The Second OECD youth video competition has just been launched, with education and skills as the theme. We asked the six youth co-organisers of the 2012 edition for their thoughts on the importance of education, why they think young people should speak up, and how they got involved in this competition.
Little did we know that when we were creating three minute videos for the OECD’s first global youth video competition early in 2011 that a few months later we would actually be co-organising the next competition! In May 2011, we were invited to Paris as winners of that first competition and our worlds suddenly became a whole lot bigger. For three exciting days at the OECD Forum we had a unique opportunity to observe and even participate in a global convergence of innovative ideas and forward-looking approaches to addressing the major social and economic challenges of our time, including climate change, poverty, gender inequality, underdevelopment, financial instability and unemployment.
What particularly struck us was the conviction of so many people at the OECD when they spoke about the importance of listening to young people and what we have to say about important issues. Their view is that it is not only valuable, but essential, for the next generation to get involved today in finding solutions to major global challenges. So when the OECD asked us to team-up with them to launch a second global youth video competition, we jumped at the chance.
As a group of young people, some of whom have recently completed third level education, we believe that many of the problems facing the world today are born of ignorance, intolerance and lack of education. We know that issues cannot be solved by taking a “band-aid approach”, but that solutions should always address the root cause of any problem. For us, there is no better long-term solution to a problem than education.
Education is a powerful economic indicator in any country: social progress and economic development are closely linked to academic ability and competitive skills among the labour force. Equally, a comprehensive and well-rounded education creates smart, compassionate and open-minded individuals – and consequently societies that are much better equipped to tackle environmental, social and financial issues, not only locally, but globally.
Young people have an important role to play: we must continue to remind decision-makers and political leaders that the problems they are facing today are the same problems we will have to tackle tomorrow – unless we work together to achieve equitable and sustainable solutions, not just for today’s generation but for future generations.
We are delighted that, after a public vote, education has been chosen as the theme of the 2012 youth video competition and we are very excited about seeing creative and innovative ideas from other young people around the world that will hopefully challenge our current ways of thinking about this topic. We also look forward to meeting the competition winners in Paris next May, so we can share with each other the incredible journey we have embarked on since stepping forward to express our ideas to the world.
Alina, Desiree, Hew, Javier, Stephanie and Vidhya