New strategy and commitments launched at the GenU Global Leadership Council meeting
Generation Unlimited Strategy 2022–2025 unveiled, along with major contributions to support its implementation for the benefit of youth worldwide
Dubai, 13 December 2021 – Generation Unlimited (GenU), a global Public-Private-Youth partnership that skills and connects young people to employment, entrepreneurship and social impact opportunities, held its Global Leadership Council (GLC) meeting on 13 December in Dubai on the sidelines of the RewirEd Summit, a key focus of which was youth, skills and the future of work. The meeting was co-chaired by Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC and Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director and co-hosted by the Federal Youth Authority of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai Cares. Informed by consultations with the GenU Young People’s Action Team (YPAT), it convened more than 60 world leaders – from governments, businesses, foundations, multilaterals (including United Nations agencies) and civil society organizations – and young people from around the world.
The meeting was an opportunity to launch the new GenU strategy and secure commitments to advance the partnership’s work worldwide. As this was Henrietta Fore’s last Council meeting as UNICEF Executive Director, she was also recognized for her leadership and vision in creating GenU and rallying partners to join the GenU movement and drive impact for young people through Public-Private-Youth partnership.
At the meeting, world leaders outlined how GenU can continue to advance opportunities for young people. On behalf of the GenU YPAT, EdTech entrepreneur Andrea Remes from Mexico emphasized the importance of working with young people and youth-led organizations in true Public-Private-Youth partnership to address the mismatch between the skills that young people have and those required by job markets.
President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi, a GenU Leader, spoke about the actions he and his government are taking in Botswana, as well as with other Heads of State in the Southern Africa region, to advance the GenU partnership and create opportunities with and for youth, capitalizing on the agility and innovation of the private sector and young people.
Kevin Frey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GenU, launched the Generation Unlimited Strategy 2022–2025, which benefited from consultations with over 100 partners and youth, and which GLC members will help to implement. GenU’s annual results were also highlighted: Among other successes, the partnership reached 120 million young people with skilling, entrepreneurship, employment and social impact opportunities in 2021.
Other key announcements included:
In the spirit of public-private partnership, GenU Founding Members Dubai Cares, IKEA Foundation, Microsoft, PwC, SAP and Unilever will each contribute US$2 million over four years to GenU global programme costs, which is complemented by a multi-million dollar contribution from UNICEF.
Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Ireland, announced a further contribution of €1 million. This brings Irish Aid’s total contribution to €3.5 million, which is enabling skilling and social impact opportunities for millions of youth around the world.
Accenture is partnering with Microsoft and Dubai Cares on the Passport to Earning (P2E) global digital skilling platform, contributing 3 million USD, alongside expertise in technical implementation and user-centric design.
The launch of GenU Sahel by the UN Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth and the GenU CEO on Africa Youth Day (1 November) was also highlighted. Through Public-Private-Youth partnership, this flagship initiative aims to connect 100 million Sahelian youth (50 per cent young women) with skilling, employment, entrepreneurship and social impact opportunities by 2030, with a focus on digital and green economies.
GLC members and young people then used three breakout sessions at the meeting to discuss priorities and partnership opportunities, and a number of solutions were profiled as entry points for broader Public-Private-Youth partnership.
Skilling for Success: Leveraging EdTech and JobTech to connect youth to opportunities
Key points included a) the potential role of GenU as a platform to set standards for micro-credentials; b) importance of using existing digital platforms, rather than creating new ones; and c) the need to provide guidance and support to young people to access quality digital tools and resources that facilitate their skilling and transition to work. Profiled solutions included Passport to Earning, the PwC-Yuwaah (GenU India) digital platform, which aggregates existing platforms in India to provide youth with digital upskilling, training and job opportunities, and Jobberman, the largest job placement site in Sub-Saharan Africa, which in Nigeria aims to skill 3 million youth by 2025 and connect 80,000 to jobs by 2022 in partnership with GenU.
In addition, the recent report, Reaching YES: Addressing the Youth Employment and Skilling Challenge, published by GenU, UNICEF and PwC was highlighted as a key resource on how EdTech and JobTech can be leveraged to address the global upskilling challenge.
Getting to Net Zero: Empowering youth as green entrepreneurs and agripreneurs
Key points included the need to a) focus on policy reform and infrastructure to support young green entrepreneurs, including access to capital, direct access to markets and unlocking of existing funding; b) skill youth on digital, green, business and management skills, and connect them to technological tools and advancements; c) build alternative pathways for youth who cannot access formal secondary education; d) rebrand the agri-food business sector, and even entrepreneurship, to make it a more appealing livelihood option for young people; and e) explore opportunities to partner with global north and global south foundations in skilling youth for the green economy.
Profiled solutions included the Global Youth Agriculture Network, a Public-Private-Youth partnership that is being developed by GenU, Kuza, the World Bank, UNICEF and the Government of Kenya to skill and support young agri-preneurs and strengthen agri-food systems leveraging Kuza’s digital platform, and Business in a Box, a micro-franchising accelerator model supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, to help young entrepreneurs scale their businesses and create new jobs in the green energy sector.
Youth-powered Impact: Aligning and amplifying youth action across public, private and youth organizations
Key points included the need to a) ensure that youth are partners and not just beneficiaries, and that youth participation is truly integrated in policy and programs and not limited to engagement in meetings and events; b) provide more funding to youth-led organizations and solutions, and identify more flexible ways to do this; c) strengthen the use of non-formal education as a platform for re-skilling and developing entrepreneurial skills; and d) prioritize scaling-up and alignment of existing youth engagement and youth-led social impact programs that work, including volunteer programs, rather than creating new programs.
Profiled initiatives included the GenU Global Volunteer Initiative; the GenU ImaGen Ventures Youth Challenge; Yoma and the Global Youth Mobilization for Generation Disrupted.
In the coming months, GenU will work with public, private and youth partners to advance the priorities and partnership opportunities discussed during the meeting. This will contribute to the implementation of GenU’s Strategy and the overall objective of reaching 300 million youth with skilling, employment, entrepreneurship and social impact opportunities by 2025 through Public-Private-Youth partnership.