Collaborative efforts to address youth hunger and unemployment

girl with backback kneeling in garden

The Food Systems Transformation Initiative (FSTI) is excited to collaborate with the Global Youth Innovation Network, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and other partners to support the Youth Agribusiness, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship Summit on Innovation YALESI 2016 held in Dakar, Senegal.

Youth employment and hunger are two key issues that have been impacted by the economic crisis. This is particularly true for youth living in developing countries, representing 85% of the world youth. To address these issues, YALESI 2016 will prioritize young people’s needs, considering their developmental needs, and including underserved populations, such as girls, to an effective and inclusive employment strategy.

A diverse group of twelve ASU staff and faculty will be attending, representing both FSTI and the Empowerment for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability (EmPeace LABS) Project; the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; W.P. Carey School of Business; the School of Philosophical, Historical, and Religious Studies; Thunderbird School of Global Management; the School for the Future of Innovation in Society; and the School of Social Work.

EmPeace LABS is a training and leadership program committed to building a strong foundation for global peace by preparing young professionals for leadership in agribusiness and sustainability. The project has created a global network that connects youth community leaders from participating countries with agricultural and capacity-building organizations.

The three-day summit will include a series of highly interactive sessions where youth receive training from experts, while also exchanging ideas and best practices with their peers, in order to support youth entrepreneurial ventures reaching their full potential. Session topics include design thinking, social entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and overcoming barriers to innovation, agribusiness skills, new technologies in agriculture, and human flourishing. A post-summit research partnership workshop will explore potential shared research and educational opportunities with the various groups in attendance.

The YALESI Summit’s focus on empowering young women and men through proven innovative agribusiness and entrepreneurship practices addresses the generational shift in agriculture and food systems issues, and the importance of transitioning youth to leadership roles. The collaboration exemplifies FSTI’s engagement in partnerships that demonstrate community-based social embeddedness and global transformational impact to deliver innovative, real-world solutions in public health, governance, technology, and policy.

We look forward to collaborating with an outstanding group of youth!