Telenor Acknowledges youth projects for Asia

Telenor Acknowledges youth projects for Asia … For youth in Asia, 2014 was a landmark year. Technology and connectivity are accelerating, internet coverage is growing and device prices are falling. But Asia’s youth aren’t just reaping the benefits of this progress. They are actively shaping it. This is the story of Sadaf, Arkar and Asma – three among a highly select pool of talented Telenor Youth.

At the close of the Telenor Youth Summit and the opening of a bright new year, we ask three of our Asia delegates from some of Telenor’s most rapidly developing markets – Sadaf Amin from Pakistan, Arkar Min Aung from Myanmar and Asma Naksewee from Thailand – where to now?

Telenor Youth pioneer people projects for Asia

Sadaf is a 22-year old master’s student in agricultural engineering from Faisalabad, Pakistan, who developed a mobile agriculture farming system to help farmers produce food more effectively. At the summit, she proposed using mobile technology to manage farms from anywhere, including irrigation control, fertilizer injection and other growth conditions. She reflects, “With the summit now over, I am realizing that I need to learn more about using technology as a real life tool and will begin applying these tech and business skills to my project this year. I am planning to learn about app development, programming and how to fund my idea.”, Telenor Youth pioneer people projects for Asia

Arkar, a 22-year old iOS developer from Yangon, Myanmar, agrees with Sadaf on next steps. A passionate advocate for education, Arkar’s idea is called the Open Education Platform, with which he would like to allow students to access open online courseware by using mesh network-based open education platforms.
Like Sadaf, he admits, “Even though I have many things to consider, I have to focus on technical foundations first and produce a working prototype of a wireless mesh network where online course lectures are hosted. Only then will I be able to showcase my idea to potential investors and then partners to expand my project further more.” Now, Arkar is working on finding people who have experience in wireless mesh networks as well as expanding his knowledge. He plans to pilot his network at his university in Yangon and incrementally expand across other Myanmar universities from there., Telenor Youth pioneer people projects for Asia

And Thailand’s Asma Naksewee, 23, is also setting into a place a full action plan for her project, WO-MANIS, which provides a platform for widows in a conflict zone of southern Thailand to sell scarves and other crafts online, the proceeds of which go to the education of orphans in their area.
“I have gathered an enormous amount of new information and lessons learned from my exchanges with my peers at the Telenor Youth Summit. The first thing I will focus on this year is to do further market research for WO-MANIS. We need to find the market fit for our projects and will find good partners and volunteers to develop our platform for both PCs and mobile devices.”

In the next 6-12 months…

Arkar: I would like to launch my education platform to at least three major universities this year. The most important thing I now have at my disposal is the global network of like-minded youths. Youths from different parts of the world have different opinions as well as experiences. We can exchange our ideas and share the experience which we have in our home countries to participants from other countries.
A totally new idea that I began thinking more about after the Telenor Youth Summit and our sessions at the Nobel Peace Center is peace. There are lots of things happening in my home country and there are a lot of things that technology can do to help to spread knowledge and awareness that leads to peace among Myanmar’s youth. I want to bring the global point of view on peace and technology that I learned in Oslo to my local community and help foster new ideas in everyone’s minds. This summit tuned me into an entirely new frequency of ideas.

Sadaf: I will continue studying and researching for my project. The next year will be very important for me in order to be able to get this project funded. I am also trying to engage more people to motivate them about making lasting change in the society. My hope in the next year is to also create a community of them, some sort of an organization which dreams up ideas that might create positive change and then act on them. Little drops of water make the mighty ocean. I came to the Telenor Youth Summit with one idea, and left with 26!

Asma: Before joining the summit, I was working on my project with the focus of product development and marketing, without concern for market fit and research. This is important because my organization found difficulties with product reorders since most of our customers buy the products only because they feel for those who have lost their loved one. This makes my project unsustainable in the long run, an issue my participation at Telenor Youth Summit helped illuminate and solve. Now we will work to find out what product will best suit the market in Thailand, and capitalize on that.

Education was a recurring theme throughout the youth summit – it’s an issue that concerns the whole world and so many of our other youth summit participants. For example, Arkar from Myanmar is working on an open education platform. Maaz from Pakistan has his e-tution Hub online education project. Sara from Sweden working on online learning lab, and Melania from Bulgaria also working on online education. Moreover, the two laureates of Nobel peace prize this year also put the main focus on children’s rights and education as their top issue.

I feel that in the near future, the biggest change we will see is how technology plays a role in education to people around the world, regardless of whether they’re in rich or poor communities, war-torn or peaceful. That would be the most powerful driver of positive change and innovation and I want to be part of it.

Source : Telenor

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