Telenor Youth Forum winners to propose four solutions to biggest global health challenges

Telenor Youth Forum holds its Oslo finale on December 12th, showcasing four new ideas that leverage mobile and digital technology to benefit human health. Two winners from Telenor Youth Forum in Bangladesh have joined the other winners from Telenor Youth Forum Business Units (BU) to kick-start their 6 months long global Telenor Youth Forum journey at Oslo, Norway.

Sixteen Telenor Youth Forum delegates (2018-2019) have worked over the last four days in Oslo to develop solutions aimed to reduce inequalities within global health. These health-related challenges are to optimize agriculture, ensure clean water, reduce the rise of non-communicable diseases and support a growing elderly population. Today four teams of delegates pitched their proposals to a jury, which included UNICEF’s Director for Corporate Partnerships & Innovation Amer Farid, SHE CEO Susanne Kaluza, Telenor Group EVP & Head of People, Cecilie Heuch, and Telenor Health Chief Growth Officer Matthew Guilford.

From Bangladesh, Saima Mehdi Khan and Sameen Alam won the Bangladesh round of Telenor Youth Forum in September after the proposed two ideas, Krishinet and Project Shukrakha respectively were selected as the best ideas to reduce inequalities. ‘Krishinet’ was the idea proposed by Saima Mehdi Khan which focused on empowering farmers to enhance their earning by breaching income inequality whereas ‘Project Shukrakha’ was the idea proposed by Sameen Alam that focused on tackling sexual harassment. Finally, Saima will work on Ensure Clean Water challenge under direct supervision of global mentor Bjørn Taale Sandberg, SVP and Head of Telenor Research and Sameen will work on Optimize Agriculture under the supervision of his global mentor Ieva Martinkenaite, VP of Telenor Research; Member of AI High-Level Expert Group of EU

“Every year, we run the Telenor Youth Forum to give a global platform to passionate youth who want to start a change in the world. We run this programme in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center, during the time of the Nobel Peace Prize. Our goal is to connect these young leaders with the resources and expertise needed to develop sustainable, digital solutions to urgent social challenges, and we are excited about their proposals,” said Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group President and CEO.

Speaking on the occasion, Grameenphone CEO, Michael Foley said, ‘This is a big moment for these two winners from Bangladesh who will not only get to participate on a global platform but this experience will also enable them to explore and learn much more. This is a proud moment for us that the brightest minds from Bangladesh will be participating and learning new ways to make their ideas impactful and empowering for the society. This year the main challenge is to propose solutions to global health challenges. There are millions across the globe who are seeking solutions to health issues. Solving health issues will help improve a country’s core development and directly impact a country’s societal empowerment. This will also ensure the provision of quality health care across all forms of societal classifications to ascertain reduced inequality. This year’s TYF theme of Bright minds reducing inequalities directly targets to empower society.’

FROM STRANGERS TO SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

In just four days, these delegates, once just individual applicants in a 5,000+ person talent pool, have gone from complete strangers to productive close-knit teams of social entrepreneurs.

Guiding the teams for the next six months are their Telenor Group expert mentors:

  • Ieva Martinkenaite, VP of Telenor Research; Member of AI High Level Expert Group of EU (Optimising Agriculture)
  • Alanna Solberg, Head of Marketing for e-Health; Telenor Norway (Support a Growing Elderly Population)
  • Austin Menyasz, Director of Public and Regulatory Affairs; Telenor Group, Region Asia (Reduce the Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases)
  • Bjørn Taale Sandberg, SVP and Head of Telenor Research (Ensure Clean Water)

The four teams will be scored throughout the programme based on concept proposals in Oslo in December, on progress between the Oslo kick-off event and the finale event in Bangkok in May 2019, which includes a final pitch. The winning team will be awarded NOK 100,000 to further develop their solution. The four teams’ challenges, journey and their final concepts are then featured in a digital exhibition, sponsored by Telenor Youth Forum and the Nobel Peace Center.

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