The Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge calls on young innovators to design solutions to improve education, skills development, apprenticeship, entrepreneurship, employment and civic engagement.  It aims to inspire young people between the ages of 14 to 24, with brilliant ideas but without the resources to bring them to life. Globally the challenge is taking place in 40 countries co-hosted by various Generation Unlimited partners.

Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge 2020 in Bangladesh is being implemented by the a2i Programme with support from UNICEF Bangladesh. It called on young people across Bangladesh to design solutions on two themes: a) to bridge the digital divide to learning in a COVID-19 setting; and b) to mask up, by translating knowledge into action – both tailored to fit the context. Local youth are already working closely with country hosts and expert mentors to develop solutions to the problems faced by the youth within their own communities under the difficult COVID-19 setting.

A call for applications led to the submission of 550 online applications (each application from teams comprising of 3 members) following which, only 10 teams were chosen to participate in the online bootcamp tailored to meet the COVID-19 context, held in the second week of August 2020. The bootcamp followed a competitive process where team concepts and solutions were presented to judges, mentors and 30 youth (4- female and 26- male) who participated in the event.

The 5 most promising ideas advanced to the next phase of mentorship and incubation and were awarded an equivalent of USD 1,000 each in Bangladeshi currency. Expert mentors are guiding them through, to help them hone their ideas and develop their concepts and prototypes by mid-September 2020. The teams are working on  solutions that include an offline learning kit being for access to remote learning, a community platform to raise awareness, use of sewing machines for mask making that addresses a source of livelihood simultaneously, a gaming platform to display good efforts and raise awareness on masking up and linkages with top institutions to provide online access to learning

In September 2020, another rigorous selection would allow 2 teams to submit their solutions in mid-September 2020 to a global judging process, a tailored global incubation programme across 40 countries to support them to scale. The Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge is directly linked to Generation Unlimited, an ambitious multi-sector public-private global partnership meant to meet the urgent needs for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people on an unprecedented scale locally and globally. The most promising ideas from the challenge will contribute to the success of Generation Unlimited.

Generation Unlimited: Generation Unlimited is global partnership working to prepare young people to become productive and engaged citizens. It connects secondary-age education and training to employment and entrepreneurship, empowering every young person to thrive in the world of work. Generation Unlimited was launched in Bangladesh in February 2019 through a coordinated effort by the government of Bangladesh, ILO Bangladesh and UNICEF Bangladesh to ensure that every youth is in education, training or employment by 2030. Since the launch, these partners along with a group of foundation partners comprising of BRAC, a2i Programme, UNDP and the World Bank have been working together to define a vision and strategy for Generation Unlimited in Bangladesh to support youth skills and employability.

Leave a Reply