To innovate is to, “make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products,” according to Dictionary.com. Young innovators are bringing a whole new dose of innovation to the world.
When it comes to alleviating poverty, there is no shortage in the need for innovation. Various governments, institutions and organizations are constantly searching for new methods to reduce the global issues that both cause and perpetuate poverty.
On Nov. 9-10, UNICEF and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland met for their Global Innovations Summit. Leaders, CEOs and young innovators met to discuss ideas to get products to those who most need them.
During the two-day event, people discussed what the future looks like and ways to expand success. Overall, the goals of the summit were to:
- Raise awareness of the potential impact innovation can have on improving children’s lives and realizing their rights
- Create new partnerships to advance and scale up innovative solutions for children
- Activate support from partners to help amplify proven, high-impact innovations for children worldwide
- Develop new localized innovations that will help lift children out of poverty
One of the unique parts of this summit was the inclusion of young innovators. Included as key speakers, children and youth were able to present what they have come up with to better their own circumstances in poverty.
Vandy, a twenty-year-old from Sierra Leone, gained inspiration to get involved with innovation because of outside influence.
At the summit he said, “I got inspired to get involved in innovation by my mentor David Sengeh, a PHD student at MIT. In terms of addressing the electricity challenge in my community I got inspired by a young Kenyan who built a windmill device that completely solved the challenge of no electricity in his village.”
Through the stories and ideas of the young innovators, leaders gained a better insight into what the future generations need to be successful.
These youth are working to change their own situation, showing the power of letting them aid in finding solutions.
Another of the young innovators, Altin from Kosava, provided advice to other young people considering getting involved.
“I don’t want to sound like a philosopher…giving up is easy, it’s easy to have a normal life and just do what everybody else is doing, but fighting for what we believe in is what keeps us alive as individuals. We might start alone, but sooner or later a good cause will always bring good people together.”
– Katherine Martin