Friday, July 17, 2015

The Positive Side

A better world through knowledge and information

Youth use ICT to convene...converge and collaborate

I am Simran Vedvyas, representing the youth, who are not only vibrant but also constitute a major segment of the total world population today.  In my opinion social media and ICT helps achieve development- however it is a means and not an end. Human power is infinite, we have the technology, the resources and I know many others like me are constantly working; because there is still a choice to do so, to empower and to do well for a just, peaceful and sustainable world. ICT and social media has empowered youth and made us resourceful paving way to address and improve some of the most critical social, economic, and environmental issues in the developing world as projected in the Millennium Development Goals. 

Recently my inspirational story along with several other unsung hero’s honored with Splash “Heart of Gold” was shared by Splash Fashions through the social media and it is heart-warming to see how they reached thousands within a short span of hours across the globe with such positivity.

Campaigns like providing laptops to students in the developing world like the “One laptop per child program”, allowed children in Uganda to communicate with children in the US and even the rest of the world has shown that the potential of such interaction is invaluable as it provides many learning and employment opportunities, thus reducing poverty. This as one of the many similar examples benefitting various other countries like India, Sri Lanka, etc   Social media has worked as catalyst for the Millennium Development Goals through the use of Information, Communication, and Technology by effective transfer of knowledge benefitting all segments of the society.

The last decade witnessed many economies leapfrog the communication infrastructure from having no telephones to having widespread cellular networks, which allowed the rapid spread of mobile services, allowing youth and women to secure small business loans, health services and improve their living standards.  Mobile networks also helped disseminate information by allowing farmers to gain access to best practices for irrigation and fertilization and finding better markets. ICT has been an enabler for Smart Water Management and various solutions.

As Global Youth Advocate MY World 2015 which is a United Nations Global Survey for citizens aiming to capture people’s voices, priorities and views, so the world leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the next set of global goals to end poverty, I must highlight the role of social to facilitate gather millions of votes or shall we say people’s voices from 194 countries across the globe.

Youth is empowered with various innovative platforms and tools to learn, share and inspire by connecting through the social media and this power has and will bring in the needed change.  In today’s world social media actually brings people closer, it connects them and it creates a network of determined individuals with a cause.

I personally connect with thousands of youth and groups by interacting at platforms like- google hang-outs, online discussions, skype calls, facebook etc–“these are no less than board-room proceedings sometimes”, We developed strong bonds with ideas and information exchange using quick tools of Messaging, Status Updates and twitter and even explored explicit means like blogs, pinterest, etc.  Sharing our innovative work reports has inspired hundreds of youth globally and many projects like planting nearly 2000 trees at landfill areas and raising awareness about waste management, finding homes for abandoned indoor plants etc have been successfully implemented locally but shared globally.

Eye on Earth is about the environmental and social data community. It has showcased and brought to light the very best projects dealing with data access and analysis. These projects with the most promise have shown the best impact on the issue they seek to tackle.  Collecting relevant data and sharing it throughout the global communities is inspiring and convening to converge and collaborate efforts has seen promising outcomes and benefits for a just and sustainable future. 

Clearly the role of information and communications technology is driven and measured by its performance and potential hence active efforts must be taken for global inclusiveness with focus on real innovations and new challenges enabling ICT for Sustainable Development become a recognized and funded enterprise.  It is completely in our hands to develop ICT with wisdom and prudence and put it in best practice to advance sustainable development. 

“We need to act now-
We need to share our knowledge –
We need to formulate knowledge into wisdom –
We need to move forward together and above all,
We need to deliver the vision”

Simran Vedvyas
Eye on Earth
Youth Ambassador 2012

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