Red Dot Foundation: Involving Youth in civic engagement

Red Dot Foundation: Involving Youth in civic engagement

Red Dot Foundation hosted an Urban Thinkers Campus in Mumbai on 21 and 22 June 2018. The Theme of the UTC was Creating a Resilient and Inclusive City and it aimed to bring diverse stakeholders to discuss gender inclusive city planning and making the city safe, inclusive and resilient for all.

During the UTC, we had various panel discussions followed by eight innovation labs on various themes ranging from creating safe spaces for children, safe transportation, sexuality and disability in the city, the impact of pop culture on gender to cities for all including the LGBTQI population, involving citizens in the governance process and empowering women to access economic opportunities. We also had an entire dedicated to helping youth design solutions using the design thinking process. Through hands-on activity and inspiration from 8 social innovations, they were inspired to design waste bins for differently abled people.

Post these inspiring two days, we are running a Youth Innovation challenge, a social incubator, where we invited youth to submit solutions on the theme of Creating a Resilient and Inclusive City. About 100 ideas were submitted and post a jury selection, we have shortlisted 12 ideas for mentoring over a four month period.

The youth are in the age group 16 - 25 years and their teams have a minimum of one woman/ girl as a mandatory requirement. The ideas range from improving and addressing women’s safety through curricula and mobile apps to disaster management to waste and sanitation management to increasing political participation of women. The ideas are extremely exciting and the teams are passionate about them. We are currently in the mentoring process post the first experiential session where they expanded their ideas using the Business Model Canvas.

Each team has been assigned two mentors who will help them think through their ideas and help them develop a working prototype by December when they will pitch to a jury at the US Consulate Mumbai on 13 December. We are very excited to be able to have the opportunity to involve youth in civic engagement and in finding local, community based solutions to make their city a better place to live.

Article by ElsaMarie DSilva