Food for thought
Thousands of young entrepreneurs gathered in Rio de Janeiro to share ideas on how to feed the planet at the Thought For Food (TFF) summit. The conference combined agricultural workshops with music and a competition to find the best innovative idea to tackle both food shortages and a booming population.
Over 800 teams of young activists, scientists and entrepreneurs competed for the $10,000 prize money. It was won by Coating+ from Nigeria who developed a new way of extending the shelf life of fresh food.
Other startups who received accolades for their unique ideas included Laticin (Brazil) who created AI-based software to help improve the supply chain for dairy products, and Saf Sarvi (Kenya) who help local farmers access high quality fertiliser.
Thought For Food is a non-profit foundation set up by Christine Gould in 2013. Gould spent ten years working for pesticide company Syngenta, which sponsored TFF’s Brazil summit.
Gould says the conference, held annually in different global cities each summer, gives young people the opportunity to engage with one another and share ideas.
UN sex scandal
A senior UN official has been suspended amid allegations he sexually harassed young activists and professionals he worked with. Ravi Karkara is an Indian national and senior advisor for UN Women. He has been accused by at least eight men of sexual harassment – including British MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, aged 31. A first official complaint against Karkara was filed at the UN in June 2017 and he is now under investigation having been suspended for 12 months.
Despite the pending investigation, Karkara spoke publicly at the August 2017 UN Youth Conference. He used to work with UNICEF, raising concerns that, if the allegations are true, more misconduct cases may have taken place in the past
The controversy is a fresh headache for the UN, which has been been plagued by a range of sexual harassment allegations.
International Youth Day
International Youth Day 2018 was celebrated across the world on Sunday August 12. It was the 19th time the day has been observed since the United Nations General Assembly launched the first IYD in 2000.
Each IYD since has had a specific theme related to empowering billions of young men and women across the world by enabling them to make the changes their communities desperately need.
This year’s theme was ‘Safe Spaces’, defined by the UN as spaces “where they [young people] can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves”.
The UN describes different forms and types of spaces, including civic spaces where young people can discuss politics, public spaces where they can play sport and form clubs, physical spaces where vulnerable youth may be protected from violence, and digital spaces where they can interact with one across free from borders and other restrictions.
Last year’s IYD theme was ‘Youth Building Peace’. The UN estimates that there are currently 1.8 billion people aged 10-24 in the world with around one in ten living in conflict zones.