A whirlwind of toil, sweat and contention ensued, and finally we had the honor of being named the National Champions. And soon enough, we were airborne and hurtling towards the dream city of Oslo, as two of the 25 proud participants of the first-ever Telenor Youth Summit.
Telenor Youth Summit 2013 was a maiden collaborative venture of Telenor Group and the Nobel Peace Centre. It is an event to unite young social entrepreneurs and aficionados from all over the world in the digital hub of Fornebu, to discuss and pitch in ideas, experiences and suggestions, for the betterment of society. It was a golden gateway of opportunity to meet and socialize with accomplished peers from all across Europe and Asia; and work shoulder-to-shoulder to make an active contribution in an international platform through the handiest and the most effective tool of today’s day and age – Social Media.
During the Telenor Youth Summit we were a part of some of the most prestigious events in the world – the Nobel Peace Ceremony, the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, and also the preview of the Exhibition of the Nobel Laureate at the Nobel Peace Centre. In addition, we attended various informative workshops and presentations from Facebook, Twitter, Mesh, WeVideo, Firefox, Wikipedia, Esplori and the like. Getting to learn bits and bobs of their wizardry was a feather in our caps!
It goes without saying that engaging in discussions with the technology and m-finance experts of Telenor was truly enlightening. We even visited some tourist attractions and skied and sledged at Frognerseteren, overlooking the city of Oslo. After all of these experiences, each of us went back home with 24 new friends and 12 new homes all across the globe, and a bellyful of beautiful memories.
This high-paced global event has made us more vigilant about the civic issues, democracy and the up-and-coming social media tools. It has flagged the obstacles to be overcome and the opportunities to be exploited! It has enabled us to become sprightlier- meaning more vocal and social; coaxing the introvert to look up from her perched glasses and unleashing the inner go-getter, if you will! We never knew we could rocket down a snow-capped mount in a sizeable plastic saucer without our faint hearts giving out!
This Summit has taught us the concept of breaking boundaries and engaging in meaningful conversations and discussions in order to awaken collective knowledge and perspective, and to generate collective action in order to address short-comings in various sectors of the society, such as education, healthcare, women empowerment, democracy and such…so as to empower the society as a whole.
Equipped with the newfound “digital bouquet” of knowledge, ideas and experience, my sister and I aim to work further on our various social projects and develop them enough to carve a niche in the national scale. We sincerely hope that our future holds a picture in which we can rise to the occasion and be the change we want to make, and rekindle that sense of communal harmony that makes us what we really are!»