I attended World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022, and here is what I Learnt and Taught!
Few days ago while patrolling the internet for entrepreneurship opportunities for my Miklah Entrepreneurs Group and Miklah Funding program, I landed on an opportunity to apply for World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022. Besides sharing the opportunity with my fellow youth through the WhatsApp group and blog post, I too went ahead and applied for the opportunity. Thank God, I went through! Yes, of the more than 1,000 applications of similar or even better ideas for inclusive socioeconomic transformation, I was chosen.
Over the days that followed, I excitedly planned to be there (virtually) and meet all other delegates. Finally, the day came (26–27th May 2022), and we all gathered. In this brief blog post, I will share my experience with the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022 and everyone else that I met, of course, virtually!
The Opening Day of World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022!
First and foremost, the summit was happening both physically (Washington DC) and virtually. As you might have already guessed, it was on American time, which is about 7 hours behind Ugandan time! To make this clear, for example, the summit opened up on Thursday 26th at 7:45am Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is 2:45pm Ugandan time, and ended or closed off that day at 5:30pm EST, which was 12:30am Ugandan time (Night). Second day, 27th May 2022, followed similar opening and closing time.
As you can see, it wasn’t an easy task for me to keep up with everyone else throughout the night. How did I manage? Mostly, I connected from my office up to like 9:30pm, then rode off home to keep up with the rest. Each day, from 9:30pm to the end, I would be struggling to keep up with delegates and my family, for surely it would be family time! Good thing is most presentations would really be done, except a few chats and catch-up lessons here and there, which weren’t hard picking while multi-tasking with family life!
On the first day, many interesting sessions happened. And many exciting delegates shared their experiences and knowledge regarding inclusion, equity, and diversity, and how to incorporate all these ‘nice’ things into our daily work.
Of course, the summit opened up with World Bank Group President, David Malpass, who boasted of World Bank’s contribution to global efforts for sustainability through funding pro people and environment projects across the globe, especially in developing countries of Africa and Asia.
Wait! By the way, in another post that I shared with delegates on WhatsApp, I urged World Bank and other global partners to do more funding directly through startups and NGOs and less through government! Why? I will share the full article shortly!
After the president’s remarks, many other amazing sessions came in, including what it means by green, resilient and inclusive equitable growth, the diversity and inclusion revolution, the importance of social, economic, and environmental inclusion for equitable growth, and many more.
During these sessions, I met and experienced a lot of wisdom and new perspectives on these global issues and how to practically apply them in our small businesses in our communities. For example, let me ask you, what does inclusion mean to you? Well, I loved how fellow young people across the globe shared their ideas regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity, and I learned a lot!
During my application for the summit, similar questions had been asked. What is inclusive growth? What does diversity mean to you? Here is how I had answered the questions! I guess I was right; after all, I was selected from the more than 1,000 applications to join the only 300 delegates that made it to the summit, or I was just lucky, wasn’t I? Whatever, here are the meanings of inclusion and diversity from my perspective:
Inclusive growth means socioeconomic transformation that leaves no one behind. In practice, it means customizing all sorts of initiatives, products and services so as to make them affordable, accessible, and appropriate for various groups of people across cultures. Important considerations here include, the poor, those with disabilities, minority and marginalized groups, youth and women, and everyone else in their respective capacities.
NEMEYIMANA VICENT, Application for #WBGYouthSummit2022
In its simplest form, diversity means having workers of different elements and traits in terms of character, skills, race, gender, careers, etc come together for a shared vision. As can be seen, with a mixture of skills, races, and cultures, diversity nurtures tolerance, communication, and fosters better customization of products and services to meet the different needs of clients, hence inclusion. If a team has women, they will probably bring women issues on board better, and thus contribute to making a product or service fit for women as well
NEMEYIMANA VICENT, Application for #WBGYouthSummit2022
The question is, how can you apply inclusion and diversity in your organization for equitable growth? How can your business be not for just one class of people, but for all those who really need it?
Day 2 of World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022: I & my Team Made a Case for Solar Energy!
Day two of the summit was even more exciting! During day 1 sessions, we had been put in groups, and asked to design sustainable initiatives tacking various inclusive, diversity and equity issues. From three options given, I and my team chose to avail solar energy to community residents at subsidized prices for individual and business’ improved growth. How did it go?
As day 1, day 2 opened up with a great session on how to build an equitable economy for all, youth participation in the creative economy of arts, music, and case challenge presentations at 4:40pm Ugandan time.
Well, as already highlighted, we had been given case challenges to choose from (you can download the case challenges here on my Google drive), and I and my team chose case challenge number 2, bringing solar energy to communities.
During the night of 26th (Thursday), I had to sleep at around 2am Ugandan time, for I and the team were still working out our presentation (Download what we presented here also). And when the time for presentations came in, I took up the mantle, and lobbed for solar panel for our case-study communities. You should have seen me convincing the jury how investment in solar energy is a win-win situation for almost everyone! I mean, who wouldn’t benefit from energy that is affordable, easy to localize, sustainable, and pro environment?
Wait! Can you identify my face? Well, the number 3 guy from either side of row 1 on top (I am in a green kitengi and with while headsets)
READ THIS: The Case for Solar Energy for Uganda (Coming up)
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it as the top team in the group category; team number 1 doing something to do with inclusion of minority communities won the top position in these preliminary presentations (Get all the presented projects in this one document; mark the number 1 team or presentation that won)!
To me, that’s no big deal, for I had made my mark! During the document workout, I had learned a lot from the team, read and researched more about solar energy, and presenting the whole concept during World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022 was a win in itself! I even think I was cool; it’s just that the winner had to be one! Lol!
Anyway, day 2 ended with final presentations of 7 projects, each from the winning team in the first round. The top 3 winning teams will have their projects featured on World Bank website, join a special World Bank network, and possibly many more prizes.
As you have already noticed, the competition wasn’t about big prizes like money or some sort of support, but an exploration of green solutions for communities. And getting recognized by World Bank fellows is an achievement in itself! And who knows, something greater may later happen with the winners or all case presenters or all the 300 delegates! However, as I already said, being part of the summit is a win in itself!
Well, before I kill you with my many words, below is a summary of what I learnt:
- Young people across the globe aren’t seated! When you see those young men and women dissecting issues at high levels like the World Bank, you really need to re-think what you knew about young people! They are amazingly at work, doing something! The question is, are you doing anything? If you have started and need a boost or just wanna explore how to begin any initiative for positive change, join our Sacred Entrepreneurship Program. We are happy to work with you!
- Young people are very talented and knowledgeable! Being at work is one thing, and being at it smartly is another. During the summit, I met and experienced young and talented persons. Young women and men who can easily digest hard and unique concepts and perspectives, and easily communicate them back to masses!
- My work at #MiklahLife is small, but not in vain. If through my work I can connect with the world at a stage like that of the World Bank, then the sky is not even a limit! In relation to this, while I have just praised the wisdom and innovativeness of young minds across the world, I just want you to know they are just like you, with similar fears, failures, and dreams. They just went out of themselves, and tried something. You too can be. As I worked with team members on our presentation, I learned to appreciate my efforts and my own strengths. I learned that others too haven’t figured it all out!
- There are millions of opportunities in this world, we just have to look for them. During the summit, I learnt more about World Bank and various career development opportunities for young professionals or entrepreneurs. You too can be at the World Bank someday, or somewhere else! Talking about opportunities, we are currently looking out for funding opportunities for small businesses and helping out a number of young entrepreneurs to apply for these opportunities. Wanna join us? Yes, check it out: Miklah Funding 2022
- The future is for inclusive sustainable development. If your business or initiative isn’t sustainable, that is, friendly to people, environment, and economy, then you have no future. Do you wanna learn more about UN Sustainable Development Goals and how to get started on a journey of sustainability in your business? Join our Sacred Entrepreneurship program.
Summary: World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022 was one of my big wins this year!
Besides everything I have just described, World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022 has got me new global connections, new amazing networks, and, yeah, a chance to share about Uganda with the rest of the world! Below is a screenshot of one of my shares about Uganda, lol!