Asian youth summit
On the 24th of March, we wrapped up three days of MasterPeace’s Asian Youth Summit, with over 40 participants from different Asian countries accompanied by some global ones coming together for discussions, connections and finding concrete actions for the vast continent. The teams came together for peace at the perfect location near the heart of the famous Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu, the famed Buddhist shrine and UNESCO World Heritage.
Nearby the 8000 meters summits of the Himalaya’s, one more summit was added, as the Asian Youth Summit titled “Creating impact. Together” was attended by the growing MasterPeace network in Asia. The summit brought together MasterPeace teams from 8 current and 5 new Clubs to exchange Best Practices among each other, as well as attend various workshops and meet representatives from businesses and civil society in Nepal with the goal of mutual inspiration and co-creation.
The summit was organized jointly by MasterPeace Foundation, MasterPeace NYC – Nepal, and Nepal Youth Council (NYC Nepal) and attended by MasterPeace Clubs from Nepal, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh including many other impactful organizations in the region such as Culture Monks, Aarohan, DajjuVai – Nepal Brothers, VIEWS India, Khushiyaan and notable presence of UNDP Nepal, Rotary Club and many others.
Although today Asia holds more than 60 percent of the world’s population, this decade is unprecedented with immense complex challenges and parallel opportunities. As Asia’s dramatic economic growth and technological progress came with many development challenges, it has left Asia at a critical crossroads for the future.
Our MasterPeace answer was to address the challenges in a positive way, and turn them in opportunities.
The approach is three-fold: 1) Through music, art and play which are central to the Asian culture, we can mobilize, connect and inspire the youngsters to have 2) a dialogue within themselves and with local stakeholders in order to 3) create (local) perspective for the benefit of all. We agreed that the lack of perspective puts an enormous pressure on society.
The 40 participants represented 8 different countries, and the discussions were focused on the following Sustainable Development Goals, as set by the UN: Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Climate Action (SDG 13) and Peace and Justice (SDG 16).
Our vision is that the world inhabits 7 billion talents, not 7 billion issues. It takes the ‘action’ of you and me. We can only progress when we are “Creating peace. Together.”.
With this is mind, most of the summit was spent on sharing Best Practices in small groups, all related to the focused SDGs. We put the slogan “Creating peace. Together.” into practice by coming up with concrete action-points for Creating campaigns and Concepts. Together.
A brief overview of potential campaigns that we will discuss with all global MasterPeace Clubs:
- The international Women’s Day, which celebrates the role of women in the continent while considering their role on a global level.
- The WE-Men‘s Day, a unique concept from Kathmandu-Nepal (with a focus on educating men on gender issues) – an innovative angle for addressing gender balance.
- The 5th of June is World Environment Day. Changemakers from Khushiyaan in Mumbai-India implemented a inspiring “trash challenge”: (see video here).
- The 21st of September the International day of Peace, the unifying moment for MasterPeace which we continue to celebrate since our start in 2011.
During the workshops, teams shared the Best Practices from, to and within the Clubs of what can practically work in Asia. These included sessions entitled “Improving School Education in Rural Nepal”, “Transformation of Marginalized Communities Through Art”, “Combatting Climate Change under the Flag of #creationabovedestruction”, and “Tools for Promoting Gender Equality as Part of Formal and Non-Formal Education”.
Some examples mentioned:
- Children in primary schools write simple but heartfelt letters with empathy to children at the other slide of the border (India-Pakistan; Bangladesh-Myanmar).
- Non-formal education concepts in the slums of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan face similar challenges that can be addressed with similar innovative solutions.
- In India some of our clubs provide food to children in the slums. Together the idea is to continue working on the next level of social entrepreneurship
- Sri Lanka and Pakistan will work on an Interfaith Dialogue Center in co-creation with our expert Club in Ukraine.
The AYS is a powerful formula that we hope to bring to a yearly Summit in the region and perhaps per country (inspired by the African Youth Leadership Summit by MasterPeace Morocco).
Part of the next steps, we carried home to continue working on the potential impacts of the summit, is to keep on arranging meetings duly in person and / or via social media channels per country and every 2 month on the key topics ‘Education and Gender’.
The best practice projects will spread and grow through the methodology of peer-coaching and expanding it into great concepts and campaigns. Together we can create funding through applications to regional and global funders.
Our Asian and global network has the potential to bring its members to the next level of leadership on personal and professional levels, with building a strong regional coalition that outnumbers the challenges and creates opportunities.
And of course, we all experienced the amazing Nepalese hospitality and friendship, and had a taste (literally and metaphorically) of the rich culture, dance, and food with all its flavors. All in all, we were deeply inspired by the unique combination of insightful dialogues, fun, family bonding, dance and music.