5 December 2017 was a very exciting day for UNIC Jakarta, 2030 Youth Force Indonesia and the 25 finalists of the UN 2017 Youth Empowerment on SDGs project. The finalists pitched their ideas to a diverse audience from the government, corporate sector, philanthropy and NGOs.

The slogan created by UNIC and 2030 Youth Force Indonesia, “Ideas by Talking, Action by Doing” was taken seriously by the finalists as they set up their small booths with materials they created for the judges and guests to understand their ideas.

One finalist that caught the eyes of the guests had headgear made from plastic bags, obscuring part of her face. She quickly explained: “I’m earth and I’m being polluted.” The message was simple, yet effective.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Anita Nirody, in her opening remarks at the forum underlined: “Youth have the potential to make change. They are creative and imaginative. These youths came up with concrete actions they wish to undertake to support national sustainable development”.

The remarks by Mr. Enda Ginting from the Executive Office of the President caught everyone’s attention. He engaged and lifted the spirit of the youth. “In President Joko Widodo’s Nawacita (nine priorities), everyone plays a part in the development process, and that includes you!”

The highlight of the forum was when each group was given four minutes to explain their ideas and answer any questions, not just from the judges, but also from other groups. At the end of the day, the judges voted AYO BACA’IN (or Read to Me) as the best initiative. The idea was simple, yet had an enormous impact on the visually impaired.

All those who participated were winners and champions for SDGs. Partnerships were forged while networks were created for the implementation of all the initiatives. #PemudaSDGs