The annual youth conference under “The Reach Out to Asia, ROTA” was held from the 17th -19th of March at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Centre in Doha, Qatar. 450 young people participated in the conference, 400 youth were locals and the rest 50 were international delegates.
The theme of the conference was “Innovation in Youth Social Entrepreneurship (Empower 2016)”, which was selected in accordance to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically the 8th and 9th goals. In this conference, participants were enriched about social entrepreneurship in order to boost youth employment inside Qatar and in the Middle East, as the region currently is heading to alternative economies based on innovation driven methods.
The organizer (ROTA) is an NGO based in Doha, ROTA is a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Since Qatar Foundation is established on the principle that nation’s greatest resource is the potential of its people and it aims to develop that potential internationally through a network of centers devoted to progressive education, research and community welfare. ROTA’s mission is to extend that assistance into Asia, where it’s strategic geographic location gives it a unique opportunity to support its neighboring countries as they overcome developmental difficulties. In addition to that, more than 60% of Qatar’s own expatriate community is of Asian origins, giving ROTA added insight and understanding of the needs and cultural norms of the Asian people.
About Empower 2016:
The 3 days of the conference included panel discussions, exhibitions, workshops, internal youth meetings, and off site activities to some Qatari organizations concerned about entrepreneurship and youth growth. Moreover, during the first 2 days of the conference several workshops were held with multiple themes in relation to innovations in social entrepreneurship. Workshops were given in both languages (Arabic and English).
Furthermore, members of the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) presented a workshop titled “Fostering Social Innovations to Address Climate Change”. AYCM is an independent body that works to create a generation-wide movement across the Middle East & North Africa to solve the climate crisis, and to assess and support the establishment of legally binding agreements to deal with climate change issue within international negotiations. AYCM is located in 16 countries within the Arabian Peninsula, Levant area and in North Africa.
Environmental activists of AYCM invited participants in this workshop to learn how social entrepreneurship can address climate change and it impact in the Arab world, as well bringing examples for innovative mitigation and adaptation efforts being held in the Arab region. Members of AYCM aimed to discuss the relevance of climate change, particularly in relation to sustainable development, and identify opportunities and technologies related to address climate change through innovative adaptation and mitigation opportunities.
Naqaa Sustainability Solutions member and the National Coordinator of AYCM in Saudi Arabia Munira Abdelkader presented workshop about Naqaa’s efforts as social innovation business based in Saudi Arabia.
The outcomes of this workshop were increasing the understanding about climate change and how to build steps towards fighting the effects currently are in ground, also promoting for the need to create innovation driven business which can address climate change.
Naqaa Member Munira Abdelkader during the workshop
AYCM members Neeshad VS the Co-Founder and National Coordinator of the Qatari Chapter of AYCM, Ahmed Al Noubani the National Coordinator and Farah Mansour from AYCM in Jordan, and Samah El-Bakri from AYCM Sudan participated in presenting this workshop.