YouthMobile Workshop at 8th UNESCO Youth Forum


UNESCO Knowledge Societies Division is organizing a comprehensive presentation on the new YouthMobile Initiative at the 2013 UNESCO Youth Forum on Thursday, 31 October at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The YouthMobile Initiative aims to directly engage young people to develop mobile applications for sustainable development and employment. The YouthMobile presentation will focus on the global mobile phone phenomenon including the latest mobile technologies and mobile applications that have had a huge global impact on youth worldwide.

The UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative attempts to answer the question: How can we give next 1 billion young people with new Internet-connected mobile phones the skills and the confidence to develop dynamic mobile applications (or apps) that resolve issues of sustainable development and youth employment?

The YouthMobile Initiative builds on the experience of many worldwide initiatives that introduce young people to computer science programming (learning-to-code) and problem solving (coding-to-learn).

It also seeks to build on experiences targeting young women who are vastly underrepresented in this field.

Finally it builds on the consideration that for millions of young people, the smartphone in their pocket is a very powerful computer, it will be their only computer, and they use it for nearly every aspect of their lives: communicating, learning, taking pictures and playing games.

The YouthMobile presentation will be delivered by Ms Dorothy Gordon, Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT.

Dorothy is a specialist in international development with over 20 years’ experience in working throughout Africa, US, Europe and Asia in executive and consulting positions.

Her main field of action has been within the United Nations, but she has also been engaged several times with the private sector and civil societies organizations.

Dorothy will be assisted by two young, female, brilliant mobile app developers: Martha Chumo from Nairobi, Kenya, and Patricia Duangcham from Bangkok, Thailand.

Martha Chumo is a 19-year old developer who currently runs a Hacker School in her home-city of Nairobi, Kenya.

"My vision for it is to have a three months programme where developers from Africa can come and learn new technologies and become world-class developers," says Chumo, adding that she's already found a space to host the aspiring programmers. "Not just doing small kinds of technology but getting Africa to get the new Google, the big technologies, these will be things to come from Africa."

Patricia Duangcham is a computer animation student, who has developed several sustainable mobile applications. Currently working as an intern at Microsoft Thailand, Patricia is an award-winning, fully-qualified developer who formed her own Computer Club in Bangkok.

The YouthMobile presentation will take place in Room 6 of the Fontenoy Building of UNESCO on 31 October 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to – 11 a.m. in French, and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in English.

The UNESCO Youth Forum takes place every two years. Since 1999 the Forum has served as a space for open and dynamic dialogue among young participants from all Member States of UNESCO to formulate strategic recommendations on UNESCO’s youth programmes.