Youth Leadership Programme 5

Posted February 10, 2019

The two-day Social Innovation Majlis was held in October as part of the Youth Leadership Programme.


YLP aims to build a generation of young leaders, thinkers, innovators and change-makers in the Arab region working at the intersection of youth, innovation and sustainable development. Building on the lessons learned and momentum generated during YLP1, 2, 3, and 4, YLP 5 continued with its aim of unlocking the potential of youth in the region and fostering their active role in achieving the SDGs. Bahrain held the Youth Leadership Programme for the third time in the Kingdom in 2019.

YLP acts as a platform for a host of national partners and stakeholders who work together to empower youth. The National Committee consisted of representatives selected from youth-serving NGOs that were interviewed and selected by UNDP Bahrain. The National Committee in 2019 consisted of: AIESEC, Busaiteen Youth Centre, Bahrain Science Centre for SDGs, Youth Pioneer Society, and Ayadi Relief. The National Committee also partnered with the Rotaract Club of Bahrain and Brinc Batelco IoT Hub. 

National Activities

The Bahrain CO and National Committee held two National Activities: the Social Innovation Majlis and the SDG Hackathon. The two-day social innovation majlis aimed to provide participants with a basic understanding of social innovation while simultaneously offering an opportunity to meet a social innovator in a more personal setting. The sessions supported participants in developing their leadership potential, learn how to maximize their impact and provided them with the tools and frameworks they may need to make a successful transition into impactful work.

On the first day, UNDP and the National Committee hosted at Brinc Batelco IoT Hub Ms. Maram AlQassimi, “SDGs Teacher” and Mr. Ali AlMajthoob, Associate Director, Middle East Venture Partners. Participants were also provided with an introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals by Maryam Al Sadah, Programme and Communications Analyst at UNDP. On the second day, participants were divided into groups based on the sustainable development objectives that Bahrain has prioritized for 2030 . Each group had a number of participants and two or more social innovators who are actively working in a specific field. The aim of the sessions was to highlight patterns, commonalities and key insights of the discussions on social innovation. 

The second national activity was a three-day Hackathon that equipped participants with the necessary tools and resources to develop a solution to a challenge their communities were facing. More specifically, participants used the Sustainable Development Goals as a backdrop to their solutions. The Hackathon, led and hosted by partners Brinc Batelco IoT Hub, supported participants in scaling up their initiatives through mentoring and technical expertise.

20 participants were separated into four teams based on their skillsets and worked on one idea that had been submitted by a team member. UNDP, the National Committee, Brinc and visiting mentors helped scale up the prototypes over three days through different activities such as team building exercises (robot challenge), sessions on pitching and on finance.

By the end of the third day, the four teams presented their ideas to a judging panel that consisted of Ms. Maryam Al Sadah (UNDP), Ms. Leena Al Olaimy (3BL), Ms. Lana AlAttar (GDG Manama), and Ms. Marwa Al Askafi (Brinc). 

Nabatik, a platform to encourage a greener Bahrain through buying a tree in ‘just four clicks’ won first place. E-Save (an application that will help users keep track of their energy consumption), R Cubed (consumer platform that encourages recycling and reusing ), and Vertical Hydroponics Farm (vertical hydroponics farm that will use the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline and improve farming/agriculture in Bahrain) coming in second, third, and fourth. As such, one representative from each of the top three teams was given the opportunity to attend the regional forum in Amman in November. 

YLP Regional Forum

The YLP Regional Forum was held in Amman, Jordan from the 11th-14th of November, 2019. Sessions during the forum covered topics such as youth political and civic engagement, innovation, pitching, design thinking, and commitments for the future, as well as well-being and meditation. On the final day, youth participants pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, and took part in an exhibition to showcase their social innovation solutions. 

YLP participants interact with social entrepreneurs and innovators during YLP.

Maryam Al Sadah introduces YLP and the SDGs to participants.

Dr. Najat Ishaqi, PhD, Sustainable Development and Management at the University of Bahrain takes part in discussions with YLP participants.