Day 7: Second day of UN sessions: Empowering youth for a better world
In the third day of the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, a variety of topics were covered tackling four interrelated themes: society, the economy, the environment and youth. Panels, workshops, debates, keynotes and presentations offered delegates a great knowledge and skills pertaining to the current problems facing our generation and provided them with the tools needed to face it.
Global Young Voices co-founders, Camilla Curnis and Edy Semaan, participated in a panel discussion in the morning with other representatives of global storytelling platforms under the title, “Shaping The Narrative of an Inclusive Society.” Moderated by Semaan, the panelists discussed the power of storytelling and the creative ways our stories can be shared.
“We’ve done many steps forward for what concerns accessibility,” Curnis said. “More people increasingly have phones and have access to information from many platforms out there, but I think that the other side of the coin is that there is a lot of people that can also create content.”
Speaking of Global Young Voices’ role as an emerging storytelling platform, Curnis said: “The angle that Global Young Voices has taken is the youth angle, so basically what we do is share stories of youths with other youths so that they can connect and be inspired or even work together.”
Curnis, along with Dear World storyteller Fresh Johnson, Instagram Teen Community Lead Bernadette Anat, Great Big Story Vice President of Content Courtney Coupe and Devex reporter Amy Lieberman, agreed that a good story is one that helps us understand not only the world but also ourselves and that there is an urgency to share the stories that teach us something new about ourselves or the world.
The best stories, the panelists concluded, are the ones that are impactful, whether big or small, even if they propelled one person only to act or change.
As part of the youth theme, which concentrated on capacity building and youth engagement or participation in various spheres, such as policymaking, social entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, Global Young Voices organized a session in the afternoon of Aug. 11 called “A Society for All: Stories from Across Borders.” In this session, four selected delegates from India, Nigeria, Turkey and the U.S. presented their projects of sustainability to inspire other delegates and find ways to collaborate and connect.
The day ended with the screening of “Salam Neighbor” film, which is produced by Living On One and 1001 Media in association with Ryot, Tent, AFI Docs and NBCUniversal Impact Grant. "Salam Neighbor" is a film that shows the true devastation of the Syrian refugee crisis and the resilient spirits of Syrians. The film ended with this powerful quote: “As neighbors, how we choose to respond to this crisis, will affect all of us.”