With an anticipated 500+ hand-picked pioneering youth attendees and 50+ exhibitors, the biggest and most eco-prominent youth conference comes to The Innovation Hub in Tshwane on the 29th and 30th of June 2016 – it’s the 3rd annual National Green Youth Indaba, under the theme ‘green innovations and sustainable skills development for inclusive growth’, it’s a not-to-be-missed event aimed at not only exploring opportunities for youth within the green economy, but effectively unpacking the strategies necessary to create easy access to support and funding for green innovations and the skills needed to eradicate youth unemployment and poverty in South Africa.
Our job is to inspire and advance youth interest and skills development in The Green Economy while examining the role of government, private sector and young people to this end, says organiser Sanele Zulu, and the conference is set to do just that.
“With over 500 exceptional young people in attendance, specially selected by their universities, municipalities and Not For Profit organisations, and based on the initiatives these young people are doing to better our environment and fight against climate change, we are sure to make some headway in exploring the most pressing environmental issues and green opportunities for youth within government, private sector and across cities in South Africa, while motivating and engaging youth to play a proactive role in addressing issues related to the sustainable development and climate change of our country”.
Key pillars for discussion at the 2016 Indaba include:
- Youth Employment Opportunities and challenges posed by a transition to the green economy;
- capacity building for a greener future;
- youth agriculture and food security;
- waste management and recycling;
- Skills development: Necessary aid and skills needed to tap into the green economy;
- water conservation and wetlands management;
- sustainable opportunities in global markets;
- energy efficiency and renewable energy; and,
- innovation and technology transfer.
These discussions will start with the National Green Youth Indaba Campus Drive Tour throughout the month of May, under the auspices of which organisers and keynote speakers will visit universities and TVET Colleges across the country to educate students about climate change, green jobs and unleashing their inner ‘Eco-Preneurs’. Universities to be visited include Durban University of Technology, University of Pretoria, Tshwane University Of Technology and University Of Johannesburg.
“Further than this, and in an effort to bring the freshest young talent and cutting-edge innovation to the fore, underlining climate action and UNEP’s commitment to fostering innovation, we will be collaborating with knowledge centres, innovation think-tanks and universities to create a platform to cultivate and advance young talent within the sustainable innovation space.”
“What’s interesting to note is that stakeholders attending the annual Indaba, whether from government, social organisations, private business or representative agencies, often find opportunities to partner and participate in the development of our societies and support of green initiatives and ideas, many of which come from the youth themselves”, continues Mr Zulu.
In particular, the 2016 Green Innovators pitch 3.0, was conceptualised to support and encourage young people to collaborate and build green co-operatives.
“The development of youth co-operatives in the green industry is critical to the effective functioning of the South African economy,” says Mr Zulu. “Our government already provides much-needed support to co-operatives through public education and training, and promotion of co-operative development initiatives in society at large. To assist in this cause, the 3rd annual National Green Youth Indaba aims to create a platform for young innovators to collaborate and build co-operatives, while rallying the necessary support from both government and private sector to ensure our young entrepreneurs gain access to support to pursue their dreams.”
As a further show of support, Government has committed, through the Department of Higher Education & Training, to expand training programmes linked to the skill needs of the green economy and to ensure that the new programmes take into account all training requirements needed around the green economy. Where appropriate, re-training and refresher courses will be made available.
These plans will be announced at the 2016 National Green Youth Indaba where various political heads, including Hon Bheki Cele, Hon Naledi Pandor just to name a few will seat on a panel to engage and discuss with youth, alongside talks by green experts in the industry who will present progress of the green economy, government efforts, plans and opportunities available for youth, as well as representative voices from business, public sector, UN bodies, NGO, youth, faith and indigenous peoples.
This high-impact two-day interactive Indaba, which will include an engagement panel with Ministers of Rural Development, Water & Sanitation, Science & Technology, Department of Higher Education and Environmental Affairs, addresses by Young Movers & Shakers, a Green Careers & Skills Development panel discussion, a Green Career Development Zone and workshops on the Business of Ecological Infrastructure, the Future of Green Jobs for Graduates, Green SMME Skills and Pre-Pitching, as well as ‘Speed Mentorship’ sessions, is a must-attend for environmental activists, agriculture students, green innovators and environmentalist as it will offer access to the best local and international minds and thought leadership through its industry-focused content.
This is the only event of it’s kind to deliver youth focused intelligence in a compact but comprehensive format, combined with categorized and sector industry presentations on the latest environmental advancements specifically focused to all that affects the youth – and it’s all happening on the 29th and 30th of June 2016 at The Innovation Hub in Tshwane.
“The education and skilling of the youth will play a major role in the success of our economic growth and development path. It is therefore of great importance that we intensify the efforts of capacitating our youth, who represent our future, to obtain the necessary skills in order to be meaningful players in the future of this industry and also present platforms where they can be innovative. Government will need to work together with business, labour and the broader civil society in order to achieve these targets.” continues Mr Zulu.
Registration for the 2016 National Green Youth Indaba is now open. For full conference details, schedule of talks, workshop topics or to book your seat, visit www.greenyouthindaba.co.za