Published on Voices

World Bank Group Youth Summit 2016 competition finalists announced


Education systems around the world are failing to provide young people with the skills they need to fully realize their potential. The challenges are numerous and complex. If you could solve one educational challenge faced by young people, what would it be?  

The Youth Summit Organizing Committee (YSOC) received 875 submissions from young entrepreneurs who were inspired to share their ideas on transforming the world of education. The competition was open to individuals or teams of 2-4 people, aged 18 to 35.  Proposals were received from every continent and represents 108 countries including Madagascar, Mozambique, Peru, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka, Italy, Iran, Russia, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Romania, Colombia, and New Zealand.

Participants recommended action-oriented ideas on how to provide young people with a quality, inclusive, and relevant education, adapted to the realities of the 21st century. The proposed solutions are related to at least one of the subthemes of the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2016:
  • Innovation and Technology in Education
  • Skills for the New Economy
  • Gender Equality in Education
  • Education in Crisis Zones
Team captains will present their proposals in the Preston auditorium located at the World Bank Headquarters, 1818 H St NW, Washington, DC on November 15. This event will also be livestreamed.

Get to know our six finalists and the innovative ideas you can expect to see on stage:

InRoE proposes to create a platform which enables Indian students to afford quality education through a low-risk approach, by connecting them with investors and qualified skills providers. Investors will be able to invest in a ‘basket of students’ as an asset class, while students will have the opportunity to enroll in educational programs, without any upfront fee. They will pay back the funds only if they obtain a job and the amount will be proportional to their earnings. This scheme aims to create incentives and broaden access to education and equipping students with market-relevant skills.
Team Members: Sulagna Datta, Leah Sebastian Zacharias, and Joel Modestus

Khwela is developing a mobile platform that will help unemployed youth in South Africa. The application provides a comprehensive and accessible ecosystem offering career development education – covering steps needed to get ready for employment through nine interactive and practical modules. In addition, the platform connects young people in a structured and tailored manner with mentors, youth program service providers, and employers so that they can acquire the necessary resources, knowledge, and support to work their way towards gainful employment.
Team Member: Sandiso Sibisi

NaTakallam is a platform that connects displaced Syrians with Arabic learners through Arabic language sessions over Skype. NaTakallam gives learners access to affordable, flexible, and tailored training with native speakers, and provides an enriching work opportunity to displaced Syrians who, once resettled in a host country, struggle to join the workforce, due to language barriers or strict labor policies.  NaTakallam is currently partnering with universities as a complement to traditional Arabic/Middle Eastern studies, giving a human dimension to the refugee crisis and promoting a unique educational experience to students.    
Team Members: Aline Sara, Reza Rahnema, Denise Maroney, and Sherif Kamal      

ROYA Mentorship Program is a comprehensive educational program in Afghanistan that enables children of impoverished families – girls in particular – to learn English and acquire computer literacy. Through this program, students have access to classes and computers/internet, are matched with local mentors who advise and encourage them, and also benefit from the financial support of sponsors who cover their tuition fees. ROYA Mentorship Program not only equips participants with the skills and motivation needed to pursue higher education, but also promotes ethnic harmony by building interethnic ties between mentors and students.
Team Members: Mohammad Asif Rasooly and Shoaib Mehryar

School in School is a student-led ecosystem in India that empowers students to design their own learning path. Every week, a few hours are carved out from traditional curricula for a ‘School in School’ learning experience, whereby selected student leaders facilitate learning with other students. Through a process-based curriculum, students not only use online resources to independently learn new skills based on their interests, but also engage with their communities to develop and implement concrete solutions to real-life problems. In doing so, School in School democratizes learning and encourages students to take education in their own hands.
Team Members: Divakar Sankhla, Parinita Jain, and Aaditya Tiwari

StanLab is developing a 3D virtual laboratory that will provide practical science education to Nigerian students who do not have access to traditional laboratories. Equipped with motion sensing devices, StanLab will allow users to visualize and interact with 3D graphics – for instance, users will be able to rotate molecules and observe their constituting elements. StanLab will not only help students better understand science concepts and practice experiments – even in the absence of physical facilities – but also experience a more dynamic and collaborative approach to science education.
Team Members: Job Oyebisi, Adenike Adetoun, Tobi Oyedokun, and Deji Lawanson
For more information about the Youth Summit 2016, including the full schedule of events, visit:

To watch Youth Summit 2016 via livestream, visit

For general inquiries about the Youth Summit, contact:

To see the success of last year's Youth Summit, visit


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