We read, hear, and most importantly feel it: climate change and global warming are a real phenomena affecting all species living on Earth. As the urgency of the situation commands immediate and thorough action, a few initiatives are indeed taking the lead to hopefully turn the tide around and drive some kind of positive change, as daunting and helpless it may feel, in this global fight against the depletion of our world. Such is the case of the Arab Youth Hackathon, an organization that recently set up a three-day-long effort for the region’s youth to “generate business ideas to combat climate change and promote sustainability in the (tech) industry.”
With a specific focus on the themes of water, climate, circular economy, and agriculture, American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation PEPSICO teamed up with the Arab Youth Centre as well as Plug And Play, a world-leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, and universities, to engage with young innovators to scout for sustainable solutions across five countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Jordan.
With each participating nation organizing a first eliminatory round, three finalists per country will receive sponsorship to participate in the final event during the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or Conference of Parties (COP28), in Dubai to compete for the entrepreneurship program’s much-coveted prizes which range equity-free seed funds, special mentorship, and access to global networking opportunities.
“Through the Arab Youth Hackathon, we are advancing COP28’s goal to promote youth engagement in climate action. There is incredible innovative potential in the region, and we believe we have a role to play in creating an environment for young people’s collective action and innovation to be supported and accelerated. We’re inspired to see the caliber of young climate challengers in the region and look forward to working closely with our partners to support entrepreneurs at all business stages,” said Aamer Sheikh, Middle East CEO at PepsiCo.
“Youth’s valuable participation in the twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties is an affirmation of the will of Arab youth to lead a meaningful transformation towards a sustainable future, and we look forward to seeing their creative imprint on the global stage,” added Mr. Sadeq Jarrar, Executive Director of the Arab Youth Center.
Finalists from the UAE and Egypt have already been announced while the names of their Jordanian, Lebanese, and Saudi counterparts are expected to be revealed in coming weeks. As the collective effort is carving a much-needed path towards a future where innovation, hope, and ingenuity converge to tackle what is arguably the most crucial challenge of our times, we cannot wait to see what this generation of future leaders and change-makers has in store to reshape the fate of our future.
Read on to discover the three UAE and Egyptian teams heading to the Arab Youth Hackathon final during COP28.
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