2023 Youth Foresight Fellows
Meet the current cohort of UNICEF Youth Foresight Fellows
Today, too few opportunities exist for young people to contribute to global trends analysis and foresight efforts. The opportunities that do exist often fail to engage diverse groups of youth (including the most vulnerable), ensure involvement of youth is appropriate to their interests and skills level, and provide safe, conducive, and accountable conditions for youth. Recognizing that young people have been a driving force for change throughout history, their absence from foresight processes inevitably hinders society’s capacity to anticipate how the world is changing. Furthermore, young people have a right to be part of any conversation about futures they will inherit.
UNICEF has recruited a group of young futurists/foresight practitioners from around the world to become its latest cohort of Youth Foresight Fellows. Fellows will work with UNICEF to design and facilitate a comprehensive foresight research process to inform UNICEF’s Global Outlook, which provides an annual in-depth analysis of trends and events impacting the rights and wellbeing of children across the globe. Fellows will also design a foresight tool to make futures thinking more accessible to young people.
Together, we look forward to further exploring and learning how best to bring young people to the table, what they bring, and how to engage them meaningfully, building intergenerational partnerships to understand and address long-term challenges.
Oussamaben Mohamed Ali
The Union of the Comoros
Oussamaben Mohamed Ali is a visionary leader from the Comoros and is a YALI RLC alumnus. Oussama is renowned for his exceptional leadership role at YES WE CAN Comoros, a distinguished nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing education and safeguarding the environment. In addition to his role as a professor at the University if Comoros, Oussama is the driving force behind pioneering English education initiatives in rural communities. He isn't merely an educator, he is a foresight practitioner, imbuing young minds with a sense of innovation. Oussama's transformative leadership forged a groundbreaking partnership with the US Embassy in Comoros, where he as a coordinator, spearheading the American English Training of Trainers program. A loyal advocate for the power of young voices, Oussama believes that the future belongs to the youth. By nurturing their innovative thinking from an early age, he envisions a brighter tomorrow for all.
May Phyu Phyu Aung
May Phyu Phyu Aung is an idealist and innovator with a background in business, technology and design. Being a member of the ASEAN Youth Advisory Group, she is also running a project named DigifyMe, a platform to learn Digital Literacy related lessons. With her volunteering experience in various youth organizations, including U-Report Myanmar, she is passionate about current youth issues. She believes youth participation in future planning is important because young voices offer fresh perspectives and develop innovative ideas that can craft a sustainable and better future. She is committed to empowering the next generation to drive significant change in a rapidly changing world.
A biotechnologist and biochemist by training, Mamadou Doucoure is a young Pan-Africanist fighting for an emerging Africa free from terrorism, extreme poverty and disease. He attended global summits like the World Forum for Democracy 2022, the Russia Africa Summit 2023; he is a YES Alumni; design thinker and currently Regional Manager of Agri Export in West Africa. In the political sphere, he constantly sees policy-makers decide the future of a world without its prospective future leaders: the youth. To him, discussing the future without including youth voices is like making chicken soup with no chicken.
Rawan Elsayed is a fresh graduate with a degree in Economics and Management. She is currently a fellow at Al-Sharq Forum. Additionally, she has an entrepreneurial background as she joined a group of ambitious young people to fill a gap in the ed-tech scene. Rawan is also passionate about refugees and youth rights and has been selected to join programmes focusing on development and research. Given the pace of change witnessed on political, economic, and environmental fronts, Rawan believes that youth inclusion in spaces of power is inescapable as their perspectives are unique and pertinent to the challenges of today and tomorrow.
United States of America
Nahjae Nunes is an All Souls Scholar and graduate student in International Relations at the University of Oxford. Holding a Masters in Global Affairs with Distinction from NYU, he specialized in Global Futures and was honoured as one of three international recipients of the 2021 Young Global Changemakers Award for outstanding SDG activism by YEF Global. At the nexus of youth and foresight, Nahjae believes that young minds not only envisage the promise of tomorrow, but are also the architects of its realization. Their perspectives are not mere inclusions but are the foundational stones for a sustainable, equitable future.
Joshua K. Opey
Joshua K. Opey is a youth development advocate. He has experience working across the African continent tackling issues facing young people, including providing corporate access, advancing the work of African Researchers, using evidence to promote Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and increasing youth participation in achieving global sustainability. He is the founding Executive Director of the ABAN Center for Global Policy, a youth-led and youth-focused policy thinktank working to provide representation for young Africans in policymaking. Joshua believes young people are the most critical stakeholders in policymaking as they are best positioned to guarantee the intergenerational significance of policies.
Selin Özgürsoy is a 16-year-old equity activist and STEM promoter. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Equity Estrel, the biggest international youth-led initiative based in Türkiye to fight for equity in the technology and AI field. Özgürsoy is UNICEF Türkiye's first-ever Youth Representative and the UN’s Youngest Advisor on Business in the Middle East. She believes young individuals should not wait for “their turn”. She advocates for youth engagement, equal opportunities, gender equality and sustainability through her influential work, and conveys the message that youth should be considered as the present just as much as the future.
Abril Perazzini is a political science student, passionate about human rights and youth engagement. She's an active advocate at Amnesty International and serves as a young changemaker at Ashoka Conosur. Abril's voice reached the global stage as she addressed the UN Human Rights Council during Session 52, championing digital rights for children worldwide. Abril believes that foresight is about rethinking our present and having the ability to implement better visions for the future. Young people have the capacity to go beyond established boundaries to promote innovative solutions that advance a better future for everyone.
As a member of the Higher Council for Youth, Aicha Robei advises institutions on the implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. Beyond her advisory role, she is a proficient English teacher and a painter, passionate about enhancing children's education and has conducted studies on educational projects. Aicha is a debater with exceptional leadership skills, having participated at prominent international events, including the WGS 2023. Aicha believes that youth hold the power to either integrate into an existing order or serve as a force to transform that order, breaking down barriers and aspiring to meaningful engagement in policy-making processes.
Kate Seary is an advisor to the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales where she supports institutions on the implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. Kate has previously worked with the Future Leaders Network supporting youth delegates to the Y7 and Y20, sat on the Youth Cymru Advisory Board, represented Wales on the UK Youth Board and represented Wales’s youth on the British and Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Additionally, Kate is the founder and director of Kyniska Advocacy, a non-profit organization fighting for safe sport and a sporting world without abuse.
Zainab Waheed is an 18-year-old climate activist and journalist from Pakistan, and works for climate education with over 30 publications to her name. She is Pakistan’s representative to the UN's Youth force, and has been her country’s official youth delegate to the C40 World Mayors Summit and to the Youth4Climate summits of 2021 and 2022. Zainab believes that youth should have equal opportunities in constructing the futures they will inherit. Youth have the potential to push for change with their chants, slogans and placards, and this potential should be harnessed to build a future where they have fair and meaningful representation.
Fathmath Zahanath Zuhury
The Republic of Maldives
Fathmath Zahanath Zuhury is a lawyer-in-training with a strong passion for civic education. She has been actively volunteering at MMCS, a local NGO that promotes legal education and is a member of the Youth Reference Group of UNICEF Maldives. Zahanath is also an alumnus of the Practice Parliament for Youth in Maldives and is working on establishing an NGO that will bridge the gap between policy-makers and citizens. As the youth demographic is underrepresented in the sociopolitical landscape, Zahanath believes that young voices are needed for a fresh perspective on current issues that will help to create more informed and equitable policy decisions that benefit all.