With her talk on Gen U, Henrietta Fore — UNICEF's executive director, is actively seeking help from businesses, governments, not-for-profits, academic circles, communities and independent innovators, in order to secure a sustainable future for the youth. Statistics point that globally, there are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 to 24. This makes up the "largest cohort in human history." However, at this time, cities lack the capacity to give these individuals opportunities for social, financial, emotional development.
As a child advocate, Henrietta Fore has the chance to meet and talk to young individuals, hear their hopes and dreams, listen to their fears. During her talk on Gen U, the speaker reports that younger demographics feel that they are in a time of multiple crises and Fore supports them in saying so. She affirms that there is a crisis of employment, as 10 million people reach working age every month, yet job demand can't quite reach that number. People fear that they are not learning the right skills, they fear violence, prejudice, discrimination and, unfortunately, Fore agrees with them on all accounts.
The talk on Gen U is issued as a call for ideas. With the support of their partners, UNICEF has launched a global initative called "Generation Unlimited." The goal is to address these crises by the year 2030. Although incredibly ambitious, the organization believes this is achievable through a steadfast interdisciplinary collaboration. Gen U is an open platform that welcomes "cutting-edge solutions" and new ideas from around the world. Henrietta Fore briefly touches upon a few programs — in Argentina, South Africa, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Lebanon, where small-scale community programs have been able to empower and grant youth viable opportunities for social and professional development. Henrietta Fore believes that through Generation Unlimited, community-driven programs have the chance to make a bold, large-scale impact.
Through this project, UNICEF is taking the first step to co-designing and co-creating a future with young people.