Young people are at the forefront of creative industries and social innovation. While this year’s ECOSOC Youth Forum (more youth insights here) 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, 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 (UCCN), 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, in as much the need to reduce carbon footprints for built environments.
As for next steps, Nidal Benali of Morocco, ICESCO Youth Peace Ambassador, was joined by many other young leaders including Briana Carbajal, Climate School Columbia, Saddam Wiryosenjoyo, Asian African Youth Government, Maiya Suyunchalyeva, Major Group for Children and Youth, and SM Shaikat, UN Habitat Youth Advisory Board, towards a: Call for Peace and Climate Justice on Earth Day.
In terms of best practices on the ground, it was crucial to hear from both sides of the narrative : new media perspectives with Regenesis Art Hub for Sustainability, to social business models for rural development, with China Agricultural University and Youthink Center.
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 synergised artivism - what scientists fail to communicate shall be succeeded by the language of art. Furthermore Roff Hoefer, another NFT artist adds, the rise of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) bring new people, new interest and new money to sustainable development, with an option for explicitly carbon-neutral blockchains.
As a matter of fact, social business-advocate SDG Corps in China is leading the discourse towards circular economy, through the carbon-neutral/ net zero efforts of the ‘3ZERO’ project. Another layer of discourse involves local impact through community building, where experts are called to engage in a mutually-respectful dialogue between what a city or rural village needs versus what its inhabitants want or think they need.
With the increasing risks posed by Climate Change, not to mention man-made disasters - and pandemic - 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. The concept of an "SDG Village" is under works in the Southern part of the Philippines, to promote sustainable tourism and lifestyle changes from fully zero-plastic policies, to solar-powered and circular water systems, to organic farming and natural wellbeing. It is also envisioned to be a Creativerse, digital art residency and Nomadhood, a coworking space for digital nomads, that could bring young people from at risk areas and all walks of life, to engage in ecommerce and elearning, through creative industries and tech-for-good innovations.
Contributed by: Asia TV Studios (Philippines) and Future Here (Singapore)