How can digital technologies empower youth development? This theme has attracted the attention of young people all over the world. On October 31, the Thematic Forum for Digital Development of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum is successfully held in Beijing. Representatives of international organizations in China, foreign scholars in the digital field, entrepreneurs and other youth leaders exchange views and discussions, with more than 300 young people from home and abroad participating in the forum online and offline.
The Thematic Forum for Digital Development of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum is held at Beijing Shougang Park, October 31. Photograph: Chen Jian/China Youth Daily
The forum is attended and addressed by Chinese and foreign guests, including Shapkat Wushur, Vice President of All-China Youth Federation, Amakobe Sande, UNICEF Representative to China, Wang Shuguo, President of Xi 'an Jiaotong University, Dai Xiaochu, Deputy Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, Lee G. Lam, Chair of UN ESCAP Sustainable Business Network, Hu Xiongguang, Deputy Party Secretary of Shougang Group, etc.
Shapkat Wushur, Vice President of All-China Youth Federation, states that countries around the world have different paths to achieve digital development, but no matter which path they take, the youth are the vanguard force to promote digital development. He stresses that All-China Youth Federation is willing to work with partners from all countries to empower youth development with digital technology, lead youth to contribute to global development with digital innovation, jointly promote the Global Development Initiative, and help implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Amakobe Sande, UNICEF Representative to China, says that although digital skills are crucial for young people's future success, some 2.7 billion people worldwide have no access to internet. She stresses the need to bridge these digital divides and promote world-class digital learning opportunities so that every child has uninterrupted access to the digital world.
Dai Xiaochu, Deputy Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, says that the ILO has provided digital skills to more than 25 million young people. He states that technology and digitalization will provide young people with opportunities to obtain full, productive and decent work.
A youth delegate looks through the handbook of the Thematic Forum for Digital Development of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum at Beijing Shougang Park, Oct. 31. Photograph: Chen Jian/China Youth Daily
At the forum, youth leaders from all countries speak highly of China's achievements in the development of digital economy and the application of digital technologies to empower youth development. Savinda Ranathunga, Regional Youth Project Manager of UNDP Asia Pacific, describes the current situation and prospects of global youth digital development. Wang Shuguo, President of Xi 'an Jiaotong University, deliveres a speech on the mission and development of the youth in the context of new technological revolution. Susan Reichle, President and CEO of the International Youth Foundation, USA, shares the opportunities and challenges brought by digital development. Wang Jian, Senior Vice President of Pinduoduo, China, believes that in the field of digital economy, new youth have grown into an important new force of new economic formats. Shuai Peng, Vice President of China Government Affairs, focuses on the role of digital skills in shaping youth. Zhang Yihao, Group Vice President, GE Health Care/President&CEO, GE Healthcare China, says that the development of medical technology requires unbounded innovation, and the future of digital health needs young talents.
Francis Chuks Njoaguani, Director of ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre, and Susana Puerto Gonzalez, ILO Senior Youth Employment Specialist, also give their views on the topic of youth digital skills upgrading.
A youth delegate listens while working on a laptop at the Thematic Forum for Digital Development of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum at Beijing Shougang Park, Oct. 31. Photograph: Chen Jian/China Youth Daily
During the lightning talks session, the youth leaders of typical programs of the Action Plan for Global Youth Development from various countries share how digital technologies empower youth development, including Wang Zhenyang, Program Leader of Hangzhou Wen’er Information Technology Co., Ltd. from China, Nathaniel Diong, Founder and CEO of Future Minds Network from Australia, Uroš Bulatović, President of the Union of Young Entrepreneurs from Montenegro, Rosisang Timothy Praise Majwafi, Business Development Director of AYA Africa Vendor Diversification from South Africa, Macllister Tawanda Nyandoro, Lecturer at the Zimbabwe Frontline Institute from Zimbabwe, Shi Minghui, Founder of Iron Eater Technology from China, etc.
The WDYF Young Digital Leaders Training Program is launched at the forum. This program is initiated by All-China Youth Federation and the International Labor Organization, and implemented by China Youth Daily, Guangzhou Youth Federation and KAB National Promotion Office. The program aims to provide resources, support and opportunities for the growth of global youth in the digital field to help them achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the digital age and jointly promote global development. The International Youth Research Partnership Program is then launched to solicit research projects from young talent research teams around the world, with priority given to research areas such as "rural revitalization", "digital technology empowerment", "scientific and technological innovation", "green development", "international partnerships" and "mutual learning among civilizations".
Distinguished guests take the stage to launch the WDYF Young Digital Leaders Training Program at the Thematic Forum for Digital Development of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum at Beijing Shougang Park, Oct. 31. Photograph: Chen Jian/China Youth Daily
In addition, the forum sets up a youth dialogue session, where youth delegates from many countries and representatives of international organizations in China discuss how youth can use digital technology to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
A dialogue session is set up at the Thematic Forum for Digital Development of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum at Beijing Shougang Park, Oct. 31. Photograph: Li Juanhui/China Youth Daily
The holding of the World Youth Development Forum is an important initiative that President Xi Jinping announced at the High-level Dialogue on Global Development on June 24, 2022. The Thematic Forum for Digital Development is one of the four thematic forums of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum. It is hosted by All-China Youth Federation and the Organizing Committee of the World Youth Development Forum, and organized by China Youth Daily, China Foundation for Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment, and KAB National Promotion Office.