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Social Media and Social Change: How Young People are Tapping into Technology

Ravi Kumar's picture

Today, 43% of the world’s population is 25 years old or younger. This young group is impatient and ready to change the world. Change for this generation “has everything to do with people and very little to do with political ideology,” according to a new global survey, Millennials: The Challenger Generation, by Havas Worldwide, a future-focused global ideas agency.  Some 70% of young people believe that social media is a force for change, says the survey.

These five examples from around the world show how youth used technology, social media and the Internet to make a difference recently.

HappyLife and Social Games: Solidarity goes viral!

Liviane Urquiza's picture
Also available in: Français | Español


Stéphane Buthaud - HappyLifeLast week, I was fortunate enough to have a discussion with Stéphane Buthaud, the founder of HumanoGames, which is a video game company whose mission is to “change lives.” Mission accomplished.

Thanks to the game HappyLife, launched just one year ago, Facebook users can provide financial backing for the projects of small entrepreneurs all over the world.

This is how it works:  Each player creates his or her own micro-business in the virtual world of HappyLife and re-invests the profits to help an entrepreneur get started in business in real life.

“A Project for Solidarity on a Global Scale”

Nothing in Stéphane’s background pre-ordained him to become a creator of games for the Web.  After engineering studies and a Masters degree in International Business, he gained solid experience working for a number of NGOs on micro-finance projects; first in Bosnia, then Rwanda, China, Argentina, etc.  Until the day he decided to found his own social enterprise.

What made him decide to create a game on Facebook? “It was the best possible way to foster solidarity and rally a community without borders around a common objective.  I wanted to develop a solidarity project with a global reach, to help people who come up with projects, but who lack the means to get started,” Stéphane explains.  

Really? A game on Facebook that could help in the fight against poverty…?

South Asia Region Imagining a More United Society

Ravi Kumar's picture

To help bridge cultural divides in South Asia, the World Bank recently sponsored an art contest in the region -- Imagining our Future Together. The contest attracted more than 1,000 pieces of art from more than 231 artists born after 1974. Twenty-five winning artworks have been displayed in New Delhi, India, and in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and will next be on display at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., in January.

Development Slogan Contest Allows Youth to Share Hope With the World

Ravi Kumar's picture

Available in Français, Español

Slogan Contest Japan
Mayu Muto, left, receives the Grand Prize for the 3rd Annual Development Slogan Contest from Kazushige Taniguchi, Special Representative of the World Bank in Tokyo.

“We will not let poverty hamper your future.”

That’s the English translation of Mayu Muto’s grand-prize winning entry in the third Development Slogan Contest sponsored by the Tokyo office of the World Bank.

Maya believes poverty should not dictate anyne’s future. She gave an inspiring speech in Japanese on Saturday early afternoon as she received her prize from Kazushige Taniguchi, Special Representative of the World Bank, along with three other Excellence Award winners of the third Development Slogan Contest. The contest is held every year in Tokyo to deepen understanding about development issues among Japanese youth.

What will it take to get more girls in school worldwide?

Ravi Kumar's picture

Available in français

The World Bank has launched a global conversation on social media centered around a question: what it will take... to end poverty? ... for your family to be better off? This week, people from around the world are sharing ideas on what it will take to get more girls in school.

At Tokyo’s Global Festa, Young People Share Their Views on Environment, Ending Poverty

Ravi Kumar's picture

Available in Français, Español

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, a group of young people gathered near the World Bank’s booth at the 2012 Global Festa in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park. They shared their views on what it will take to end poverty, adding to hundreds of postcards dotting a wall at the exhibit.

What will it take for youth to get better jobs?

Ravi Kumar's picture

Last week, we launched a global conversation on what will it take... to end poverty? ....for your family to be better off? .... for all to get an education? This week, people from around the world joined the discussion with their own question: #whatwillittake for youth to get better jobs?

Welcome to the New Youthink!

Ravi Kumar's picture

Sirikarn, a Thai university student, opted for a bachelor's degree taught in English. English language skills open more job opportunities and make further education abroad possible. Photo: Gerhard Jörén / World Bank

Welcome to the new blog for Youthink! -- where youth from around the world can share ideas and stories on global development.

As you can see, we’ve made some changes from the previous Youthink! site. With our new blog home, we hope to increase engagement with you and make it easier than ever to share ideas and learn about development.

Find ways to change your world!

Amy Adkins Harris's picture

Do you want to learn more about development issues and how they impact the world? Are you ready to get involved? The following organizations can help you find information on how to volunteer or meet others who share a passion for making the world a better place:

Be in the Know

WHO

United Nations

YouthNet

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