South Asia Youth Skills and Solutions Forum

overview page

Event Objectives

  1. Demonstrate the need for private sector investment in the next generation of South Asian youth
  2. Advance the development of partnerships between the private sector, governments, and international agencies to scale-up sustainable solutions to the youth skills crisis in the region
  3. Identify comparative strengths and entry points for businesses, governments, youth, and development partners to engage in supporting adolescent education, skills, and employment in the region
  4. Send a powerful signal to youth that their aspirations and needs for education, skills, and employment are a high priority for powerful social, political and economic actors


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

19:00 - 21:00 | Welcome dinner
[Venue: The Terrace] 

  • Welcome remarks:
    • Sameera Gurung, Youth Leader, Harmony Youth Volunteers, Bhutan
    • Sana Shafeeq, President, Youth Leaders Network, Maldives
    • Raba Khan, Youth Advocate, Bangladesh 

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

08:00 - 08:30 | Participants’ registration
[Venue: Renaissance Convention Centre Entrance Area]

08:30 - 13:00 | Opening Plenary: Sessions 1-3
[Venue: Grand Ballroom]

  • Youth MC: Sukannyaa Lahon, Senior Associate Coordinator, Pravah

08:30 - 10:00 Session 1: RE-ALIGN evidence to inspire business

  • Welcome address by Dr. K P Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skills Development & Entrepreneurship.
  • Keynote address by Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Moderated plenary discussion and Q&A
    • Moderator: Ugyen Dorji, Minister of Labour and Human Resources, Government of Bhutan
  • Presentation “Preparing tomorrow’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” by Jamira Burley, Head, Youth Engagement and Skills, Global Business Coalition for Education
  • Presentation “Developing skills in youth to succeed in the evolving South Asian economy” by Anurag Malik, Partner, Ernst & Young India
  • Discussion with presenters and panel members:
    • George Laryea-Adjei, Director of Evaluation, UNICEF
    • Karthik Krishnan, Global CEO, Britannica Group
    • Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne, Co-Founder and Director, Sustain Solutions

10:00 - 10:20 | Break in the Forum’s Exhibition Area
[Venue: Renaissance Convention Centre Entrance Area]

10:20 - 11:30 | Session 2: RE-IMAGINE Youth employment and skilling solutions

  • Keynote Business Address by Ashwin Yardi, CEO, Capgemini Technology Services India
  • Presentation “Generation Unlimited: Our Time. Our Turn. Our Future” by Urmila Sarkar, Senior Adviser, Generation Unlimited Global Team
  • Presentation “2030 Skills Scorecard South Asia: Bridging business, education, and the future of work” by Justin van Fleet, Executive Director, Global Business Coalition for Education
  • Moderated plenary discussion and Q&A
    • Moderator: Anita Rajan, Chief Executive Officer, TATA Strive
  • Discussion with panel members:
    • Asif Saleh, Executive Director, BRAC
    • Rajeev Khurana, Senior Advisor (Training Academy), Maruti Suzuki India Limited
    • Shweta Khurana, Director of Programs, Partnerships and Policy, Intel India

11:30 - 12:40 | Session 3: RE-THINK perspectives from the workforce of the future

  • Keynote remarks by Pravin Dhanawade, Trainer, Youth4Jobs India
  • Presentation “Voices of South Asian Youth” by
    • Dulan Dias, CEO, EchonLabs Sri Lanka
    • Hadisa Gowhari, Managing Director, SearchPath Kar Ara Afghanistan
  • Intergenerational dialogue and Q&A
    • Youth panel members:
      • Sajja Singh, Vice President, YUWA Nepal (Moderator)
      • Parth Suri, Associate Coordinator, Pravah India
    • Adult panel members:
      • Sabina Dewan, President and Executive, JustJobs Network
      • Srinath Komarina, Senior President, Responsible Banking, YES Bank
      • Tendai Mashingaidze, CEO, Econet Education

12:40 - 13:00 | Key take-aways of morning plenaries

  • Key take-away remarks by Ravi Venkatesan, UNICEF Special Representative for Young People

13:00 - 14:00 | Networking Lunch
[Venue: Outside Hallway of Grand Ballroom]

14:00 - 16:15 | Session 4: RE-CREATE partnerships to redress the youth skilling and employment challenges
Five parallel breakout workshops that run simultaneously, for 1 hour each, twice. Each participant will have the opportunity to attend two workshops.

    [Venue: Powai Ballroom 1]
    • Moderator: Gowri Ishwaran, CEO, Global Education & Leadership Foundation
    • Mohammad Loqman Ansari, Youth Leader, UNICEF Adolescent and Youth Network
    • David Hollands, Education Strategy Manager, HP Asia Pacific & Japan
    • Meera Shenoy, Founder and CEO, Youth for Jobs
    • Jake Cho, Project Manager, Global Business Coalition for Education (REACT)
    [Venue: Powai Ballroom 2]
    • Moderator: Jamira Burley, Head of Youth Engagement and Skills, Global BusinessCoalition for Education
    • Trina Das, Founder & CEO, TAI - Kuldeep Dantewadia, CEO, ReapBenefit
    • Malavika Pavamani, Director, Pravah
    • Md. Mukhlesur Rahman, Senior Curriculum Specialist, National Curriculum and Textbook Board Bangladesh
    [Venue: Powai Ballroom 3]
    • Moderator: Madan Padaki, Co-Founder, GAME
    • Prathana Saakha, President, Nepalese Young Entrepreneur Forum
    • Tendai Mashingaidze, CEO, Econet Education
    • Minhaj Chowdhury, CEO and Co-Founder, Drinkwell
    [Venue: Jasmine]
    • Moderator: Shelley Thakral, Head of Policy Programs, Facebook (India, South Asia and Central Asia)
    • Ashish Kumar, Director, Nvoke Future Learning, Australia
    • Ninad Vengurlekar, CEO and Co-Founder, Utter
    • Nevindaree Premarathne, Project Manager, Information Communication and Technology Agency of Sri Lanka
    • Kinkini Roychoudhary, Global Programs Asia Lead, Accenture
    [Venue: Lotus]
    • Moderator: Urmila Sarkar, Senior Adviser, Generation Unlimited Global team
    • Madhu Chauhan, Global Youth Ambassador, Their World
    • Rasna Hasan, Deputy Director and Head of Sustainability, Grameenphone
    • Gabriel Bordado, Regional Skills and Employment Specialist, ILO
    • Asif Saleh, Executive Director, BRAC - Anuja Mehta, India Lead
    • Anuja Mehta, India lead, Jobs Spot on Google Pay, Google

15:00 - 15:15 | Break in the Forum’s Exhibition Area
[Participants move to another workshop of their choice]

15:15 - 16:15 | Second round of workshops
[Workshops 1 – 5 repeated, with different participants]

16:15 - 16:45 | Break in the Forum’s Exhibition Area
[Venue: Convention Centre Entrance Area]

16:45 – 18:00 | Session 5: Closing Plenary Re-align, Re-think, Re-imagine to Re-createVenue: Grand Ballroom

16:45 - 17:45 | Interactive plenary discussion and Q&A

  • Moderator: Justin Van Fleet, Executive Director, Global Business Coalition for Education
  • Discussion with panel members representing each workshop:
    • Youth diversity and equitable access: Gowri Ishwaran, CEO, Global Education and Leadership Foundation
    • Skills for life, work, and active citizenship: Jamira Burley, Head of Youth Engagement and Skills, Global Business Coalition for Education
    • Youth and entrepreneurship: Madan Padaki, Co-Founder, GAME
    • Decent jobs for youth: Tuomo Poutiainen, ILO Country Director, Bangladesh
    • Youth, technology, and skills for future work: Neelam Pol, Innovation Specialist, UNICEF India

17:45 - 18:00 | Closing Remarks, Next Steps, and Agenda for Action

  • Next steps, conclusions, and vote of thanks by Jean Gough, Regional Director, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia

19:30 - 21:00 | Reception Dinner
[Venue: Grand Ballroom]


Day 3
Thursday, 31 October 2019

07:30 | Departure from Hotel - Convene at Grand Ballroom by 7.30 am sharp.

08:00 - 12:30 | Field Visits (including travel time)

  • Field Visit 1: Edu-Bridge Career Academy
  • Field Visit 2: Bright Future
  • Field Visit 3: ICICI Foundation Skills Academy
  • Field Visit 4: TATA Strive
  • Field Visit 5: Youth4Jobs Training Centre
  • Field Visit 6: Edulight Learning Centre
  • Field Visit 7: Head Held High Foundation

12:30 – 13:30 | Networking Lunch
[Venue: Outside Hallway of Grand Ballroom]

14:30 – 16:30 Match-Making Exercise (optional workshop)
[Venue: Lotus]

  • Moderator: Rafiqul Islam Sujon, Education Technology Expert, a2i - Innovate for All, Government of Bangladesh South-South Network for Public Service Innovation (SSN4PSI) utilizes a fit-for-purpose "Matchmaking" approach to empower southern countries to learn from and support one another in identifying vital innovations and scaling up novel solutions. The match-making session will connect the knowledge exporters and importers from govern-ments, private sector, foundations, youth and civil society organizations, regional and multilateral organization, and academia. The session will be uniquely positioned to enable rapid leapfrogging by facilitating the replication of best practices/initiatives in empowering youths for equitable growth with a focus on the achievement of Sustaina-ble Development Goals by 2030.


The Forum will have speakers from government, private sector and youth from South Asia share their thoughts and experiences on youth skills and employment in the region. 

Click here to learn about the speakers, panellists, and presenters: 

Click here to learn more about the forum's youth delegates.

Field visits

There will be seven field visit options that participants may choose from. They will include organizations focused on skill development and vocational training, empowering youth to make informed decisions about their career, and enabling youth to transform their passion into gainful employment through life skills development, career development, mentoring support, internships and placement opportunities. 

Click here to learn more about the field visit. 

Exhibition Space

In parallel to the forum, an exhibition space will run from the 30th October until the noon of 31st October. This space will have booths as well as mini-library, screening area and photo area. The main purposes of the exhibition space are: 

  1. To enhance the exchange of knowledge by sharing and learning from regionally relevant and scalable solutions addressing the challenges on education, skills, and employment, and
  2. To facilitate community building by providing an opportunity for participants to connect and network to find mutual interests and areas of collaboration.

The space will include 21 booths clustered in 5 themes including 1) Youth diversity & equitable access, 2) Skills for work, life, and active citizenship, 3) Youth and entrepreneurship, 4) Decent jobs for youth, 5) Technology and skills for the future of work. These booths showcase regionally relevant scalable solutions to address the challenges of education, youth skills, and employment. Please see the link below for the information about the entities exhibiting:

Booth Exhibition