UNICEFActivate: "An Inspiration Burst!"

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#UNICEFActivate (UNICEF/2014/Nesbitt)

#UNICEFActivate (UNICEF/2014/Nesbitt)

How about an “inspiration burst?” - Femi Oke

Four young people displayed their innovations and strategies at the UNICEF Activate Talks that took place June 10, 2014 at the UN in New York. This Talk was one of a series of talks that discusses how innovative approaches can help promote child rights. One of our past bloggers, Aulia, attended a UNICEF Activate Talk in Indonesia, and blogged about it here on VOY. Today, the Activate Talk, “Innovative Approaches to Advocate for Child Rights” discussed whether it's possible for youth and children to have their voices heard in societies.

Four Activation & Innovation

Saba Ismael from Pakistan, Executive Director of Aware Girls spoke about women and young girls being leaders and drivers of change. At the young age of 15 years old, she established Aware Girls because she “dreamed one day Pakistani girls would enjoy basic human rights and started working to realize her dream.”

Erik Martin, from the USA, a game designer and student at the University of Maryland, “designs games that help people change the world” simply put. Erik spoke a lot about failure and the need to fail in order to innovate. He thought that if education systems, embraced failure for the sake of learning, like in fantsy games,” students would learn more.

Sofia Garcia-Garcia, from Spain, facilitator of the working group for 'Major Group of Children and Youth' strongly believes that “lack of participation is the root of the problem.” We need to have a change in attitude, and when we have this, we will have a change in innovation. Involvement is key, and “participation breaks stigma.”

Chernor Bah, from Sierra Leone, youth advocate and leader, and former refugee, shared his most innovative moment in his life when he was just 16 years old. It was just after the Civil War, when many children were being used as child soldiers and a time when children did not have a voice. What did that want? A voice! They built a radio program and collected stories and young people called into their radio show.

Time to Fail!

Have you been told that failure is a good thing? The innovators and advocates had time to answer questions from both the moderator, Femi Oke (CNN, Al Jazeera) and from both the audience in New York and global Twitter audience. Just what were the innovative approaches and strategies? Failure...and the passionate advice…fail.

Erik: “So many failures. Failure became something that I could not care about. You can't innovate without the inability to overcome failure.”

Sofia: “My work has done things that don't work – for example, we are not listening to children. Clearly, negotiations are not working. We need to start accepting failure.”

Do you think that failure is something we should be afraid of? Do you agree that we need failure in order to be creative? Share your thoughts, stories, and comments with us!

#UNICEFActivate Talks in One Sentence:

Chernor: “Change happens with youth. Never doubt your power. Be different than the normal way.”

Sofia: “The key for child participation, for all trust them, ask them.”

Saba: “Young girls should not be discriminated. Please support girls rights anywhere in the world.”

Erik: Fail a lot and often. Edison failed 1,000 times. Failure is how you get there.”

You can watch the entire UNICEF Activate Talk here in case you missed it!

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