From Plans to Action: Addressing Global Challenges

January 31, 2019

Youth engagement in developing solutions to address global challenges is a vital component in achieving success. Addressing this need, stage II of the Youth Forum on Climate Change focused on providing capacity building and support on how youth could effectively engage in developing solutions to global challenges such as environment, energy, education, poverty, health.

Stage I of the Global Youth Forum on Climate Change (GYFCC) 2018, was organised as part of the“Sri Lanka NEXT – a Blue Green Era” Conference, by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the Climate Change Secretariat, SLYCAN Trust and Meatless Monday Sri Lanka. The objectives of the Youth Forum were to create awareness among youth on impacts of climate change, while empowering them through capacity building and skill development, and to encourage the youth to take action through project implementation. 35 youth leaders were selected from around the country to participate in the Forum.

The workshop organised on 29th of January, 2019 as stage II of the GYFCCC titled, “From Plans to Action: Addressing Global Challenges” brought together youth selected for the GYFCC 2018, and other selected youth from diverse backgrounds who had shown initiative to develop innovative solutions to address global challenges faced by society. The workshop consisted of two sessions and Mr. Heminda Jayaweera, co-founder of Venture Frontier Sri Lanka & Thuru, and Ms. Vositha Wijenayake, executive director of SLYCAN Trust were trainers for the event.


Session one was conducted by Mr. Heminda Jayaweera and focused on ‘Rapid Prototyping for Solutions for Grand Global Challenges focusing on Climate Change and Sustainable Development’. Mr. Jayaweera introduced the participants to 8 grand global challenges, which are education, energy, environment, food, health,poverty, security and water.


“The world needs innovation to find solutions to sustain with the rise of global challenges like climate change and that rapid prototyping is an effective way of doing this. We need diversity in the group to have successful solutions,” he said.

‍(Mr. Heminda speaking atthe workshop)

The participants engaged in group work where they worked in teams to develop solutions to a selected global challenge through a 26 minute pro-typing session after which the solutions proposed were presented for inputs and refining.


‍(Group work being done atthe workshop)

Ms. Vositha Wijenayake, Executive Director of SLYCAN Trust and the Country Director of Humane Society International of  Sri Lanka conducted the second session of the workshop focusing on how to develop a project proposal. The session was conducted with the objective of providing capacity to the youth participants to develop their own project proposals which will help raise funds to implement actions to address global challenges.


‍(Ms. Vositha Wijenayakeinteracting with the  participants)


The workshop also provided the opportunity for youth to make suggestions to the National Communication Strategy on Climate Change by highlighting the role of youth in climate change communication efforts, and the gaps and challenges faced when communicating or accessing information related to climate change impacts in Sri Lanka.  The second workshop of Stage II will be held on the 9th of February 2019.

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About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.