Empowering youth to be the change they wish to see in the world

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Published: April 20, 2018
Telenor
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In today’s day and age, where the world has become a global village, most of the social challenges faced by people are universal and with the ongoing digital revolution, these solutions are just an idea away. However, the challenge comes when realising these ideas to life and scaling them to create a positive impact on the society.

The Telenor Youth Forum is one such platform that provides an opportunity to youth across Telenor Group’s markets to be the change they wish to see in the world, by coming up with ideas towards reducing inequalities in the society. After thorough idea refining and development through regular mentoring sessions from experts in the industry, these ideas receive funding to be scaled to life.

Telenor chooses individuals from the 12 countries it operates in.

Telenor chose two individuals from the 12 countries it operates in.

Safa Iftikhar and Sara Waqar are two girls, who through their zeal and passion to create a positive change in the society, got selected from  five thousand applicants across Pakistan to be a part of the Telenor Youth Forum 2017/2018. The TYF journey began for Sara & Safa in September, after they got selected and later gathered in Oslo, in December 2017 to meet their international peers. This was the time when the ideation began as delegates were assigned challenges to develop solutions.

Sara and Safa with CEO of Telenor

Sara and Safa with the CEO of Telenor.

To gather inspiration, the delegates also attended the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony during their stay in Oslo. In the process, they were mentored by experts in the industry and from January onwards, they continued working on their ideas from their respective home countries. The delegates reconvene in May in Bangkok and present their final plans to call for investment.

They took part in the torchlight procession to celebrate Nobel Peace Prize winner.

They took part in the Nobel Peace Prize torchlight procession in Oslo.

Safa and her team are currently working on an initiative towards digital identity that will provide basic rights to the under privileged. She did her BBA in marketing from the NUST Business School (Islamabad) last year and is passionate to create a positive impact on the society through her work.

She developed an idea and pitched it in TYF’s first round of application in May 2017, that involved tackling a social challenge through digitization. TYF enabled her to create a positive impact.

Safa presenting her education reform to the judges.

Safa presenting her idea on the forum.

Sara is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Economics and Finance from the University of London program. She feels strongly about equal education opportunities in Pakistan. Currently, Sara & her TYF team are working on leveraging the goodness of data in order to create positive impact.

Their challenge is to develop a solution that uses big data by combining digital traces on the internet to predict future trends and patterns in malaria and dengue outbreak. This is particularly relevant to Pakistan since WHO recently reported, that dengue fever has resulted in 16,580 patients and 257 deaths in Lahore and nearly 5,000 cases and 60 deaths in the rest of the country since 2010.

City race challenge on the second day.

City race challenge on the second day.

We are super proud of Sara and Safa and wish them all the luck in their future TYF journey. This is the fifth year for the Telenor Youth Forum and it opens for applications for its sixth batch on May 1, 2018.

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