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World Bank Group Youth Summit 2017: Technology and Innovation for Impact

Michael Christopher Haws's picture

2017 Youth Summit

We are excited to announce this year’s Youth Summit 2017: Technology & Innovation for Impact. As highlighted in the 2016 World Development Report “Digital Dividends”, we find ourselves amid the greatest information and communications revolution in human history and must take advantage of this rapid technological change to make the world more prosperous and inclusive. This year’s Summit will provide youth with a forum to voice their concerns, share their ideas and learn from one another while discussing the challenges and opportunities created by this technological shift.

Established in 2013, the Youth Summit is an annual event held by the World Bank Group (WBG) to engage with youth globally on the most pressing topics facing their generation. The goal of the Summit is to empower youth, between the ages of 18-35, to find innovative ideas for development and provide a platform for dialogue between youth, the World Bank Group, and the international community. The Summit is the largest worldwide annual gathering of youth at the WBG. 

Youth Summit 2017: Technology & Innovation for Impact will take place December 4th and 5th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC.

The technology of tomorrow will continue to reshape the world as we know it. Here are a few facts to think about. 

“In 2016, the Dubai government announced its 3D Printing Strategy, which aims to see 25% of buildings in the city constructed using 3D printing technology by 2030.” Source: CNN 

“After watching 5,000 hours of TV, Google’s Deepmind AI was able to lip-read 34% more accurately than a professional lip-reader” Source: New Scientist

The 2017 Youth Summit will include dynamic high-level plenary sessions which aim to ignite conversation on fulfilling the opportunities of technological innovation. Following the plenary session, attendees will participate in training sessions that delve into the subthemes and debate topics previously discussed. The second part of the Summit will feature a live ‘pitch’ competition, which represents the last round of the Youth Summit 2017 Competition ‘Technology and Innovation for Impact’.

This year’s Summit will focus on three vital subthemes:

Transforming the Jobs and Skills of Tomorrow

The rapid technological changes we are experiencing nowadays are revolutionizing the future of jobs and businesses. According to some estimates, half of today’s jobs will disappear in the next 25 years. Automation is among the main protagonists of this story, as it is expected to eliminate many existing jobs. Thus, many economies face increasingly polarized labor markets and rising inequality, as technology augments higher skills while replacing routine jobs. But just as technology is destroying jobs, it is also creating new ones, generating a demand for new skills to be competitive in the 21st century.

Leveraging Information & Communication Technologies 

60% of the world’s population is still offline, with no access to the digital world and no opportunities of participating in the technological revolution. Large parts of these unconnected population are predominantly rural, with low income and high level of illiteracy. Citizens and private sector, as well as governments and regulators all have a critical role to play in addressing these barriers and improving the reach and affordability of ICTs. How can all stakeholders contribute to maximizing the potential of ICTs in developing areas of the world?

Igniting Youth Entrepreneurship

All around the world, young people see entrepreneurship as a mean to achieve social and economic development. By lowering information barriers and costs, the Internet and other technologies increase experimentation and give rise to new opportunities for entrepreneurship, both in the ICT and the ICT-enabled sectors. What can be done to spark the entrepreneurial potential inherent to the youth around the world? How can the next generation of tech entrepreneurs help unleash private sector-led growth, increase productivity and benefit their societies?

Rapid technological changes have created both challenges and opportunities around the world. If you could take advantage of today’s technology and solve any problem or need, what would it be? Would it support the WBG twin goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity?

If yes, then contribute to building the inclusive tech-world of tomorrow by sharing your idea!

Come to the World Bank Group Headquarters and share your idea! Participate in the 2017 competition or register as an attendee.

Deadline for Competition Submission: September 29, 2017 

Deadline for Event Registration: October 10, 2017

If you are interested in partnering with YSOC in any capacity, please contact youthsummit@worldbank.org or visit our webpage.

Past WBG Youth Summits:

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 

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