UNDP’s Colour of Innovation hands the mic to young voices

January 19, 2020

First things first: if you’re not yet subscribed to our Colour of Innovation podcast, get out your phone and look it up on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts! Colour of Innovation shares stories of innovation from across the Arab States region and on a whole range of sustainable development solutions. We’ve just released Season 2, with several episodes in the pipeline and an entire season 1 to listen back to.

With 2,000+ unique listeners and counting, Colour of Innovation is an experiment that we are iterating on continuously. Our team at the UNDP Amman Regional Hub has certainly learned a tremendous amount about podcasting along the way, but we’ve also taken it as an opportunity to train young people and to get them to steer the conversation. Taking our cue from #NextGenUNDP, this is one way we are using to expand who we’re hearing from and how.

In March 2019, our podcast producer and host for Season 2, Benjamin Thompson Coon (himself an intern in our team) led trainings on storytelling and podcasting at the UNDP Youth Leadership Programme Regional Workshop in Beirut as well as at the 11th Empower Youth Conference in Qatar. Inspired by this experience, we decided that in Season 2, Colour of Innovation would rely on young “country correspondents” from across the Arab States to craft the story they wanted to tell and to carry out interviews, including with members of the public, on various issues. Alongside our young “country correspondent” voices, in each episode we hear from external experts (activists, academics, designers, and social entrepreneurs) as well as from UNDP intrapreneurs.

Episode 2, which we’ve recently released, perfectly illustrates the inspiring combination of these three perspectives. It looks at the solutions that have been emerging in Lebanon on urban mobility and how these are contributing to a culture of sharing and public transportation. The episode was recorded prior to the start of the ongoing protests – consider it our tribute to Beirut.

And do stay tuned for more episodes – on the digital economy in Palestine, youth employment in Iraq, citizen participation in Tunisia, artificial intelligence in Sudan, and disabilities in Egypt. All brought to you by our young correspondents and UNDP in the Arab States!