A new initiative shows the way to leveraging interconnected youth for global issues
3 December 2012, Geneva, Switzerland - Youth is possibly the largest social actor at global scale and the possibilities arising nowadays from worldwide internet connectivity, social media and real-time communications give youngsters around the globe a formidable opportunity to play a central role in global issues such as climate change and poverty. With this message, Francesco Pisano, head of research at UNITAR, greeted participants during the first of the three days organised at the University of Geneva from 3 to 5 December to celebrate and promote the launching of an innovative web-based platform provocatively named ”Endignorance.org”.
Endignorance is a new entirely on-line venture to help young people stay connected and become involved in global social issues. Omar and Taha Bawa, two brothers, decided to form the platform together with a few associates with the objective of informing today's 14-24 year olds and helping them become actively involved in hot issues such as poverty, global warming, AIDS and human trafficking. “Facebook, Twitter and YouTube empower us to share information through video, film, music and photography at a rate previously impossible”, they say. ”The world has issues. What we want to achieve with Endignorance is bridging the gap between knowing and doing so that more people will ‘do’”.
In the spirit of the International Year of Youth, AIESEC and the University of Geneva supported the launch of the new platform. During three days international experts, IT specialists and other speakers have contributed their views and discussed with young students, activists and participants of the power of technology in connecting people and sharing information with a view to generating and supporting action.
One of the main features of Endignorance is its social focus and the effort to present itself as a positive driver of change, focusing on solutions. As the Bawa brothers say “a truly global society can approach problems in a new way. It can perhaps devise innovative global solutions”. Thanks to technology and social media, youth is emerging as a global actor. Young citizens of the world are the decision makers of tomorrow and have more technology at their disposal than any earlier generation.
Satellite applications and web-supported geospatial information are particularly suited to involve volunteers and collaborative efforts using the web as a medium. UNITAR contributed to the event with a dedicated presentation of UNOSAT collaborative mapping efforts and the research work being done in citizen cyberscience in collaboration with the University of Geneva and CERN.
Photo Above: Omar Bawa (center) with Endingnorance founders and associates. Below: Francesco Pisano of UNITAR during his presentation (Photos courtesy of Endignorance.org)