Tamakkan Forum Issues Youth Policy Guidelines for the Changing Landscapes of Technology, Media, Entrepreneurship and Ethics

ABU DHABI, UAE – Youth today need to be media literate, technologically savvy, ethical and think like an entrepreneurs, according to the BOLD NEW WORLD Manifesto issued at the end of the Tamakkan’s YOUTH: 2018 forum.

The event, held under the Year of Zayed banner, issued guidelines developed by four expert panels on the transformation taking place in technology, media, ethics, and entrepreneurship, and the measures that need to be in place right now, to enable and guide youth to face emerging challenges and opportunities, and build a ‘bold new world’.

The forum took place at the Sorbonne University, and included partners Sky News Arabia, Emirates Foundation and Harvard Business Review (HBR). It kicked off with presentation of HBR’s Top Key Youth Indicators, and included an interview of CEO of Emirates Foundation, HE Maytha Al Habsi who shared the foundation’s vision for the future. The four panels explored issues relating to ‘Media’ which was led by Sky News’ Chantal Saliba; ‘Technology’ led by New York University Abu Dhabi’s Jared Grogan; ‘Ethics’ led by Canadian University Dubai’s Dr. Franziska Apprich; and ‘Entrepreneurship’ led by The Improbable Agency’s Laura Toma.

The Manifesto defined clear recommendations to help youth realize their capabilities and the new opportunities that are open for them to challenge and conquer.

Sana Bagersh, Tamakkan’s founder, and CEO of BrandMoxie announced THE BOLD NEW WORLD YOUTH MANIFESTO:

For Technology:

Youth are ahead of the curve and more adaptable to change and they must be empowered and trusted from a young age to grow as leaders in driving technological change, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Society needs to democratize knowledge through open source platforms that enable people across ages, backgrounds, and academic disciplines to enhance their knowledge and skill set with hands on experience. Youth need to overcome fear of failure and be encouraged to overcome assumption that STEM subjects are too difficult. Youth need to unlock the power of technology and innovate, by experimenting and opening their minds to new possibilities.

For Media:

Youth should be vigilant in processing information and should have access to adequate media literacy tools and education so that they are able to know and judge their information sources. Youth should know how to guard their reputation by pushing out digital information responsibly and understanding longterm consequences. Young people involved in social media marketing should accept the responsibility that comes with the power they have to influence others, ensuring information is accurate and will not incur damage on individuals or society.

For Entrepreneurship:

Young people should be encouraged to pursue social entrepreneurship in order to focus providing solutions to real-life problems that will improve their communities. Young people should be provided with opportunity to become entrepreneurs, and to feel empowered to build their own businesses; young people should be challenged from a young age and to be taught to think entrepreneurially and build the skillset that includes resilience and problem solving.

For Ethics:

Young people should live up to the challenges that the new economy will bring to them, and to live by a code of ethics that will guide them through their lifelong journey, and to be able to have the perseverence and courage to pursue their dreams.

End of Manifesto

Speaking for the Tech Panel, Grogan said: “We are living through a period of profound technologically driven change, and for new ideas and solutions the world needs a paradigm shift to recognize that leadership must come from youth.”

Speaking of the Youth and Media panel, Saliba said: “Don’t believe everything you read – always read between the lines!”

Apprich, who headed the panel Ethics panel said, “It is crucial that our youth practice ethics in all they do; be hard working and persistent, and always be critical thinkers. An education of the heart and mind is crucial to build a successful tomorrow on earth and in space.”

Toma whose panel focused on Youth and Entrepreneurship, said “The victory of an entrepreneurial generation is not just in the number of businesses that they will create but the world of ideas that they will bring to life”.

Sana Bagersh said, “We are thrilled with the outcome of the sessions and with the strategic focus of the Youth 2018 manifesto. Our hope is that this document will be used by educationists and policy makers to address important issues, and to empower youth to thrive and take ownership of a bold new world.”

Bagersh recognized the role of collaboration and partnership, and thanked Sorbonne University, Harvard Business Review, Emirates Foundation and Sky News Arabia.

The HBR Youth Indicators announced by Hadi Malaeb of Haykal Media are: ‘One, optimism among Arab Youth is declining in general – with the exception of the GCC area where youth are overwhelmingly optimistic. Two, generally speaking, entrepreneurial spirit is high. Three, young Arabs want their countries to do more for them – many feel overlooked by policy makers. Four, young Arabs see unemployment and extremism as the biggest threats to the area. Five, many young Arabs feel that their education system is not adequate to prepare them for the future – except in the GCC. Six, one in three young Arabs wants to live in the UAE followed by USA, Saudi, Canada and Germany. Seven, Arab youth are increasingly concerned about obesity and lifestyle diseases. Eight, an overwhelming majority of young Arabs believe they are entitled to subsidized cost – food, energy, medicine, etc. Nine, Facebook is the number one medium for daily news. Ten, a great majority believe that the Arabic Language is one of the most important pillars of our unity and strength – yet they all feel that it is declining in importance.’

The event included an original song honouring Sheikh Zayed, performed by celebrated Jordanian singer Zain Awad; an Art, Music and Poetry (AMP) show dedicated to Sheikh Zayed’s memory and a motivational talk by Founder of Mountain High Julie Lewis. Charif Hamidi acted as Emcee of the forum and the art show was curatated by Zari Jafri and Deepali Shukla Hakim.

Tamakkan is an initiative that nurtures entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation. Established in June 2009 by BrandMoxie, Tamakkan is a knowledge sharing platform that supports the growth of SMEs and youth. Tamakkan promotes innovation, best practices and corporate social responsibility to corporations and institutions, and has grown into a powerful knowledge sharing platform that plays a vital role in nation-building.