More than half of the entire population of the world is made up of young people. These young individuals are the largest group of internet users.
Last September 24, 2018, the United Nations launched Youth2030: The United Nations Youth Strategy. The organization partners with young people to recognize the resilience of the youth all around the world. The UN Youth Strategy also aims to address the needs of young people and empower them to achieve their full potential.
Two years since the UN Youth Strategy was launched, Twitter witness countless examples of young individuals leading to significant movements around the world. For instance, some youths are taking a step to educate others about social justice and climate change. Furthermore, with the UN Youth Strategy, young people are empowered to have a voice in terms of issues that matter the most to them.
On the entire month of August, Twitter collaborated with the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. This collaboration aims to make people aware of the work the youth of today is doing.
Twitter and the UN Youth Envoy collaborated on Youth Day through an on-service conversation. They have emphasized the challenges that the youth of today is facing as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect everyone’s lives.
As a commemoration of the second anniversary of the UN’s Youth 2030 Strategy, Twitter and the UN also worked hand in hand. They launched the very first Twitter emoji designed by the youth and for the youth around the world.
Twitter’s Conversational Nature Allowed Young People to Have Their Voices Heard
On the anniversary day, a series of engaging threads and Twitter polls from the UN Youth Envoy’s Twitter account were posted. This allowed young individuals to have their voices heard in terms of creating the emoji that would represent them and the work they do. From deciding on the #YouthLead, to determining the elements of design that the emojis must have, until the voting on the final design of the emoji, young people had their suggestions.
Both the emoji and hashtag aims to promote unity and drive an inclusive conversation on Twitter. The said conversation revolved around the youth’s work in both the local and global communities. To make the dialogue diverse and inclusive, the hashtag is available in 20 languages, including Korean, Spanish, and Thai.
UN’s Youth 2030 Strategy for Follower Growth
Furthermore, the chosen emoji was launched on the second anniversary of the UN’s Youth 2030 Strategy. The emoji can be activated on Twitter using the hashtag #YouthLead. The idea is it will grow its Twitter followers organically by 2030.
Through the new emoji, Twitter and the UN are inviting young individuals worldwide to share their thoughts on what youth leadership looks like to them. This effort allowed them to highlight many innovations, challenges, and successes that the younger generation continues to experience every day.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, had her take on the recent efforts during the Youth 2030 Anniversary. According to her, the youth is disproportionately affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s immediate challenges include the impact on education, loss of employment, increasing mental health challenges, and offline and online gender-based violence.
United Nation Takes on Twitter Followers for Youth
On the other hand, the pandemic’s long-term socio-economic impacts have also hit hard on young people. Yet, despite these challenges, they were able to rise and persevere.
The secretary-general also noted that young people are resilient and resourceful, which is evident in what they show now in a time of crisis. Young individuals also stepped up to support and protect their communities no matter what challenges they are facing.
Furthermore, she emphasized that the UN is pleased to collaborate with the social media giant Twitter. Through this collaboration, they celebrated the leadership and resiliency that young people are showing every day. Using the hashtag and the emoji, the UN and Twitter were able to emphasize the youth’s power in the classrooms, in the streets, and even in the frontlines. These can also be used by young people to celebrate their contributions to building a more peaceful and sustainable world.
The YouthLead Emoji Gets Followers
Furthermore, the #YouthLead emoji ideas came alive because of the artwork of the young artist Seqininnguaq Qitura Poulsen. She is an emerging young Inuk/Kalaalleq leader from Greenland or Kalaallit Nunaat. In her community, she works on LGBTQ+ and indigenous rights. She also raises awareness on education and mental health. In addition to that, she is a member of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus. She is leading the group as their Arctic Focal Point.
Seqininnguaq gave life to the ideas of the youth through the emoji. In the process, it will be vital for her to emphasize that the youth can be empowered to have their voice in important decisions that will be made around the world.
As a part of the emoji’s launch, Seqininnguaq gave a special message to youth worldwide. She said that she knows that the youth are struggling. But no matter how much the struggle is and what the struggle is all about, there is always support and help out there. The youth will find their people in a place where they will feel safe, loved, and accepted.
Twitter said that it would continue to prioritize celebrating the power of the youth. Throughout the year, the social media giant has partnered with youth organizations around the world. It aims to support them while they use the platform to engage in conversations that lead to change.
Besides, the platform’s partnership with organizations such as the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth is important. This is because the partnership allows them to stay educated about the youth’s needs and wants today.