’s leaders to agree on the Millennium Development Goals. For more than 10 years now, I have had the privilege to work with the United Nations Development Program, to help them promote the eight MDGs. The eight goals are related to health, the environment, education and empowerment of women, just to mention a few. We have had great progress on all eight goals. Some of them will unfortunately not be reached by 2015, but others are on track – or even beyond.
As far as I understand, you are all engaged in issues related to the Millennium Development Goals, in one way or another. In addition, you believe mobile technology can be a driving force for change. So do I.
In different ways, all of you are involved in improving people’s life. By being here today, you show that you want to be actors of development.
I am glad we are going to spend some time learning about your projects. I am excited to hear what Sara from Sweden, Wai Yan from Myanmar and Jovana from Montenegro is working on back home in their communities.
I hope you will use the next days to build bridges, to seek challenge and move the world forward.
Good luck with your conference, and I look forward to hearing about the results.