At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), encouraging young people to innovate and create knowledge is vital in effectively addressing those challenges.

UNESCO’s Youth Mobile Initiative builds on the experience of many programmes worldwide to introduce young people to computer science programming (learning-to-code) and problem solving (coding-to-learn). The Youth Mobile Initiative also recognizes the significant potential of mobile device as a tool for expression, creativity and innovation which should be mastered for harnessing its potential and deliver innovative services. The Initiative is particularly relevant as the next 1 billion new Internet connections will be from mobile devices in the hands of young people in developing countries.

Within this framework, UNESCO will bring a critical mass of young people to the FOSSASIA Summit 2016 in Singapore from 18 to 20 March to acquire basic technical skills and confidence to develop, promote and sell locally relevant mobile applications that address issues of sustainable development.

Over the next three days, 100 young girls and boys will join each of the six UNESCO’s Youth Mobile training workshops and will be trained in different stages of mobile apps development from creation, design, coding, to implementation by more than 15 mentors from 7 countries. Students will also be encouraged to work on applications making use of open data and open online resources, and harness information and knowledge as one of the biggest challenges in today’s increasingly interconnected world.

The series of Youth Mobile trainings is part of a larger programme of FOSSASIA 2016 where over 2,000 participants from the inspiring communities of Open Tech developers, designers, startups and contributors across Asia gather. Some pre-university students from Asia will also be trained on ICT development and entrepreneurship to create viable employment opportunities in the mobile and ICT industry.