“If you know who you are and you know your place, then you know what your contribution is”. These words, from Tita Larasati of the Bandung Creative City Forum, were one of the many powerful insights that stayed with me after a week in Malaysia for the World Urban Forum 9. I had the opportunity to attend this event as a Local Pathways fellow, part of UN SDSN Youth delegation, to showcase our projects during two sessions in Kuala Lumpur.
We, the people of South Asia, have grown up with the mesmerizing story of Kuala Lumpur. How a city like ours has transformed itself into an example of urban development, combining heritage, culture, and modernity. Kuala Lumpur as a host city for the World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9) is the true depiction of the significance of its success.
I have talked with hundreds of young people across the world over the last year about the SDGs and sustainable development. Sometimes, I have 30 seconds or 30 minutes to sell a message. That message is always grounded in a ‘thoughtful stewardship’ of our world, in which I encourage critical, aspirational thinking and agency. A simple starting point is where one might be in 2030, and what kind of world do they want to be in.
As a result, we had the unique opportunity to present our projects at the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur. It enabled us to have a voice at the premiere conference of cities and be part of the Cities 2030 global conversation. We had 2 dedicated sessions where we had the chance to engage with other WUF participants to receive valuable feedback and networking, this was certainly stimulating and gave me ideas to pursue upon my return to Mexico City. I am looking forward to follow the paths of each of my fellows for I am certain they will all continue to contribute to more enabling environments for youth, sustainable communities, and more equitable and inclusive societies.
Over the next five years, the policy is expected to lead to the creation of 10,000 startups, bring in investments to the tune of $800mn and generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for around half a million people in the state. This would help Maharashtra significantly progress on the SDG-8, which emphasizes the importance of meaningful employment and inclusive growth. The generation of livelihoods would further act as a foundation to achieve other SDG’s related to education, health, and quality of people’s lives.
The Philippines is among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change which is further exacerbated by our lack of capacity and resources. Having a young population, with more than half aged 15 to 30 years old, the Filipino youth can play a tremendous role as catalysts to lead a movement towards climate action and disaster resilience in their communities. So, why not harness the youth’s potential and use their ingenuity?