This quote set the tone for the 11th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations sponsored by the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, which I attended this week. The focus was on youth empowerment, and how social networking can be used to create change.
“This is a guest post from my son Ben Evans, 17. Ben is a youth envoy to the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Organization, and recently served as a delegate to the National Youth Assembly at the United Nations. He holds a variety of leadership roles at school and church, and enjoys music and drama.”
“Youth are problem solvers, not problems to be solved.”~Jasmine Nahhas di Flori
All of the panel speakers are fantastic leaders with truly amazing stories. Some were ambassadors from countries like Romania and Kenya. I also met Jacuqes Cousteau’s grandson and teens my age who have made big changes by starting something small. For example, Talia Leman began a trick or treating campaign when she was 10 years old, and has now raised over 10 million dollars for relief efforts around the world.
Each attendee was given a rubber bracelet with a personal QR code on it. When the code was scanned, all of my social networking information was immediately transmitted to my new friends and connections. Empowering simple networking with peers around the world.
I strongly encourage you to check out the following organizations which impressed me throughout the conference.
Education for Employment Foundation: (provides cellphones to connect Middle East youth with jobs)
Pavegen (harnesses the power of footsteps to create green energy)
Two Degrees (college campus-based programs selling energy bars to provide a 1:1 donation of food kits in third world countries)
Liter of Light (creates light in poor countries using only soda bottles, tin, and water)
“Being a leader of tomorrow does not exclude you from starting today.”~Unknown