Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
This morning we’re hosting an array of different sessions and we’ve just had a panel discussion.
Introduced by our own Akhtar Badhah, the panel included (from left to right) the honorable Norman B. Rice, Asha Sharma, Genevieve L’Esperance, Johnnie Lovett, Adora Svitak, and Wilson To.
Each member of the panel took a moment to share their work and passions.
The day continues and everyone is now doing some solution brainstorming.
Our first Innovate4Good event kicked off on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington today.
Here’s some photos from the event and you can follow the event on Twitter at #InnovateForGood.
By Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft
There are 1.2 billion young people on our planet today – more than ever before and the numbers continue to grow with projections of 1.5 billion young people by 2035. Many of them are doing amazing things. They are innovating, they are inspiring and they are driving real impact.
Our goal is simple. Create a global movement for young people that enable them to:
These events and the Innovate4Good @Microsoft community are just a start.
We must actively enable young people to overcome unique issues that no other generation has faced. The private, public and nonprofits sectors must come together to help youth cross the emerging opportunity divide between those who have the skills, education and opportunities to succeed and those who don’t.
At Microsoft, we are creating a new set of programs, partnerships and resources, all focused on helping youth realize their opportunity in the world, whether they aspire to reach higher levels of education, start or grow their career, become an entrepreneur or generate social good.
Please join us. It’s in everyone’s best interest.
The International Youth Foundation report: Opportunity for Action highlights some of the challenges facing youth around the world.
Follow the Innovate4Good events around the world with @msftcitizenship and #innovateforgood
Find the latest news, photos, comments at the Microsoft Citizenship Facebook page.
You can follow our Innovate4Good event online:
At a time when we have more young people – 1.2 billion – than at any time in the planet’s history, there’s an urgent need to provide them with the education, skills and employment opportunities they need to succeed in today’s rapidly changing global economy.
The report, which was commissioned by Microsoft, underlines the emergence of an opportunity divide among young people around the world. A problem Brad Smith wrote about back in January:
“Young people require new skills, better education and stronger connections to real world life and job opportunities. A McKinsey study recently estimated that, by the end of this decade, two-thirds of the jobs that will be created don't even exist today. We have to do a better job of preparing our young people for this future. We have to help close this opportunity divide. Tackling an issue of this importance will require a collective effort by governments, businesses and the non-profit community. Through our work around the world, we’ve come to the conclusion that closing this opportunity divide has become one of the most important actions we can all take – together – to secure the future of our youth and, as a result, the future of our global economy and society.”
“Young people require new skills, better education and stronger connections to real world life and job opportunities. A McKinsey study recently estimated that, by the end of this decade, two-thirds of the jobs that will be created don't even exist today. We have to do a better job of preparing our young people for this future. We have to help close this opportunity divide.
Tackling an issue of this importance will require a collective effort by governments, businesses and the non-profit community. Through our work around the world, we’ve come to the conclusion that closing this opportunity divide has become one of the most important actions we can all take – together – to secure the future of our youth and, as a result, the future of our global economy and society.”
So what are the current conditions for youth around the world?
The global unemployment rate for young people is currently 12.7 percent - more than double global average for unemployment as a whole. While some youth are prospering, many others who lack access to education, skills and opportunities, face growing challenges. As the global youth population grows over time, the gap risks widening even further between those with opportunity and those without.
The Opportunity for Action report reveals that nearly 75 million young people around the world are unemployed, and currently only 44 percent of youth worldwide pursue education as far as the equivalent of the high school level in the United States. This is becoming a bigger issue as more jobs now require higher levels of skill and education. In the United States, for example, it is estimated that by 2018, 62% of the workforce will require some college education, yet today 16% of American youth ages 18-24 fail even to complete high school.
In Latin America youth have greater access to education than ever before, but there are still low education completion rates across the region. Meanwhile in the Middle East and Africa there are growing number of youth with a university education, but they’re finding there are no jobs to match their advanced skills.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, where 25% of children are not even enrolled in primary school, young people are grossly under-employed in low-skill, low-quality jobs and 72% earn less than $2 USD per day simply to survive.
Addressing the Opportunity Divide
The factors behind this opportunity divide differ from country-to-country, but the overall global trend is the same everywhere. Unemployment for young people is rising and we need the public, private and nonprofit sectors to work together to provide youth with access to the education, skills, and job opportunities they need.
For the past decade, Microsoft has invested in programs and partnerships to help millions of young people around the world create a better future for themselves through education, skills training and job placement. However, there’s a lot more work to be done.
We are working with governments, nonprofits, industry colleagues, educators and youth themselves to close the opportunity divide. A first step is shining a light on the problem through this report and learning directly from young people, which we’ll do through events taking place around the globe. We plan to incorporate the insights gained from these discussions into our work and use it to help us develop new plans and programs to improve youth access to education, skills training, and communities where they can bridge the opportunity divide and create a better tomorrow for themselves and our world.
Hear directly from the International Youth Foundation
To watch a short interview with Bill Reese, president and CEO of the International Youth Foundation, read today’s post on Microsoft on the Issues. In the interview, Bill discusses the role education plays in helping to improve the lives of youth all around the world as well as the Opportunity for Action report, which focuses on barriers to opportunity for global youth.
Earlier this week in London, Microsoft announced a 2012 sponsorship program with leading international children’s sport and play charity, Right To Play. As part of the partnership Microsoft will be providing Right to Play with funding, employee volunteers, Microsoft hardware and software products and integrated marketing activities across the Xbox brand. The Microsoft UK partnership will support Right To Play’s programs around the world.
Right To Play is a leading international humanitarian and development organization using the transformative power of sport and play to build essential skills in children and thereby drive social change in communities affected by war, poverty and disease. Right To Play creates a safe place for children to learn and fosters the hope that is essential for children to envision and realize a better future.
Right To Play currently operates in more than 20 countries including Benin, Burundi, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories (West Bank & Gaza), Peru, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and the United States.
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