From ECOSOC Youth Forum to International Youth Day, Building a Sustainable Village and Creativerse

Posted by Local2030 Coalition, UN August 10 2022 0 Local experience

Young people are at the forefront of creative industries and social innovation. While this year’s  ECOSOC Youth Forum revolved around rebuilding back better from the pandemic, the role of education was a key highlight.

The Asia Pacific region is home to the largest number of youth in the world, right next to the African continent, in forming the next generation of global citizens. Last 23 April 22, a Master Class was co-organized by youth-led media channels AsiaTV and AfricaTV, to discuss the nexus of architecture, art, and technology, among multi-stakeholders as well as students of sustainability from partner universities. 

Dr. Sue Vize, UNESCO Regional Adviser for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific, opened the discussion to introduce the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which brings together 246 cities that have placed creativity and culture at the heart of local development.  It was an engaging discussion with renowned international speakers such as Mdme Cecile Guidote Alvarez, UNESCO Artist for Peace, who was recently Director of the SDG Art Festival in the City of Manila, as well as Mdme Hedva Ser, UNESCO Special Envoy for Cultural Diplomacy and Goodwill Ambassador, a sculptor from Israel and France, who is also known as the Godmother of Art Camps, especially in conflict-affected areas.

This was further complemented by ICESCO (Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which was represented by M. Nassim Mohand Amer, Cultural and Creative Industries Head, who also affirmed that cultural diversity and mental health are important bedrocks of cities, as much the need to reduce carbon footprints for built environments. 

As for the next steps, Nidal Benali of Morocco, ICESCO Youth Peace Ambassador, was joined by many other young leaders from the Asian African Youth Government, Major Group for Children and Youth, UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board, towards a: Call for Peace and Climate Justice on Earth Day. 

With the increasing risks posed by Climate Change, not to mention man-made disasters - and pandemics - the participation of all in meaningful partnerships is key in developing a framework for resilient, sustainable, inclusive, built environments through the nexus of technology, art, and architecture. According to Regenesis founder Michel Platnic, it is integral for artistic and cultural advocacy to be part of the UN targets for sustainable development. ReGenesis creates synergized artivism - what scientists fail to communicate shall be succeeded by the language of art. Furthermore Roff Hoefer, another NFT artist adds, that the rise of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) brings new people, new interest, and new money to sustainable development, with an option for explicitly carbon-neutral blockchains. 

From the Youth Forum to Youth Day, the concept of an "SDG Village" is evolving to promote sustainable lifestyle changes from fully zero-plastic policies, to solar-powered and circular water systems, to organic farming and natural wellbeing. This has inspired the launch of an Asia Africa SDG Museum, to serve as a Creativerse, or a digital art residency that could bring young people from all walks of life, to engage in e-commerce and e-learning in creative industries and tech-for-good innovations.

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