Idea behind UN Young Changemakers Conclave is to trigger an idea, support social entrepreneurs, says president Samyak Chakrabarty
UN Young Changemakers Conclave aims to become a platform for students, aspiring social entrepreneurs and inventors to learn from leaders across fields of business, politics, the arts, technology.
The annual United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave (UNYCC) will be held in Mumbai on 27 October. This will be the ninth edition of the event. Started in 2011, the conclave has had speakers as diverse as Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada to Raghuram Rajan, former governor, Reserve Bank of India to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister. UNYCC is an initiative by X Billion Action Lab and UNIC for India and Bhutan to enable a dialogue about creating systemic change and reimagining impact in the digital age.
The theme of this year’s conclave is 'Re-imagining Impact' in the digital age and will explore topics such as 'Re-imagining Content', 'Re-imagining Society', 'Re-imagining God', 'Re-imagining Money' and 'Re-imagining Conflict'. This year's speakers include Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Textiles, Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Radhanath Swami of ISKCON, Junaid Ahmad, India country head of World Bank and Umang Bedi, President of Dailyhunt. To attend the ninth edition of the UNYCC, you can register here.
Firstpost spoke with Samyak Chakrabarty, President - Organising Committee, UN Young Changemakers Conclave and Managing Director, X Billion Labs. Listed by Forbes as one of Asia's most influential under 30-year olds, Chakrabarty leads X Billion Labs, an eco-system of impact enterprises (Skills Lab, Action Lab and Tech Lab) that collectively aims to transform 100 million lives over the next decade. The Young Changemakers Conclave is an initiative by X Billion Action Lab and the UNIC for India and Bhutan to enable a dialogue about creating systemic change and re-imagining impact in the digital age.
Excerpts from the conversation:
What is the inspiration behind the forum?
I am a firm believer that conversations lead to change. Young Indians, from across socio-economic and regional backgrounds must be exposed to cutting-edge ideas and innovations that can act as a trigger to inspire them to create something. I started UNYCC to make it a platform for students, aspiring social entrepreneurs and inventors to learn from leaders across fields of business, politics, the arts, technology and impact. The themes over the years have been: Make in India: Sustainable Development; Be Restless: Do more, and Role of Youth: Transforming dialogue to action
What is the rationale behind the 'Reimagine' theme this year?
We reach out to our community of past audiences, speakers and partner networks to co-create relevant themes/topics so that it is an inclusive process. At X Billion Labs (XBL) we believe that systemic change can be achieved by a continued collaboration between key stakeholders such as enterprise, policy, media, and citizens. Our behaviour, choices and perspectives must evolve in the context of prevailing realities of the time such as technological disruptions, climate change, widening economic inequality and over-population. This year's UNYCC aims at creating a dialogue to explore the next frontiers of impact in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, behaviour, innovation, politics, war and God – in the digital age.
What has been the response to the forum in the past?
It has been a humbling experience for me. We began by hosting Shashi Tharoor in 2011 and earlier this year, we had Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as our keynote speaker. In the last few editions, we have had at least 18-20,000 applicants for just 500 seats. This is phenomenal for us! It shows that the conclave has become a highly anticipated gathering.
What is the end purpose of these talks?
To trigger an idea, enable a social movement and support social entrepreneurs.
What are your future plans with UNYCC?
We strongly believe that a great amount of talent lies in Tier I, Tier II cities as well as small towns. Mumbai and Delhi are saturated now. It is time that youth in smaller cities and towns get the exposure to creative ideas. This year, we are live streaming our event to over 200 colleges in 80 cities across India. In the future, we plan to have the conclave in cities like Visakhapatnam and Aurangabad. We hope to have this conclave in 5 Tier I cities next year.