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First-Of-Its-Kind Impact Platform Dedicated to Address Urgent Youth Issues in Asia

21 June 2022

Launch of the AVPN Youth Opportunities Platform, with a diverse community of capital providers and young impact leaders who are championing youth empowerment in Asia

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Bridging the resource gap between Asian youth leaders and the public, private and social sectors

  • The Youth Opportunities Platform created by AVPN, with founding support from the Citi Foundation, will unlock and mobilise resources towards youth priorities in Asia
  • Based on a 2022 AVPN study of 2,000 youths (aged 18-35 years) across 5 emerging Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam), ‘education’, ‘personal empowerment’, and ‘doing social good’ are youth’s top 3 priorities
  • While there are numerous initiatives already supporting young people, access to opportunities and connections are still considered critical gaps to achieving these priorities
  • With over 60% of the world’s youth living in Asia-Pacific, supporting initiatives and opportunities must be delivered at scale
  • This will be the first platform of its kind in Asia that aggregates capital resources in the public, private, and social sectors, and matches them – at scale – to youth solutionists in the region

 

Denpasar, Indonesia – With founding support from the Citi Foundation, AVPN launches the Youth Opportunities Platform at the AVPN Global Conference, the largest in-person social investing conference in Asia. The first-of-its-kind Youth Opportunities Platform aggregates capital and matches these resources to opportunities and initiatives that empower youth.

At the centre of the Platform are youth solutionists, or young impact leaders, who are driving the youth advocacy movement. They are supported by public, private and social sector practitioners, who see the importance of putting young people at the centre of impactful decision-making.

Ecosystem-level challenges impeding youth empowerment at scale

The Platform rose out of the realisation that, with over 60% of the world’s young people living in Asia-Pacific, access to opportunities and connections are becoming critical gaps in meeting youth priorities. While many stakeholders across the public, private, and social sectors are investing in initiatives that support youth development, they often operate in silos within a fragmented ecosystem that fails to include young people in decision-making.

Seasoned supporters of youth, such as the Citi Foundation, which has invested more than USD275 million to address youth unemployment, know that young people must ultimately be the solutionists in solving the challenges that most impact their generation and their future.

In a time of growing resource constraints, resource efficiency and strategic leadership are key.

The need for capital aggregation and resource-matchmaking

The Youth Opportunities Platform marks a turning point for the region’s youth funding community. The Platform breaks down silos and streamlines collaborations amongst donors, investors, policymakers, and young impact leaders. By offering a neutral ground for under-represented youth voices to be heard, the Platform identifies scalable opportunities, through which diverse players and investments can aggregate resources and match them to youth needs.

“The Youth Opportunities Platform is a key part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative,” says Peter Babej, Citi’s Asia Pacific CEO. “We are proud to be working with AVPN to empower young people and support inclusive growth across the region.”

Authentic collaboration is greater than the sum of all its parts

Empowering youth at scale takes collaboration at various levels. As such, the Youth Opportunities Platform is doubling down on efforts to grow strategic communities of stakeholders, including funders, advisors, policymakers, and young impact leaders to facilitate relevant matchmaking. Within two months of its inception, the platform has already aggregated over 60 funders and resource providers from 20 global markets, to support a pilot cohort of 10 Young Impact Leaders.

As champions for youth priorities within 10 Asian markets, the first cohort of Young Impact Leaders are driving advocacy movements around: youth employment and upskilling for marginalized communities; socio-emotional learning and mental health support; refugee rights; coastal protection; music education; and more.

The platform will help them open more doors to highly selective capital providers, such as Cisco LaunchPad, Lorinet Foundation, The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, responsAbility Investments AG, Patamar Capital, Villgro, and more – all of whom are bringing their expertise to the table to provide advisory support to the young leaders. Already, long-held sectoral boundaries and funder-founder power imbalances are fast being overturned.

“At PLDT-Smart Foundation, we believe that if we want to maximise potential, we must invest in the leaders behind the project, not just in the project itself,” says Ma. Esther Santos, President of the PLDT-Smart Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the biggest telecommunications company in the Philippines. “That is why the Youth Opportunities Platform speaks to me and the Foundation because it opens the doors for funders and young leaders to come together in an unprecedented way. It challenges funders to remember that they do not have all the answers, and I urge all funders to leverage the Platform to listen directly to young problem solvers who have the solutions to drive change.”

Anchoring The Youth Opportunities Platform are 6 partners, representing leading youth-led organisations and seasoned youth funders across Asia. They are: Indonesian Youth Diplomacy (Host of Y20 2022) and Yayasan Anak Bangsa Bisa (Foundation of GoTo Gojek Tokopedia); PLDT-Smart Foundation in the Philippines; YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India) at UNICEF; Social Ventures Hong Kong; and Youth Co:Lab co-led by UNDP. Along with the Citi Foundation, these anchor partners form the backbone of the Platform. In the coming months, the anchor partners will not only harness their expertise to amplify priority youth areas in the region, but identify collaboration pathways to enrich existing youth initiatives.

Effective resource matchmaking, however, will not change the status quo on youth empowerment, unless mindsets are changed and relationships with traditional decision-makers are redefined. The Youth Opportunities Platform will have the opportunity to partake in Y20 (the youth arm of G20) happening in Indonesia this year and India in 2023, bringing the voices of Asian youth to a global stage.

“AVPN has been building the social investment ecosystem in Asia in the last decade, and the key to a strong community is trust,” says Naina Subberwal Batra, Chairwoman and CEO of AVPN, “While we are seeing a growing awareness around governments and private funders to incorporate voices of the next generation in their impact strategies, they must learn to recognise them, not as token voices, but as partners at the decision-making table. Until and unless global leaders can break this power dynamic, and create trusted spaces for authentic listening, youths will not be empowered to drive generational change.”

Media Contacts

Jacqui Hocking
Communications Lead, AVPN
+65 8454 5945
jacqui.hocking@avpn.asia
Gaynor Reid
Press Relations, AVPN
+65 9108 3577
comms@avpn.asia

About the AVPN Youth Opportunities Platform

With over 60% of the world’s young people residing in Asia, there are insufficient opportunities and scalable solutions to support their growth and maximise their potential in society. The Youth Opportunities Platform – developed with AVPN and the founding support from the Citi Foundation – aims to unlock and aggregate capital in the public, private, and social sectors, and match them to opportunities and initiatives for youths in the region. By (i) identifying social investment opportunities, (ii) highlighting collaboration pathways, and (iii) advocating for under-represented youth voices, the Platform will lead the movement to mobilise capital more effectively towards Asia’s youth priorities: https://avpn.asia/impact-communities/youth-opportunities (Profiles of the 10 Young Impact Leaders)

About AVPN

AVPN is the world’s largest network of Social Investors in Asia, with over 600+ diverse members across 33 markets. Their mission is to close the SDG gaps in Asia, by enabling their members to increase the flow of financial, human, and intellectual capital towards impact. Through sharing knowledge and innovating collaborations between policy makers, family offices, foundations and the private sector, AVPN improves the effectiveness of capital deployed; bringing to bear the local field needs, regional expertise, and policy insights.

As organizers of the AVPN Global conference—the world’s largest networking event for Social Investors in Asia—their focus is to put Asian voices at the forefront of global discourse; with the output of the convening to be added to the main agenda of the upcoming G20. The event is also leveraged by the Social Investor ecosystem to form and announce new partnerships, innovate catalytic funding vehicles, and share best practices that ultimately move more capital towards impact.

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

About Anchor Partners

About the Y20

Youth 20 is a forum for future young leaders from all G20 member countries to discuss, argue, and exchange ideas, to reach a joint agreement regarding the agenda of the G20 Presidency. The Y20 Summit (Summit) result is the Y20 Communiqué. Since the first Y20 conference was held in 2010, the host of the organizers changed every year based on where the G20 Presidency takes place. With the theme “From Recovery to Resilience: Rebuilding the Youth Agenda Beyond COVID-19”, this year’s Y20 Summit will be held in Jakarta and Bandung (Indonesia) in July 2022.

About the Indonesian Youth Diplomacy

Indonesian Youth Diplomacy (IYD) is a non-profit youth organization aiming to promote international exposure and drive inclusive empowerment for Indonesian youths to be influential voices at the national and international levels.

IYD is appointed as the host of Y20 Indonesia 2022 by the Ministry of Youth and Sport.

About PLDT-Smart Foundation

The PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) is a non-stock, non-profit organization that fully serves as the social outreach arm of the country’s oldest and largest telecommunications conglomerate, the PLDT Inc. In its pursuit for social and economic development, it provides helpful communication tools and various avenues for progress and empowerment through partnerships and tie-ups with non-government organizations, people’s organizations and cooperatives throughout the Philippines.

About Yayasan Anank Bangsa Bisa by GoTo

The impact-driven non-profit organization of GoTo Group, established to enable changemakers who are committed to solving the world’s pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges. We believe that through the formation of new ways of thinking, combined with technology, we can create a meaningful and sustainable impact especially through encompassing the Indonesian spirit of collaboration. Our efforts are focused on three main pillars; ThriveForward (youth development for future changemakers), ThriveGreener (protection and resilience of and for the environment), and ThriveTogether (enablement and participation for employability and the economy).

About YuWaah (Generation Unlimited) at UNICEF

YuWaah is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to prepare young people to transition from education and learning to productive work and active citizenship. It was formed by UNICEF, together with public and private sector partners, UN Agencies, civil society organisations, foundations and young people as the Generation Unlimited (GenU) partnership in India. By 2030, in India, YuWaah aims to:

  • Build pathways to aspirational socio-economic opportunities for 100 million young people
  • Facilitate 200 million young people to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work
  • Partner with 300 million young people as change-makers and create spaces for developing their leadership

 

Launched in 2019 by the Honourable Minister for Women and Children’s Development, India, Smt. Smriti Irani, YuWaah also received strong words of encouragement from the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Sh. Narendra Modi, in the form of a letter of support. For more information, visit www.yuwaah.org

About UNDP Youth Co:Lab

Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to establish a common agenda for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to empower and invest in youth so that they can accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship. Read more about Youth Co:Lab at www.youthcolab.org

About Social Ventures Hong Kong

Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk) is an Impact Purpose Organisation committed to re-imagining a purpose-driven city. SVhk drives innovative social change for Hong Kong’s urban social challenges through pioneering impact ventures, cultivating a movement of good and orchestrating impact capital. Since its founding in 2007, SVhk has invented and incubated more than 40 social innovation projects including Light Be (empowerment housing), Green Monday (plant-based movement), and HATCH (co-working factory). SVhk is also committed to mainstreaming impact value creation through its “Business 2.0” platform and has advised a number of notable Hong Kong businesses including Airport Authority Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Urban Renewal Authority, Bupa Hong Kong, Hong Kong Broadband Network and Garage Society.

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We see social investment as a continuum that encompasses everything from philanthropy and venture philanthropy to impact investing, CSR and sustainable investment. We call this the “Continuum of Capital”.

We see social investment as a continuum that encompasses everything from philanthropy and venture philanthropy to impact investing, CSR and sustainable investment. We call this the “Continuum of Capital”.

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