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Asia-Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2020 

In today’s world, youth leadership programmes have gained massive response and significance. The youth of today are better interconnected, creative, and informed. Feedbacks on global issues have seen an increase since young people have started taking initiative.

 According to recent UNDP research and statistics, approximately 300 million young people face unemployment or are underemployed, which means almost half of the 700 million youth in the region are facing economic insecurity.

As one of the key outputs, the Asia-Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship was forgathered in China. This was in collaboration with the All-China Youth Federation and the China Youth Daily to engage the youth in order to accelerate the execution of the SDG’s.


3rd Asia-Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Under the objective of SDG’s and China’s Mid-and-long-term Youth Development Plan (2016-2025), UNDP is actively seeking opportunities in cooperation with relevant counterparts of governments to promote the Regional Youth Programme for Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Youth Co: Lab) in China.

The 3rd conference of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship was the first one to be held fully online. More than 100 delegates from 14 countries/ territories participated which included young entrepreneurs.

 The goal of this conference was to discuss the contribution of the youth in the Asia-Pacific region on poverty alleviation and sustainable development through social innovation and entrepreneurship. The conference had a decorated panel of speakers, youth-led startups and judges.

Information on the conference

Date: 17th October 2020 (Saturday)

Venue: Online Event

Eligibility: 18-35 years old (Deadline ended on 18th September)

YouTube channel link of the event:

You can find out more on-


Opening Remarks:

  • Beate Trankmann, the representative of UNDP China 

Beate Trankmann started this post as UNDP Resident Representative for China in October 2019. She has had a diverse career since the late 1990’s with UNDP, particularly focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Dong Xia, Deputy Secretary-General, All-China Youth Federation

She has experience in initiation and expansion in youth development and youth engagement programmes in areas such as entrepreneurship education, leadership training and international communication. Her current position as Deputy Secretary General for the most influential umbrella organization for young leaders and youth leadership in China allows her to be responsible for constructing international partnerships.

Welcoming Speaker:

  • Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific of UNDP

With over 25 years of experience of the UN’s mission and UNDP’s role in the sustainable development agenda, she has an extensive knowledge of the Asia-Pacific Region. Along with that, global, regional and country level work of UNDP- across policy, programme, management and operations.

 She highlighted ,”We are all inspired by young entrepreneurs from over the world who are able to turn their creative ideas and positive energy into public ventures that make a difference.”

Key-note Speakers:

  • Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth 

She was appointed as the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017. Being the youngest senior official in the UN and the first woman to hold this position, she has a vision to expand the UN’s youth engagement and progress in SDG, Human Rights, Peace and Security, Humanitarian actions.

 She spoke as the key-note speaker in the morning opening session during the conference. She commented, “Time and time again, young leaders have proven to be unparalleled in the ability to come up with solutions despite limited access to resources.”


  • Jichen Liu, recently appointed young leaders for the SDG’s by the office of the UN Secretary General Envoy on Youth, Founder and CEO of Clear Plate

He is the Youth Co: Lab China National Dialogue first prize winner in 2019. His invention, Clear Plate is an app that rewards people for food waste reduction. This app was launched in 2018 and currently has more than 1 million users.

Youth Co: Lab Entrepreneur Storytelling:


  • Foodmario, Nepal 

Nepal’s unique platform that connects chefs, who work from home; with customers in the wide Kathmandu Valley. The chefs of Foodmario’s services have been selected by their exacting team for hygiene, quality, taste and consistency.

  • Himalayan Innovations, Nepal

They provide affordable, portable and upgradeable solar-powered solutions to rural communities. They are based in Kathmandu. Their sole purpose is to initiate renewable and environment-friendly technology.

  • Tasty Island Treats Fiji, Fiji

This is a sustainable Fijian youth startup. They use fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Their products are vegan, gluten-free, no additives or artificial colors.

  • DeafTawk, Pakistan 

DeafTawk is a mobile application that provides sign language interpretation services for the deaf community. It is available in both IOS and Android. They provided translations in sign language throughout the event.

  • Garden of Hope, China

This is a non-profit organization that is passionate about restoring hope to underserved youth, children, women, and girls from urban slums and rural communities. Its mission is to create sustainable social and economic opportunities for youth, women, and children in urban slums and rural communities.

  • Serve For China, China

This organization is an independent nonprofit that aims to alleviate poverty in rural China. They place top Chinese graduates from around the world in rural areas where they use their skills in promoting rural development as well as social entrepreneurship.


10 Youth-Led startup project presentations were brought forth in the final session of the day. On agriculture, transportation, healthcare. These were judged by a decorated panel of 4. After that an open floor of discussion with youth leaders and innovators from the Asia-Pacific Region to share ideas and experiences on the topic of youth for poverty alleviation

As the conference came to an end, the emphasis on poverty alleviation and the importance of the 3rd Asia- Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship had been realized and furthered in terms of progression.

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