Expo 2020 welcomed some of our nation’s brightest young minds at the inaugural YouthConnect on Saturday, November 14, at the Sky Bubble, Meydan Dubai. The event is the first in a long-standing and wide-ranging series of interactive forums, designed by youth for youth.
YouthConnect gathered UAE residents between the ages of 16 to 25 for an immersive experience, engaging them through inspirational speeches, hands-on workshops and engaging discussions led by some of the world’s most successful individuals from a variety of industries and disciplines. Participants were encouraged to tailor their individual journeys for the event, creating both an educational and entertaining day that catered to their interests.
The event’s proceedings were kicked off by local comedian Ali Al-Saeed, who discussed the importance of empowering youth, and of enjoying the craft we choose. Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Bureau Dubai Expo 2020 continued with an earnest speech about the youth’s responsibility on this planet.
“We are designing Expo 2020 Dubai and its proclaimed theme: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future with this next generation of leaders and innovators in mind,” Her Excellency said. “The fact that you have made the choice to be in this room means that you are already watching out and planning for that future. Ready to grasp the right opportunities and make those vital connections…For us that is a sign of your strength and potential. For you it is another step in the road to success.”
After concluding, the hundreds of young people in attendance found their way to the workshops and discussions around design, art, engineering, and technology.
YouthConnect tought visits that there is more than one way to make it in life. Adeed Al-Baslooshi, an 11-year-old inventor, found his calling in finding problems and looking for a handy solution. Mohammed Saeed Harib, founder of the animated show Freej, found his calling in turning his creativity into live characters. Amal Al-Mari and Deem Albassam found their calling in delivering fresh and tasty food to the masses, through the cult favourite SALT truck.
We learnt that our goals and passion can come to us in many different ways, all we need to do is just learn to open our eyes to the opportunity when it is presented to us. If you missed out, make sure to register for next year’s YouthConnect, as it will be back before you know it.