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Saturday, October 29th, 2011 - 2 comments

#7Billion: Topic of the Day – Youth and Innovation

What are some ways that youth can use innovation to create a better world for 7 billion?

Check out this picture of Naveen Kumar, 21, from India. He assembles engines for a tractor company, and writes: ’I want to invent a smokeless engine that contributes to a reduction in global warming’

He is 1 of 7 billion young people with unique ideas for a better world

People under 25 make up 43 percent of the world’s population, but the percentage reaches 60 percent in the least-developed countries. We all remember the amazing TED Talk by William Kamkwamba,”How I harnessed the wind” – a moving tale of a life-changing innovation in Africa. At age 14, in poverty and famine, he built a windmill to power his family’s home in Malawi.

On Saturday, we’re dedicating the entire day to Youth and Innovation

We’ve partnered with the 7 Billion Actions movement who has launched a 7 Day Social Media Countdown to a World at 7 Billion on October 31st.

Tell us how pressing issues, such a poverty, discrimination, climate change, illiteracy, digital divides, and trafficking, can be  solved through innovative ideas.

Share your own story. Or the story of someone you know who is using new innovative approaches to solve development challenges.

Share links, ideas, initiatives and stories by:

1) Posting on the 7 Billion Actions Facebook Wall:

2) Posting on the Facebook Wall of Conversations for a Better World (and tagging

3) Tweeting, using  #7billion

Youth counting down to a world at 7 billion

Speaking of innovation and youth, this week has been packed with activities:

Check out this slide-show from Ban Ki-moon’s visit to a High-School in New York to commemorate the launch of the 7 Day Countdown. 500 students were asked to think of innovative solutions to population growth.

Do check out this video from a cool youth event in Palo Alto, “Innovating for a World at 7 Billion,” bringing together 60+ leaders and students, with a challenge to develop plans for a solution to a key 7 billion challenge: ”What tools, solutions or frameworks would best enable youth in the least developed countries to enjoy greater access to secondary education, thereby empowering them to generate lasting economic benefits for themselves and their societies”?  The winning idea, “Village Academy”, focused on peer-to-peer learning modules delivered via recordings downloaded to mobile devices.

Photo: Adrian Fisk. iSpeak Global in Association with 7 Billion Actions. Photographer, Adrian Fisk, traveled around China and India asking people ages 16-30 to write anything they would like on a blank piece of paper, he then photographed them holding the paper.

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The views expressed in this blog-post are solely those of the author.

Comments (2)

Mu'azu Muhammad
Sunday 30th October, 2011, 5:04pm

Its real, we are living in a time that Social Media plays important role on our lives. With this we are lunching a campaign to promote contraceptive education and awareness while promoting Family Planning among young people using social media in Nigeria. Details will follow later.

Friday 2nd March, 2012, 10:22am

I think one problem the youth should focus on is how to develop betters ways to handle the waste we are generating, such as sewage, we need to use the natural environment to our advantage not work against it. Most people in this country believe "out of sight out of mind" so we design systems to put our waste underground as fast as possible so we think it is gone when it would be more efficient to design systems that would use the trees and other vegetation to absorb and neutralize the organic waste we create. Design natural wetlands, and marshes to let our waste be exposed to the bacteria and plants in the top soil and not put the waste way underground where it will go into the ground water. There are many different ways to handle organic waste at the moment most are power intensive which is not the way too approach the problem.We need new ideas for handling this problem in the future or we will run out of drinking water.

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Guest Editor

Ida Jeng

Social media - UNFPA, UNFPA


I’m Ida. Born in Denmark, roots in Africa, living in New York. My work focuses on digital advocacy. I like to believe that social media can lead to social and political change. Happy to be part of UNFPA's media team in New York and social media initiatives, such as Conversations for a Better World and 7 Billion Actions.

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