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An Open Dialogue – Leveraging Youth Innovation and Private Sector Scale to Advance Green Solutions

In this session, the Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE)  aims to underscore the importance of a collaborative and creative approach to identify and scale solutions to the climate challenge. Both the private sector and youth are key players in this.

From driving demand for green products to advocating for climate action, youth are leading the charge for a green economy. Youth entrepreneurs are exercising their voices and developing evidence-based, innovative solutions to local community challenges, by integrating sustainable practices, creating green products and services, and developing new green technologies. However, youth face significant challenges with scaling their innovations, and accessing resources and opportunities to advance their solutions.

In addition, the private sector is building lower-carbon products, green solutions, and processes towards advancing net-zero goals. Green sectors, such as sustainable agriculture or green manufacturing, are more labor intensive than conventional production, creating larger employment impacts. Green investments can reduce environmental damage while boosting economic growth and creating jobs, contributing to sustainable development for developed and developing countries.

The session will:

  • Bring together youth with private sector leaders for an open dialogue on what it would take to address the climate crises.
  • Highlight how youth-led creative solutions can be combined with the expertise and scale of the private sector.
  • Spotlight grassroots work of young entrepreneurs from low-and-middle-income countries.
  • Highlight the role of multistakeholder initiatives like S4YE, to support innovation and collaboration.
  • Launch the World Bank Youth Innovation Challenge: Water Solutions for the New Climate Reality, in partnership with 9 private sector CEOs, youth networks, and other partners.

The (S4YE) is a global program housed in the Jobs Group of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice of the World Bank.  It brings together a network of private sector leaders, CSOs, donors, think tanks, academia, foundations, youth and World Bank Group operational teams. S4YE’s private sector advisory council (PSAC) brings together over 40 global private sector leaders. S4YE’s Youth Advisory Group (YAG) ensures that youth voice influences all strategic decision making.

A key pillar of S4YE’s strategy is to identify and curate innovative solutions to address youth employment challenges. For example, a recent S4YE note,  The Circular Economy: Could it provide opportunities for greener and better jobs? shows that the shift to the circular economy has potential for job creation- activities like waste collection, recycling, repair, and remanufacturing are more labor-intensive and could be important segues to job creation, especially in the services sector.

Youth Innovation Challenge:

We will be launching the World Bank Youth Innovation Challenge: Water Solutions for the New Climate Reality. The challenge is designed to accelerate innovation and unlock the potential of water practices of young innovators and support a generation of aqua-preneurs globally. We aim to identify and support young shooting stars by providing them access to technical assistance, connections, and mentorship, to pilot and scale transformative water solutions. This initiative is jointly designed between S4YE and Water GP of the WB and will be launched in partnership with 9 CEOs and other partners. 

Youth Innovation