ECOSOC Youth Forum

The ECOSOC Youth Forum brought young people from around the globe to come together to discuss ways in which young people can and are helping to manage the shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The forum also addressed ways to ensure that the needs and priorities of all youth are at the center of the future development agenda and its implementation. It was a platform for youth to engage in dialogue with Member States and contribute to policy formulation on economic and social aspects.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the forum
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the forum

The forum consisted of a number of speakers and panels that spoke about these issues, and then there were occasionally follow-up breakout sessions and interactive discussions to give young people in attendance the opportunity to voice their opinions. In these sessions, notes were made to ensure that the necessary UN representative members and staff heard young people’s opinions. Additionally, young people could bring back what they learned from the forum to their organizations around the world, specifically sharing new ideas for how youth can be engaged in the future SDGs.


MY World was a strong focal point for the opening event because it gives young people the ability voice their vote and become engaged in the future SDGs. Through this simple survey, national representatives can see what their people are voting for as their priority and compare it to the world populations’ results. In his opening remarks, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commented that, “Seven million people responded to the UN’s My World survey. Seventy percent of them were under the age of 30. The input of youth has been crucial to developing the next generation of sustainable development goals. Young people’s views were reflected in my synthesis report on the post-2015 agenda. I proposed a set of six elements that are critical to sustainable development: Dignity, People, Prosperity, Planet, Partnership and Justice. All of these matter to youth.”

An amazing and inspiring video by a high school girl highlighted the importance of the MY World survey and youth engagement in the next round of SDGs. The video was presented to the entire youth forum at the end of final remarks. Be sure to share the video with your friends and family so they understand the importance of the MY World survey and the SDGs:

Towards a Transformative Post-2015 Agenda.

New York – Winter 2015

Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign at the United Nations Development Program, spoke on a panel titled, “Towards a Transformative Post-2015 Agenda.” The goal of the panel was to inspire intergovernmental post-2015 negotiations with concrete concepts, tools and campaigns for integration of resources (such as: finance, knowledge, workforce, social energy) of global citizens and local communities. Additional panelists included representatives from International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI), Junior Chamber International (JCI), UN Habitat, and UN Women.

Toomey event 2

Mr. Toomey spoke about the MY World survey and the importance of the data it aggregates. All of the data, which is available online in an open and interactive format, demonstrates what over 7 million members of civil society thinks are the most important issues the UN should address. According to Mr. Toomey, “The top votes show that the basic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are still unmet.” Currently, the top three most voted issues are: “A good education,” “Better healthcare,” and “Better job opportunities.”

One specific focus for the panel was how to get youth engaged in the completion of the current MDGs and goal-setting for future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 2015 is a pivotal year in which the MDGs will be wrapped up and assessed and the SDGs will be established– but will the needs and values of all of civil society be heard? What about those who have little political, economic, or social power, such as children and youth?

Toomey event

Nearly 80% of respondents to the MY World survey are under the age of 30, with approximately three-quarters (75%) of those respondents ages 16-30. In addition, many of the volunteers who collected the nearly 6 million votes offline were young people. This outreach is extremely important for the localization of the goals in the next process. As Arrey Obenson, from JCI pointed out: “Successful projects involve communities & concentrate on solving local problems not replicating solutions.” At anyone can see the aggregated data to learn more about the world that youth want.

As Vivian Onano, a Kenyan Youth Advocate from UN Women who spoke on the panel, pointed out, “More than 50% of youth in Africa are illiterate.” While the MDGs have helped to increase enrollment in primary school to nine out of every ten children in the world, the MY World results suggest that access to quality education, including and beyond primary, remains a global priority– and a particular priority for children and youth. The MY World survey gives everyone a chance to have their voices heard during this pivotal time. Share the results with your representative on Twitter and talk with your family, friends, and colleagues about why this survey is so important!

Watch the recording of the session here:

Humans of MY World: Netherlands

We are happy to introduce you to Jilt & Teun, who just embarked on a trip from Amsterdam to Cape Town – by bicycle! From now till the 12th of August they will be on the road, uploading pictures of the young people they meet along the way and sharing their priorities for the world in 2030. Join their journey across two continents, more than 20 countries and over 17,000 kilometers to connect, share and inspire!
From the vast deserts of the Sahara to the central highlands of Namibia, from rural communities to crowded metropolises, and everywhere in between, Jilt & Teun want to connect with young people on the ground, share stories and inspire one another to make changes for the world we want. With a special focus on MY World & the post-2015 agenda, they will try to answer the question: “how do young people at the grassroots level envision the world in 2030?” #bb2015UN
“He is Israeli, I am Palestinian. He likes cookies, I like cookies. And even though we do not agree on political aspects, we agree on one thing: we, the new generation, need a change. And most importantly, we are true friends! Therefore we decided to start the initiative “Make Hummus Not War”. A simple dinner between Palestinians and Israelis, in which we talk about this and that and try to find human in each other.”
– Netherlands
“My top priority is ‘Freedom from Discrimination and Persecution”’ I believe the Netherlands is very good when it comes to prevention of discrimination and unlawful persecution. It is among the best in the world. Open discrimination is easy to discover, but we should not close our eyes for disguised discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, religion or political views. Discrimination is not only taking place in Africa or the Middle East, but also in western countries in Europe and North America.”
“Basically this is what happens in the world: we do micromanagement on specific issues, like this UN-list. How are they not all interconnected? Let’s compare it to a dyke with holes. (Yes, dykes and holes, we’re in the Netherlands). There’s a “political rights hole”, an “ecology hole”, and an “health care hole”. How can we prioritize one issue over another, if prioritizing one hole means that water is still bursting out of the other holes? It might go better with human rights, but on other areas there will be flooding. We have to approach the world as a whole; all those issues are interconnected.”

Building Bridges kicked off! From Amsterdam to Cape Town #BB2015UN

bb2Building Bridges kicked off in The Netherlands! From now until August, Jilt van Schayik (UN Youth Representative for The Netherlands) and Teun Meulepas will be cycling from Amsterdam to Cape Town. During this six month bike tour, they will cross 20 countries and over 15,000km (over 9,000 miles) to hear stories and collect MY World votes.

From the vast deserts of the Sahara to the central highlands of Namibia, from rural communities to crowded metropolises, and everywhere in between, Jilt & Teun want to connect with young people on the ground, share stories and inspire one another to make changes for the world we want. The duo have teamed up with youth representatives from every country who will be organizing events around their arrival to spread the word about MY World as the voice of the public to the UN. They will take photographs for Humans of MY World, gather MY World votes, and organize forums with young people. They will try to answer the question: “How do young people at the grassroots level envision the world in 2030?” ‪

2015 is an important time to activate the voices of the public to ensure that the sustainable development goals reflect the people’s needs and interests. As we look at the outcomes of the Millennium Development Goals, which come to a close on December 31, 2015, will the public feel that their governments made great strides in areas such as gender equality, sanitation, and the environment? What are the areas of continued need? These questions can only be answered by asking the people and sharing their votes and their voices.

Connect with Building Bridges

These young men have long road ahead of them! Follow their adventure and show your support between now an August. Connect on Twitter with #bb2015UN and on Facebook at Humans of MY World & Building Bridges!

Building Bridges & MY World was featured on Dutch television!

JCI India Hosts Aeromodelling Show to Collect MY World Votes

From JCI India

The 1st phase of the MY WORLD awareness launch was done during the Trade & Fun Fair of JCI Ankleshwar – an Annual event that has been held for last 12 years. The event was launched by Imm. Past President of JCI India Deepak Nahar, in the presence of 5000 people in Ankleshwar, India. Attendees included children and adults from all different walks of life, as well as community leaders such as Zone President of Gujarat Hemal Shah, Ankleshwar Industries Association President Chandresh Devani, President of JCI Ankletshwar Dhiren Shah, Project Chairman Sangita Nahar and other dignitaries present.

In order to draw attention to the importance of MY World as a means of engaging the public in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and to create the World We Want, we planned an innovative way to attract attention to our event – by organizing an Educational Aeromodelling show. During an aeromodelling show, model planes are flown to demonstrate the aerodynamics of a standard plane. These kinds of shows are exciting and captivating– a great way to bring the community together!

The Ladies Wing and the Junior JCI Wings of JCI Ankleshwar took up the responsibility of organizing the Educational Aeromodelling Show. To cover the cost of the Show, we sought sponsorship from local business houses, companies, banks and jewellers.  Special thank you to our sponsors, including: Garden City Resorts, Paras Jewellers, and Lupin Chemicals Ltd. Tickets for the show were sold through students in 15 schools of Ankleshwar. Students from several schools, were children of Industry workers are studying, were allowed free.

On the day of the show, 500+ students formed a human “MY WORLD” (see photo above). During the show, the importance of putting across our voices to create the World We want was announced to all the 5000+ people gathered, majority of them students. A My World stall allowed spectators to vote offline on pre-printed ballots. We also displayed cards of all the 16 priorities as well as a MY World – JCI Banner. To get the attention of all the media and press, a MY World-JCI Banner was towed behind one of the Miniature Airplanes to fly up in the Sky. The event was covered in Gujarati state channels like TV9 Gujarati, GSTV and in local News papers! 

The teachers of the school have agreed to conduct the survey during their classes. We have now also requested few schools to come up with volunteers who would like to go to the nearby villages to collect rural votes. We are planning to print the survey forms in local language – Gujarati for collecting rural votes. This shall be completed by March. The students and teachers are excited to be part of the worlds largest global survey to create the World We Want!

Flagging Off The Show

MY World featured in UNDP Report: Achieving Development Results in Asia and the Pacific


UNDP has launched its Asia-Pacific Regional Report ‘Achieving Development Results in Asia and the Pacific’, highlighting a string of successful programmes implemented in 2013 and 2014, and also featuring MY World results in the region.

Responsive governments was voted among the highest priorities for a better future – along with education and healthcare – by the almost 3 million Asia-Pacific participants in the MY World Survey.

Citizens in the Asia-Pacific region constitute almost half of the 7 million people who followed the UN Secretary-General’s call for an inclusive process to define a new transformative development agenda which will be adopted by Member States in September.

See MY World Asia-Pacific findings on pages 41-42 of the report