On 12 August, we celebrate International Youth Day. This year's campaign aims to promote civic engagement among young people, and empower youth to contribute to society, development and peace.
Today, the world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, more than at any point of time in history.
According to the United Nations (UN), the engagement and participation of the youth population is essential to achieving sustainable human development. Yet, opportunities for youth involvement in politics and public life remain low, especially in less developed countries where 89 percent of the world’s young people live.
For this year’s Youth Day celebration, the UN aims to raise awareness about the importance of youth civic engagement. In the lead-up to International Youth Day, the #YouthDay campaign provides an online space for young people to share their stories and ideas on civic engagement activities.
At Microsoft, we believe in the opportunity for all youth to take the lead in shaping the future, and play a more active role in realising their full potential. It starts with providing them with the necessary education, skills training and employment opportunities to succeed in an ever-changing economy.
As the global youth population grows, more needs to be done to close the opportunity gap between those who have access to skills and training, and those who do not. Through our YouthSpark initiative, we are empowering 300 million young people with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.
This includes the recently concluded Imagine Cup, our annual youth technology competition that challenges students to develop solutions for social impact; and the BizSpark programme to help young people start their own business or social enterprise.
Inspired to be a change agent, and contribute to the development of your own community? Learn more about our exciting programmes and resources at the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub, and have a great International Youth Day!