Young people are the core power to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore it is essential to introduce them to the concept of sustainable social businesses and the role of innovation so that they can better lead the innovation in industry and infrastructure and solve social problems through unique innovative ways.
“Youths show a great sense of social responsibility. They understand the concept of social business and they have their own innovative ideas. I hope that they can put their plan into practice and more exchange opportunities between China and Bangladesh can be organized.”
Lamiya Moshed, Executive director of Yunus Center
China-Bangladesh Social Business Young Leaders Program is organized by Youthink Center and gets support from Yunus Centre, Social Business Youth Alliance, Grameen, Intel and other social businesses in Bangladesh. It is a one-week program where the participants will engage in dialogue with Nobel Laureate and SDGs advocate Professor Muhammed Yunus, visit Grameen Bank, lead a social business in Dhaka and then design their own social business idea.
The student teams undergo three main phases:
Learning: Students learn about social business and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Field Visiting: Students go to different social businesses to learn about their models and practices.
Designing and competition: Students design their own social business and present it to partners and stakeholders.
On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.
Read more stories of Action for SDGs from all over the world and be inspired …
By Di Cao – Global Youth Advocate at the UN Millennium Campaign
(L-R) Olympic Champions and IAAF Ambassadors, Joanna Hayers and Dwight Phillips, IAAF President Lamine Diack, UNDP Country Director Agi Veres & UNDP Head of Policy and Partnerships Hannah Ryder.
UNDP and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) co-hosted a celebration of the social responsibility program Athletics for a Better World (ABW) in Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest stadium on Aug 26th during the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015. The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding to celebrate international partnerships in sports and cooperate to promote sustainable, inclusive human development to make the world a better place. This reception is a series of events UNDP is hosting to celebrate the UN Day for South South Cooperation.
UNDP invited members of the Beijing international diplomatic community to attend the event, which included delegates and representatives from over 40 Countries and many partner organizations. The Virtual Reality film screening became the highlight of the night. The UN Millennium Campaign office brought two VR films to the audience to demonstrate global development challenges from around the world. Launched in early 2015, the film Clouds Over Sidra follows the life of a young girl living in the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Waves of Grace features a community’s recovery amid the Ebola epidemic. Both films were designed to support the UNMC’s efforts to highlight the plight of vulnerable communities.
Attendees explored the ground-breaking technology through the virtual reality headsets with enormous passion, and the powerful, immersive watching experience brought the real lives of people in Jordan and Liberia straight to the Bird’s Nest. The audience were profoundly moved and gained deeper empathy of vulnerable communities.
“The most amazing watching experience ever before.” Exclaimed one diplomat working in Beijing after watching the VR Film. He added, “It’s like they are looking at me and talking to me, they are around me.”
As the world’s second largest economy, China achieved many of the Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, and has become increasingly important in the overall global performance on the newly approved Sustainable Development Goals. In the MY World Global Survey, which aims to link voices of citizens to global leaders during the process of defining the new development agenda, Chinese people contributed 321,395 votes with a high level of involvement of youth. Better transportation and roads, support people who can’t work are the two most popular priorities among Chinese voters.
Clouds Over Sidra,which was created to support the United Nations Secretary-General’s MDG Advocacy Group’s call for partnerships to build resilience in vulnerable communities, immerses the viewer in the life of Sidra, a young Syrian girl living in the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Gabo Arora — one of the co-creators of Clouds Over Sidra — says that the inspiration behind the project was to use virtual reality to give a platform for viewers to gain a better grasp of the conditions in camps like Za’atari stating, “if we used virtual reality and made them actually walk in [Sidra’s] shoes…. they would care and be moved to action”.
The event used Samsung Gear VR headsets to give people the opportunity to experience the daily life of one of the many children whose lives have been changed dramatically by the conflict in small groups. These intimate screenings were followed up with a Q&A session moderated by Arora along with Dr. Wei Kunlin, Associate Professor at Peking University, Olivier Oullier, Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at Aix-Marseille University; and Yobie Benjamin, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Avegant Corporation. The Q&A session discussed the impact virtual reality can have on outreach and advocacy for global issues such as the Syria Conflict that would otherwise be impossible with conventional forms of media.
In addition, the WEF took the screening as an opportunity to announce their plans to fund the translation of Clouds Over Sidra into Mandarin, bringing further light to a vital issue both to influential decision makers as well as the general public.
By Evonne Tang, Youthink Center
(English Translation by Alice Chen, UN Millennium Campaign)
Initiated by the United Nations, the “MY World” survey has been going on for over a month’s time in China through the outreach of Youthink Center and many other partners. So far, we have not only assembled a large team of volunteers, but also encouraged more regions in China to participate, improving the “MY World” survey’s overall participation.
Volunteers come from all over the world, including the 27 provinces and four municipalities, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions, and the U.S. and the U.K., most of which are volunteers from Beijing.
“My World” survey data is also very interesting. Look at the overall survey ranking: Globally, “MY World” has over 7.26 million responses; Mexico so far has the greatest number of responses, totaling more than 1.58 million votes (1.5% of the total population).
China (as of March 20) has a voter turnout of nearly 80,000 people, putting China at the 8th spot in terms of country votes. However, because of China’s huge population base, this figure could become even greater. Through our efforts, if we can get more people to participate in activities, China will become a force to be reckoned with in the MY World survey.
UMUNC China has worked towards made great strides in gaining support from volunteers to promote MY World in China. Our team was concerned with how to really use our data to let the world know what China really needs. Can our data really illustrate the multi-dimensions of China’s youth? How do we help those who are living in difficult situations have more opportunity to express their needs?
We realized that this is our mission – for UMUNC to serve the most marginalized, bringing their voices to the forefront of development, this is also the mission of our generation of young people.
March 2015, we are pleased to introduce the Project Officer for South Western China – her name is Junchi Zhou and she is a middle school student from Chongqing Nankai Middle School. Her arrival has brought new inspiration to the team.
There is a marginalized community living right beside us. Their parents have to migrate away from home to find work. For survival, these parents use their wisdom and strength to try to change the fate of their families for the better. They have also sacrificed so much to promote the sustainable and harmonious development of China’s economy and society. Yet, their sons and daughters stay behind in the village, and they have become a very unique marginalized community, called “left-behind children.”
In September, 2012, the Ministry of Education announced the number of school-age children who migrated with their families to be over 12.6 million while the number of school-age children who are left behind is over 22 million. Behind this enormous number lies a tension that is a symptom of economic growth and the dramatic difference between urban-rural developments.
这是典型的中国式矛盾。This is a typical Chinese style tension.
父母外出打工，把孩子留在乡村，这实在是一种痛苦和无奈的现实选择，即便被父母带入城市的孩子，在森严的城乡壁垒面前，也不得不面对与城市融合的困境。Parents work in the cities while children are left behind in the villages. This is really a painful decision for parents to improve the lives of their children for the future. The issue of adapting to life in the city also comes to mind when looking into whether rural children can quickly adapt to the pace of life in urban areas.
“As we go into the field, joining ‘left-behind’ children and learning form them, it is hard to imagine they are the same age as us but our future looks very different.” Left-behind children have a higher probability of entering the work force or getting married at an early age. Through MY World, UMUNC would like to work with multi-stakeholders to improve this situation and to deepen the impact young people have on the world, through the action from our own two hands.
This is our resolve.
也许有些残酷，但是问题的背后需要不是更多的同情、指责，需要的是关注和解决。这正是我们要做的。这也是为什么“MY WORLD 改变世界” 携手优梦中国青年发展计划为下一个联合国千年发展目标制定议题的意义。因为我们可以用我们的诉求，将世界改造成我们需要的样子，让这个世界真正与我有关。
Reality is difficult to face, but there is no need for criticism and kindness, what is needed is empathy and working toward finding solutions. This is what we must do, and what we would like to do by working on MY World, to find meaning that fits our needs in the next development agenda.
The Chinese youth-led organization YouThink has taken on an amazing initiative to collect MY World votes and their results have been astounding: in 2 weeks more than 3,000 volunteers in China have collected over 70,000 votes—with more offline votes yet to be counted! One volunteer, Cheng Yachan, was able to collect an astounding 1,739 votes—the highest number of votes collected by an individual!
These votes have been collected not only from mainland of China, but also from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The top three provinces with the greatest number of volunteers were Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai. Additionally, Chinese students who are studying abroad, in countries like the United States, Britain, and France also have helped to collect survey results.
How are volunteers getting the world out? Some volunteers have utilized social networks, messaging apps, and student unions/clubs. In order to help spread ideas and promote this kind of creative collaboration, YouThink set up several chats on QQ (an instant messaging app) that the volunteers can communicate across.
One adventurous volunteer went offline to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard. This volunteer from Yunnan province in China traveled deep into the mountains in order to collect the voices of minority ethnic groups in remote areas. Because a number of these villagers were illiterate, the volunteer had to read out all of the options and explain them to everyone. By collecting these voices, volunteers like this one are helping to ensure that the survey truly reflects the people’ ‘voices. According to the volunteer, “I may not able to drive the survey forward as quickly as I would have if I had done it online, but this should be the idea of the MY Word Survey: each individual should have their voice heard.”
In order to promote and reward this kind of passion and drive, YouThink will have awards for some of their most devoted volunteers. Winners will not necessarily be judged on how many votes they collected, but how they embodied the spirit of the MY World survey. YouThink is calling on their volunteers to send in their stories, videos and pictures, telling us how they feel and what they think about the MY World Survey.
It’s interesting that in China, their number one priority is “Better transport and roads,” and second is “Support for people who can’t work,” which is very different from the global priority. “Climate change” and” Access to clean water and sanitation” are also high up (Top 5), much higher compared to global priorities.
Blog post by Ms. Chen, World Youth Foundation Volunteer in China. On 15-16 January, Ms. Chen collected 164 offline ballots at the school where she grew up in Jiangxi Province.
Today I went to the school in my hometown that I attended 14 yrs ago, promoting the MY World 2015 Survey as an alumna of China’s Millennium Generation. When I walked into the classroom, the students looked at me with their dazzling eyes full of curiosity. They were all born in the year 2000, sharing the same age with current Millennium Development Goals. Although they didn’t know what the Millennium Development Goals are nor how they were developed, they are now part of the new development agenda that is coming alive. Should any of them recall the day they took the survey and what they prioritized, by any chance, many years from now, I hope they will think they have made the right choices.
Of the total number of Chinese voters in the MY World Survey (18,947 voters), “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans” is drastically higher than the global results, currently ranked 4th instead of 14th. The majority of Chinese voters, or 70%, are youth aged 16-30, who rank it fifth. The 4% of voters who are children 15 and under ranked this as their second priority, similar to Ms. Chen’s results.
On November 1st, MY World China’s newly improved website, www.myworld2015.cn, was unveiled during the World Youth Forum 2014 annual meeting, organized by MY World Partner, Youthink Center. The localized Chinese website was created in collaboration with Youthink, the UN Millennium Campaign and UNDP.
MY World is a global survey for citizens led by the United Nations and MY World partners. It aims to capture people’s voices, priorities, and views, so that global leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the new development agenda for the world.
Over 3,000 factory workers from rural Shanxi Province voted for a better world through the MY World Global survey.
When the factory manager heard about the United Nations MY World survey through relatives who lived abroad, she became curious and searched online to learn more about the MY World survey. She found the video with Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, encouraging more people in China to vote for a better world. Although the idea seemed distant to her at first, the Secretary-General’s words and the video by Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Zoleka Mandela struck a cord and she became convinced and was able to inspire over 3,000 of her employees to take the survey with her and tell the United Nations what they thought would make the world a better place.
Most of these factory workers are women and migrant workers, which means they do not live in the province they currently work in but travel thousands of miles from home. Most of them only see their husband, wife, son, or daughter once a year during Chinese Lunar New Year. One of the factory workers said, “no one has ever asked me what I wanted before, and now the United Nations is asking me!”
Right now, over 15,000 people have already taken the survey in in China, and partners such as ShiQing are preparing for a massive offline effort to engage China in MY World. People young and old are joining online and offline in this effort. In this video, a 10 year old girl, with the help of her parents, told the UN that the most important thing for her is to protect the environment, because she wants her birds to have a home. So many of these stories are happening in China and people online and offline are joining the MY World survey to tell the United Nation what it is they truly care about.