UNICEF and Saigon Innovation Hub incubate socially innovative ideas on Climate Action from adolescents and youth

Update: 13:28 | 30/06/2020
TGVN. A Youth Innovation Demo Day on Climate Action is being organized by youth, for youth today, highlighting the authentic participation and engagement of adolescents and young people. The event is part of UPSHIFT, an initiative implemented by UNICEF and Saigon Innovation Hub of HCM City’s Department of Science and Technology.
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unicef and saigon innovation hub incubate socially innovative ideas on climate action from adolescents and youth
Participants at the event. (Photo: UNICEF Vietnam)

The UPSHIFT approach seeks and incubates socially innovative ideas of adolescents and youth, so that young people not only voice their opinions but also take action upon issues they care about and that impact on their lives.

First organized in Vietnam in 2015, up to now, UPSHIFT has directly involved thousands of young people and reached tens of thousands of interested people across the country.  UPSHIFT Design Thinking and Problem Identification Workshops have benefitted over 5,000 participants, including marginalized, vulnerable young people and those living with disabilities.

“As we have come to the end of UPSHIFT 2019-2020, I would like to congratulate all the children and young people who have finished the incubation phase. With support from UNICEF and partners in terms of skills building and seed funding, they have worked together to Design, Build, Test and Make it Real. Their solutions have contributed to a more inclusive, safe, and livable Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam, at large, from solving air pollution to plastic waste pollution and food waste”, said Marianne Oehlers, Head of the UNICEF Programme Partnership Office in Ho Chi Minh City.

In 2019- 2020, UPSHIFT has awarded seed funding and incubated five projects of 24 adolescents and young people, with the goal of combating climate change and protecting the environment.

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The Demo Day today completes three phases of each UPSHIFT circle, from outreach to intensive training to incubation. At each stage, adolescents and young people have been equipped with mentorship and skill-building. The event gathers incubators, accelerators, young people, non-governmental organizations and the private sector in Ho Chi Minh City to showcase projects of UPSHIFT teams and invite further collaboration and investment. 

“UPSHIFT has created opportunities for personal development and strengthened young people’s ability to persevere through the challenges of their projects. We are very happy to provide young teams with support, guidance and networking abilities to the wider social innovation eco-system,” said Huynh Kim Tuoc, Director of Saigon Innovation Hub.

The successful implementation of multiple UPSHIFT rounds has led to the adaptation and replication of the UPSHIFT approach around Ho Chi Minh City and the country through a social innovation club model that aims to reach more adolescents and young people, including the most vulnerable.

UPSHIFT is under the Child Friendly City Initiative framework of UNICEF and Ho Chi Minh City government, to provide a stronger and more sustainable ecosystem that can support youth-led and child-focused innovation for positive social impact.

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(TGVN)