The YOUNGA Forum's
Thematic Tracks

Based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), YOUNGA's thematic tracks cover the top five global challenges most important to young people today.

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Future of Education and Work

Sample Sessions

Leveraging Technology for Social Impact

Hosted by CSforAll with Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist, CSforALL; Erin Smith, Founder, FacePrint; Shreya Nallapati, Founder and Executive Director, Never Again Tech and Krystal Briggs. Technology can be an exponential force for good. This inspiring session featured young social innovators using technology to big solve challenges facing humanity like education, equity, gun violence, disease and hunger. The session included Ignite-style talks about each project, as well as an interactive question and answer period with the participants.

Reducing the Skills Gap and Thriving in the Changing Workplace

With Kelly Lovell, Founding Chair, YOUNGA and CEO, BridgingTheGap Ventures and Vishen Lakhiani, Founder and CEO of Mindvalley. Kelly and Vishen discussed how many young people entering the workforce face barriers to the training and learning opportunities necessary to overcome the skills gap–especially during COVID-19. This session provided insights on how youth can gain the skills required to thrive in the changing workplace, such as through BridgingTheGap Ventures' Future-Ready Program and Mindvalley's personal development programming.

Climate Action and Sustainable Living

Sample Sessions

Getting to the Roots of Climate Change

With the founders of Zero Hour: Zanagee Artis, Madelaine Tew, Nadia Nazar, and Jamie Margolin. This session featured a discussion on how to address the systems of oppression at the root of environmental injustice. Participants had the opportunity to hear from leaders in the movement on how to build a livable future. The session hosts also dove into what youth want from world leaders in addressing climate change, how youth voices can be included in policy conversations, and how aspiring activists can become involved with the environmental justice movement.

Designing the Future We Want: Climate Action and the SDGs

Hosted by Peace Boat US with Emilie McGlone, Director, Peace Boat US Kristin Gutekunst; Tarik Mohamed and Roberto Cerda. This session introduced Peace Boat's most innovative project for climate action—Ecoship! Youth had the opportunity to learn about Peace Boat US' programs for climate action and inspiring stories from around the world as they continue to work towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Using presentations, short videos and thought-provoking questions for a diverse panel, this session highlighted the role of youth in SDGs education, community building and climate action.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Sample Sessions

You Matter: A Conversation With Youth Mental Health Advocates

Hosted by Born This Way Foundation with Cynthia Germanotta, President and Co-Founder, Born This Way Foundation; Charlie Lucas, Co-Founder, notOk App; Hannah Lucas, Co-Founder, notOk App; Cheyenne Kippenberger Miss Indian World and Juan Acosta, Channel Kindness Author. In this session, the speakers and participants came together for a conversation focused on youth mental health. During the conversation, participants learned from the panellists how they’re using their platforms and tools to connect their peers with the resources they need, uplift voices and face the current global challenges with kindness, love and bravery.

The Power of Biohacking and the Importance of Healthy Living and Navigating Difficult Times

Hosted by Modern Nirvana with Kat Graham, Actress, Humanitarian and Co-Founder of Modern Nirvana; Frank Elaridi, TV Journalist, YouTube Personality and Co-founder of Modern Nirvana​ and Claire Angelle, Founder, Angelle Consulting. Our daily lives have been heavily impacted by the current health and economic crisis engendered by COVID-19. In these circumstances, self-care is more primordial than ever. This is why actress and humanitarian Kat Graham and Emmy Award-winning journalist Frank Elaridi created Modern Nirvana: to create a community of like-minded individuals interested in connecting and growing together. During this panel, they discussed this new endeavor focusing on bringing information, experiences and wellbeing to the next generation.

Equality and Inclusion

Sample Sessions

Youth-Led Action for an LGBT-Inclusive COVID Response

Hosted by United Nations Foundation. With Victor Madrigal-Borloz, Independent Expert on Violence and Discrimination, United Nations; Saro Imran, CEO and Program Manager, Activists Alliance Foundation and Dustin Liu, US Youth Advisor, United Nations. Young leaders have a role to play in their communities to ensure an LGBT-inclusive response to COVID-19. Participants reviewed the IE SOGI's recently released guidelines for a COVID-19 response free from violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Youth Observer to the UN the offered guidance and best practices for local youth leadership in this context.

Assistive Technology Innovation and Accessibility

Hosted by Tech Era with Derick Omari, Executive Director, Tech Era, Ola Ojewumi, Founder and Director, Project ASCEND, Chiira Bernard, Director, at 2030 Innovate Now and Leroy Phillips, Queen's Young Leader. This Innovation Mastermind took the form of a table discussion with experts in accessibility and assistive technology innovation who will educate, inform and empower young people to be inclusive and create innovations that work for all. The session featured three young panellists who are experts or persons with disabilities who can speak to the topic and have experience innovating in the space.

Peace and Justice

Sample Sessions

Bringing the Power of the People to People in Power

Hosted by The ONE Campaign with Olawale Makanjuola, Digital Campaigns Manager, The ONE Campaign in Nigeria and Maddy Vonhoff, Regional Organizing Manager, The ONE Campaign. This session offered hands-on training for effective advocacy directed to decision-makers and elected officials. Participants learned how to forge relationships, convey complex issues and utilize effective storytelling to effect change and influence policy.

Everyday Activism: It Starts With You

Hosted by The Justice Desk with Jessica Dewhurst, Human Rights Defender and CEO of The Justice Desk; Kayla Brittan, COO, The Justice Desk; Ignatius France, Training Coordinator, The Justice Desk and Malcom Gertse, Community Empowerment Coordinator, The Justice Desk. With a lead facilitator and youth community activists, The Justice Desk's "Mbokodo Club Girls" discussed everyday activism, female empowerment and what it means to be a leading youth changemaker.

Be part of our 2021 program

Let's co-create solutions for a better future.