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Two Spotlights. Five Tracks.
Spotlight on Power of Technology
The Spotlight on the Power of Technology returns for a third year, as stakeholders continue to seek concrete examples of how technology is being used effectively in youth economic opportunity programming and how organizations are effectively supporting young people in their efforts to start a business or get a job in growth-oriented ICT sectors. Globally the industry will create an estimated 4 million additional direct jobs by 2016, while indirectly creating as many as 12–16 million more in other sectors.
Spotlight on Youth in Hospitality
The hospitality industry is entering a period of worldwide growth, currently employing over 255 million people around the globe, with projected creation of 73 million new jobs by 2022. Sponsored by Hilton Worldwide, the spotlight on Youth in Hospitality will explore the hospitality sector’s extraordinary opportunity to develop a trained workforce while helping young people around the world obtain good jobs, begin careers, and improve prospects for themselves, their households, and their communities.
Five Learning Tracks. Two Spotlights.
Youth Enterprise Development
The Youth Enterprise Development learning track will share transferable information about how to support the mindsets, skillsets and toolsets that adolescent girls and boys and young women and men need to start and grow a successful business now or in the future. Youth enterprise development is particularly interesting in a year when we’ve seen an explosion of youth-led start-ups and the emergence of infrastructure to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the global south. A diverse range of individuals and organizations from around the world will share their actionable research, transferable tools, and innovative programmatic approaches and policies.
Submissions should focus on proven approaches and/or tools that have proven results with a specific youth target population (e.g. micro “necessity” entrepreneurs, growth-oriented “opportunity” entrepreneurs, etc.).
The Workforce Development learning track will address solutions to common challenges and build a body of knowledge and evidence about effective workforce development programming strategies related to youth. Workforce development programs help youth and adults acquire skills, knowledge, and behaviors that help them identify and obtain secure livelihood opportunities. These programs can be broadly targeted formal education programs supported by national or sub-national governments, or more narrowly, industry or target population-focused programs. Many stakeholders working in this sector commonly face challenges of how to address: significant mismatches between the supply of labor and labor market demands; outdated education and training programs; poorly trained teachers and trainers; limited ability to identify and assess high potential domestic and global markets; the lack of effective labor market intermediation, and too little private - public sector coordination that results in workforce planning.
Submissions should focus on approaches to workforce development that show promise in addressing these or other challenges identified in the field.
The gender learning track will address the role that sex and gender play in shaping economic opportunities for adolescent girls and boys and young women and men. Understanding how to apply a gender lens when programming for youth economic opportunities enables stakeholders to identify constraints and opportunities that can increase effective participation levels of both genders, or determine when gender-specific programs are most appropriate. Some organizations are taking comprehensive approaches and using a range of interventions to be gender aware in their programming, and also support adolescent girls and boys and young women and men specifically in their efforts to lead productive and fulfilling lives. Organizations may differ in their strategies to building human, social and financial assets. It is important to learn about what is different about these strategies and how they are achieving impact.
Submissions should focus on presenting challenges, solutions, innovations, trends, and research related to the role of gender in program design for youth economic opportunities.
Financial Services and Capabilities
The Financial Services and Capabilities learning track will examine what it takes at the macro, meso, micro and client-levels to offer appropriate financial services to the developing world’s growing youth population. This learning track will push the boundaries of what is known in youth-inclusive financial services to look at how the public and private sectors can better work together in order to address financial capability, to address policy and regulatory challenges and to develop appropriate financial products for youth. It also will enable participants to better understand the YFS impact on youth, their families and communities; the financial services providers; and the broader financial services marketplace.
Submissions should focus on increasing the understanding of financial services that target youth during different life stages, examining motivations for designing youth-targeted financial services, defining the role of financial education in improving outcomes for youth, and examining the return on investment of youth financial products and services.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessments (M&E) learning track will address the need to better understand which M&E approaches and tools are working well within the youth economic opportunities field, and which should be improved or discarded. Participants are especially interested in learning which approaches and tools they can use in their own programming. These M&E sessions will be “how to” workshops to improve and advance M&E work in the YEO field, and thus contribute to building the evidence base of “what works”. This track also emphasizes that M&E is about learning (i.e. integrating M&E into program design and using M&E findings to inform the development of programs).
Submissions should advance understanding in M&E approaches and tools, and be geared to an audience that already has a basic understanding of M&E.