The two-day competition brought together seven teams from universities across the UAE to champion environmental, social and governance challenges
UAE graduates who established entrepreneurial projects have increased by 54 per cent over the past three years according to the UAE Ministry of Economy
Dubai, 27 November 2023: The Pearl Initiative, a business-led non-profit organisation focused on promoting corporate accountability in the Gulf Region, has partnered with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) to host the 'Youth Impact Lab', a two-day competition with the aim of empowering UAE's youth to seek solutions to pressing ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues.
The Youth Impact Lab brought together seven teams from prominent universities across the UAE to build innovative solutions to address ESG challenges. The initiative engaged over 200 students across universities in the UAE.
HE Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, and Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, praised the significant role played by the Pearl Initiative since its establishment in 2010 in promoting the business case for a corporate culture of accountability and transparency amongst the private sector businesses in the Gulf region.
She said, “The collaboration with the initiative is a manifestation of our shared vision to empower young humanitarian leaders and enhance their role in developing innovative solutions for environmental, social, humanitarian, and governance challenges. This is evident in the Youth Impact Lab, involving seven teams with 35 young individuals aged between 18 and 35. These participants are university students from institutions such as the University of the UAE, the American University of Sharjah, Higher Colleges of Technology, Middlesex University Dubai, the University of Sharjah, Khalifa University, and Zayed University.”
Concluding, Her Excellency said, “The Youth Impact Lab contributes to developing creative ideas for future leaders under the supervision of experts. This aligns with our joint vision for the advancement of the arts and the establishment of the foundations for an environmentally sustainable creative economy, in line with the country's objectives and its vision to combat climate change.”
Commenting on the competition, Ms. Vineetha Mathew, Senior Advisor Programmes at Pearl Initiative, said, 'We are pleased to be part of the Youth Impact Lab as it reflects our steadfast commitment to empowering the youth and fostering innovation in addressing pressing environmental, social, and governance challenges. This competition aligns seamlessly with our mission to promote corporate governance amongst students and entrepreneurs across the Gulf region.”
“According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, the number of UAE graduates who have established entrepreneurial projects has increased by 54 per cent over the past three years. By providing a platform for young minds to craft innovative solutions for ESG challenges, the Youth Impact Lab aims to continue nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship and cultivate a generation of leaders committed to driving positive change. The Youth Impact Lab is not just a competition; it's a transformative experience aimed at nurturing the next generation of socially responsible leaders,” she added.
The ESG solutions presented by the participants at the Youth Impact Lab were judged on alignment with the challenge, feasibility, potential impact, scalability, uniqueness, and presentation quality. Each team worked alongside expert mentors to craft creative and impactful solutions to various challenges. The event not only provided a platform for collaborative problem-solving but also fostered an environment where participants could network, learn from mentors, and exchange ideas with their peers.
The event also showcased an exceptional line-up of speakers and mentors, including Zina Janabi, Middle East Inclusion & Diversity Director at PwC Middle East; Wasif Muhammad, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer at Tamer Group; Ken Ede, Head of Decarbonization and Project Delivery at Wood plc; Ankur Mehta, Solution Architect for OT Practice at Paramount Computer Systems; Madhusmita Nayak, Strategy and Corporate Performance Manager at Imdaad; Maria Petrou, Senior Manager, Consulting at PwC Middle East; and Andy Palanisamy, ESG Expert
Marking the conclusion of the competition, Team ‘Pearl Pioneers' from Middlesex University Dubai and Team ‘The Domino Effect' from the American University of Sharjah were declared the winners of Youth Impact Lab for their innovative ESG solutions.