Goethe-Institut, New Delhi and the Central Agency for German schools abroad commenced their first-ever Youth Conference 2020, yesterday. Themed at ‘Youth and Sustainopreneurship’, the conference is supported by the German Embassy and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, New Delhi.

An estimated 200 students from India, Nepal and Bangladesh are invited to take part in the week-long conference which will have insightful sessions and workshops wherein students will get a chance to better understand several aspects of sustainability and exchange their ideas for a better future.

The conference will revolve around sustainability and address issues like ‘how we can live and operate sustainably in the future and make the current global issues like environmental pollution, discrimination, fair working and living conditions – the reason for our economic action’. It will also focus on issues on breaking down the ingrained processes of short-lived economic activity and bringing about a change in society.

Speaking on the event, Ms. Veronika Taranzinskaja said, “The year 2020 has completely changed the game and caused massive disruptions. We looked at how to be innovative in a time when COVID-19 has created more restrictions than anything we’ve faced before. Today, we have the largest generation of young people the world has ever known and one of the most resilient generations ever who will be the future torch-bearers. We need to make sure that young people actually have a voice and are heard at the tables of decision-makers. Since the idea of sustainopreneurship is based on innovative ideas about how to create a more sustainable way of living, it is necessary to listen what young entrepreneurs have in their minds about the same and what action plan do they propose.”

She further added, “You cannot wait for the world to come with their changes, you need to change the world yourself.”

During the following week, the school children will deal with central topics of Sustainopreneurship like identity development, sustainable living, cooking and being an entrepreneur. In addition, they will also have various workshops on topics like gender equality, learning how to plan a project in terms of budget and receive assistance with current application procedures. Students will have the opportunity to explore the exciting world of change-making and social entrepreneurship and will also join in-depth conversations with some of India’s leading young change-makers working to address climate change, edtech, menstrual hygiene and some of the pertinent challenges of our times.

Day 1 of the conference kick-started with welcome addresses by Dr Berthold Franke, Director, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, Veronika Taranzinskaja, PASCH Head Southasia, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi and Matthias Stähle, an Expert Consultant of Central Office for German Schools Abroad.

Apart from the keynote speeches of the mentioned partners and guests, the participants also got an opportunity to take a virtual company tour into one of the leading global German companies in the food industry – Dr.Oetker. There was an internship announcement and the students will have the opportunity to apply for one of the highly desired internships at Dr.Oetker.

The opening Ceremony was officially concluded with the address of Veronika Taranzinskaja, PASCH Head Southasia, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, followed by Film screening on the topic “Future Society”  by Glocal Films, London and Mayo College, Ajmer.

During the closing ceremony of the conference on 7th November, the global organization Ashoka Changemakers which stands up for social entrepreneurship and supports young entrepreneurs’ in the development of their ideas, will conduct a panel discussion on ‘How to make a change’? The participants of the workshops, school students from India, Bangladesh and Nepal will share their experiences and thoughts on the topic.