Today's voices at the festival of the future
UNICEF and SXSW Sydney zoom in on Generation Innovation - young social innovators of today - shaping our shared future
In a string of firsts, UNICEF and SXSW came together to put youth at the heart of one of the biggest future thinking festivals in the world. Known for its celebration of creativity and forward-thinking ideas, the inaugural SXSW Sydney iteration proved to be an ideal platform for discussions and actions centred around the future of critical global issues, youth inclusion and representation.
Youth at the Heart
One of the standout themes of the partnership was the acknowledgement of youth not only as participants, but as meaningful contributors to the event. The festival embraced the idea that the future belongs to the young, and their voices and perspectives are indispensable. Young people were actively involved in panel discussions and a NxtWave Futures Lab side event through which they shared and shaped their narrative for a more free, open, inclusive and secure digital future.
New faces in new spaces
UNICEF’s commitment to the well-being of children and its efforts to foster innovation to accelerate this social impact found a fitting platform at the SXSW Sydney festival. UNICEF recognized the value of being in spaces where influential voices and big players in the innovation space converge to forge new partnerships and share insights around shared purposes.
One minute for the future
In a world filled with distractions, the festival managed to redirect attention to the critical challenges facing society. Attendees recognized that if they were to allocate a minute of their time to the future, it should be dedicated to the significant issues that demand action. This emphasis on change as a catalyst for innovation permeated through various sessions, sparking discussions on climate change, social justice, healthcare, and education.
Just Open Innovation
Diverse representation is a crucial aspect of events like the SXSW Sydney festival. While these gatherings are brimming with innovation and ideas, making sure they are inclusive takes intentional efforts. Our efforts in Sydney attempted to ensure that the discussions, innovations, and solutions generated are reflective of the rich tapestry of our global community; where all voices are heard and all talents are valued. Innovation is most powerful when it stems from the collective wisdom of a wide range of perspectives and experiences.
UNICEF is committed to working with and for what we fondly refer to as 'generation innovation' - young social impact innovators and entrepreneurs from emerging economies. Powered by our collaborative funds and initiatives such as the Venture Fund, Innovation 30, and UPSHIFT, alongside a great diversity of partners we will collectively unlock power, access and opportunities; join us!