Youth in ICTs

Innovators around the world are creating solutions to some of the biggest development challenges of our time. The growing ecosystem of start-ups worldwide has significantly contributed to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many of these solutions rely on the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a central, or supporting, part of their framework. It is therefore vital to include start-ups and innovators in discussions on ICTs for Development in order to sustain and enhance their contributions towards advancing the SDGs. The WSIS is eager to have start-ups at all stages participate in this year’s Forum, particularly led by youth. There are various ways to participate: start-ups and innovators can request to hold a stall at our Exhibition Space to showcase their ideas and innovations, and/or to hold a thematic workshop on a specific topic within ICTs for SDGs.

The Hackathon is also a great opportunity for innovators to get involved in the WSIS 2019 Forum, as the global competition brings together young people with innovative ideas and technical capacity to develop viable business models for technology solutions for SDGs. You can find out more about the WSIS 2019 Hackathon below.

Agenda »


Young people can play an important role in leveraging ICTs to help achieve the United Nations SDGs. Continuing a successful track in 2018, the WSIS Forum 2019 will feature a special track on youth engagement, which will include hundreds of students and young professional participants.

This year at the WSIS Forum, Speed-Tech will be taking place on the Friday 12th April and will allow for young people to engage in thematic discussions regarding artificial intelligence and cybersecurity with experts from each of the five ICT stakeholders outlined by the Tunis Agenda: Government, Private Sector, International Organisations, Civil Society and Intergovernmental Organisations. Questions will be sent in live and moderators will ask them to the experts. Speed-Tech will also feature a jobs fair so that young people can speak to industry specialists and understand how ICTs may be a part of their future career. WSIS aims to include youth perspectives and engage young people in discussions about how technology can provide opportunities to address some of the world’s most pressing issues and provides a platform where youth can offer their insights and understanding of the information society, its challenges and opportunities, and where they can raise questions but also propose solutions to harvesting the power of ICTs towards equally distributed social impact.

Tech Labs – Junior participation

The 2019 WSIS Forum Youth Track will feature the first collaboration with Tech Labs to host junior workshops for school children between the ages of 8 and 16. These workshops will be centered on three topics; Code Boxes, a Sumo Robot Workshop and an e-Nabled Hand Workshop.

Read more about Tech Labs here:

Hackathon 2019

As a continuation of the discussions initiated at the 2016 WSIS Forum, the first ever Hackathon was held successfully in 2017 on e-Health. During the WSIS Forum 2018, a Hackathon on ICTs for SDGs focusing on End Hunger was organised. This year the 2019 WSIS Hackathon will be focused on Lifelong Learning and Livelihoods and will take place on the 7th and 8th of April.

Learn more »

World VR Forum

Pursuing the first partnership in 2016, WSIS and World VR Forum join forces once again so that young people will have the opportunity to engage with Virtual Reality and how it aids with advancing development. A shiny new Extended Reality (Virtual + Augmented Reality) Track will be held at the WSIS Forum 2019 bringing together high-level personalities, youth, a world class VR experience and a very special focus on education.

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