Green skills in focus for International Youth Day 2023
This International Youth Day, the worlds of environmental passion, green skills development and youthful innovation came together in a joint collaboration between the International Trade Centre (ITC), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and law firm Sidley Austin LLP.
The International Youth Day 2023 virtual event on 15 August was a testament to the power of young minds and the significance of green skills for young innovators and entrepreneurs.
Celebrating young leaders in green business
From Bangladesh, Mashrur Shurid spoke about his agricultural service, iPage, that connects local farmers to international markets. He rooted his entrepreneurial pursuits in a deep desire to support local farmers, who are often on the frontline of the effects of climate change. His advice to budding entrepreneurs: learn to write with clarity, practice how to pitch with confidence, and become fluent in the language of numbers.
He urged them to not only stretch the boundaries of their comfort zones, but to redraw them entirely. Mashrur, emphasized on the importance of community for entrepreneurs such as the online Ye! Community hosted by ITC. He also highlighted the importance of intellectual property (IP) as an integral part of his entrepreneurial journey. With a registered trademark for iPage and copyrights for his technical source codes, he showed how IP protection fosters creativity and business growth.
From Mongolia, Oyungerel Munkhbat shared the story of Airee, her business that developed air purifying technology using biodegradable Mongolian wool as a green alternative to synthetic filters. Oyungerel has secured a utility model certification for her wool filter and is in the process of obtaining another utility model, a design right, and a trademark. She’s also applying for a patent on the technology for an improved wool filter.
She spoke passionately about the significance of personal growth, urging entrepreneurs to ‘sharpen one’s sword after every battle’. The analogy speaks to the essence of lifelong learning, resilience, and evolution – while caring for your mental health. For her, the journey of an entrepreneur is one of continuous refinement, both in skill and spirit.
She championed the importance of being part of larger networks and communities, emphasizing that collective strength can advance individual success.
Discover the incredible journeys of the Youth Ecopreneur Awards winners as they share their inspiring stories of sustainability and innovation.
Technical green learning opportunity
In line with the theme of green skills for youth, Netanya Clixby and Ellen Pesch, from law firm Sidley Austin LLP, unraveled the interaction between financial mechanics and ecological sustainability. They highlighted the potential of green financing in driving sustainable initiatives and the role of carbon credits in promoting environmental accountability.
The essence? Green financing taps into opportunities for eco-centric projects. Green financing is like a special piggy bank that helps fund green projects, like a tree-planting drone or solar-powered shoes. The challenge arises with 'greenwashing', where entities misleadingly project green virtues.
And in the world of carbon credits. when companies reduce their carbon emissions, they earn credits. They can then sell these points to other companies that haven't reduced their emissions as much. But sometimes there are claims of more points than were actually earned, which can mess up the real positive impact. Thankfully, financial institutions now have stricter rules for eco-businesses, ensuring they truly improve our planet. For those gearing up to tread this path: engage with your local financial institutions, decode the intricacies of green financing, and leverage the available tools to support entrepreneurs in their ventures.
About the project
The Inclusive Trade: Youth and Trade Initiative supports youth to acquire the necessary skills and opportunities needed to reach their potential. This is fundamental for their own livelihoods and wellbeing. It is also essential for achieving the broader sustainable development goals, unlocking young people’s energy and creativity for development, peace and security.
Kathryn Gichini, a talented young artist, captured key moments, emotions, and narratives around green skills for youth during the virtual event, allowing the conversation to take color and shape in real time.