I4A at the 2016 IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings

ideas4action@wharton.upenn.edu 2016 Competition, Blog, I4A Events

As part of the 2016 IMF and World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Washington DC, Ideas For Action organized a summit in order to encourage and celebrate youth engagement in the financing and implementation of the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda. World leaders, corporate professionals, scholars, and young people came together to discuss the critical role younger generations play in bolstering innovation in the development ecosystem. The summit also featured the official launch of the second Ideas For Action book comprised of a compilation of the proposals of the top placing teams of the 2016 Ideas For Action Competition.

If you want to learn about the summit, you can watch it here:

The first part of the Ideas For Actions Summit brought various stakeholders from the sustainable development sector together to discuss the role of youth participation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Throughout the talks a common thread was the critical role youth play in coming up with innovative solutions aimed at tackling the issues outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, innovation was cited as key in overcoming the challenge of financing the estimated $7 trillion dollar price tag for the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda.

Joacquim Levy, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer at the World Bank, highlighted the fact that innovation is not the preserve of the old and the experienced, but rather that it can happen at any time, and especially among the youth. As he noted during his intervention, “Einstein developed the first relativity theory at 20. Innovation can happen at any time.”

Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank SVP for the 2030 Development Agenda, stressed the fact that youth involvement is critical moving forward as the World Bank alone cannot tackle all the issues the world continues to face.

Nena Stoiljkovic and Tara Nathan brought a more corporate perspective to the discussion, emphasizing the necessity of drawing attention to the need for private sector participation in order to successfully execute the 2030 Agenda. Company innovation is integral to ensuring sustainable development. Building off of her experience as EVP of Public-Private Partnerships at Mastercard, Tara Nathan gave the participants a thought-provoking piece of advice, “Don’t always think about innovation in terms of adding, but subtracting.”

Pr. Petkoski from the Wharton School then took the floor to talk about the Ideas For Action competition, stressing the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to ideas. Closing up the discussion panel, members from two of the 2016 Ideas For Action Competition top placing teams described their experience as participants in the competition as well as life after the competition. In particular, the Ideas For Action incubator has been critical in helping them scale their proposals and really bring their ideas to life.

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin,
World Bank SVP for the 2030 Development Agenda UN relations and partnerships

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Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and World Bank Chief Financial Officer

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From left to right: Nena Stoiljkovic, International Finance Corporation Executive Vice President; Tara Nathan, MasterCard Executive Vice President Public-Private Partnerships; Pr. Djordjija Petkoski, Lecturer and Senior Fellow at the Wharton School of Business
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Emeka Nnodu, member the DLVR team, winning team of the 2016 I4A Competition


Rafael Cavestany, member of the OINCS team, second place at the 2016 I4A competition

The second part of the Ideas For Action Summit took place at the George Washington University. After being greeted by David Dolling, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the top placing teams of the 2016 Ideas For Action Competition, namely the DLVR team and the OINCS team, went over their projects in more detail.

Ian Solomon, former US diplomat, also gave a speech underlining the importance of cooperation in achieving the SDGs. Afterwards, Miloš Doroslovački and Volker Sorger, both professors at the School of Engineering at GWU, shifted the focus of the conversation to a more technological and scientific perspective by underscoring the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in the engineering and science of global development.

After hearing from so many inspirational speakers, participants had the opportunity to breakout into 5 discussion groups based on their area of interests to discuss their ideas. These encompassed a variety of SDG categories including: Infrastructure and Economic Development; Health and Food Security; Women, Children, and Inequality; Climate and Environment; and Innovation in Engineering and Technology. Some standout ideas included discussion on efforts to reduce the disparities in the cost of money transfers between developed and developing countries, as well as the implementation of art and sports afterschool programs in girls’ schools in Sudan to reduce gender inequality.

The Ideas For Action team would like to thank everyone for their participation in the summit both online and onsite. The Ideas For Action summit’s great turnout is a testament to the strength of the youth’s commitment to addressing the developmental challenges our world is facing.

We would love to hear about your comments, reactions and feedback. Feel free to talk to us on Twitter @Ideas4Action and using the hashtag #Ideas4Action. In order to stay up to date with our next great upcoming events like us on Facebook and join our email list here.

Stay tuned for our next event.

Special Thanks to our wonderful speakers!

Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank SVP for the 2030 Development Agenda UN relations and partnerships
Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and World Bank Chief Financial Officer
Nena Stoiljkovic, International Finance Corporation Executive Vice President
Tara Nathan, MasterCard Executive Vice President Public-Private Partnerships
Professor Djordjija Petkoski, Lecturer and Senior Fellow at the Wharton School of Business
Emeka Nnodu, Member the DLVR team, winning team of the 2016 I4A Competition
Rafael Cavestany, Member of the OINCS team, second place at the 2016 I4A competition
Gabriela de La Garza, Director at PepsiCo Latin America

Ian Solomon, Solomon Global, LLC
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Miloš Doroslovački, Associate Professor,
Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Washington University
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Group discussion in the Women, Children, and Inequality committee