Shaping tomorrow's innovators: Leveraging science, technology, innovation and culture for today's youth

Organized by DESA in collaboration with UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, ITU, UN-HABITAT and with the support of "New York Tech Meet Up", the forum provided a platform to discuss the development agenda beyond 2015. It addressed barriers facing today's youth, critical areas requiring special attention as well as appropriate actions to move development forward. 

The Youth Forum highlighted a range of topics including on girls and young women in science; youth as an engine for creative economy; and using social media to make ideas happen. Besides Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, ECOSOC President Néstor Osorio and DESA's Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, other prominent speakers included Hashem Bajwa, CEO of DE-DE, Matt Mahan, CEO of, Mandë Holford, Co-founder of the World Association of Young Scientists, Internet activist and computer engineer Wael Ghonim and's Chief Marketing Officer Stacy Martinet. 

The event also welcomed to the podium 15-year-old Adora Svitak, an internationally published author, teacher, speaker, activist and World Food Programme youth representative. Ms. Svitak set the stage for the day, following the opening remarks by the Secretary-General, who not long ago also underscored the importance of stepping up efforts for young people, saying "we must support them. And for that, we must step up our efforts. I strongly believe the priorities of youth should be just as prominent in our meeting space as they are in cyberspace," said Ban Ki-moon.