UNESCO YouthMobile and Technovation announce strategic collaboration to give young women more opportunities in mobile app development

The UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative and Technovation are teaming-up to integrate their expertise, resources, and services for collaboration across each other’s respected programmes.

The collaboration builds on the experience of many worldwide initiatives that introduce young people to computer science programming (learning-to-code) and problem solving (coding-to-learn). It also seeks to build on experiences targeting young women who are vastly underrepresented in every aspect of this field. Finally, it builds on the consideration that for millions of young people, the smartphone in their pocket is today, a very powerful computer – in the future it will likely be their only computer -- and they will use it for nearly every aspect of their lives: communicating, learning, taking pictures, and playing games.

“Technovation is honoured to team up with UNESCO’s Youth Mobile Initiative to scale our mobile app start-up competition around the world.  Our collaboration with UNESCO enables us to reach, inspire, and train more girls and women to create solutions for local community issues.  These girls also develop the skills to build a mobile app start up and lead the next generation of tech innovators.” – Tara Chklovski, CEO, Technovation and Iridescent.

“We’re absolutely excited to collaborate with Technovation,” says Abel Caine, co-lead of YouthMobile. “Its mission to inspire and educate young women to solve real-world problems through mobile App development is at the core of UNESCO in mobilizing partners from civil society to contribute towards the realization of its overarching objectives and priorities of building inclusive knowledge societies.”

This collaboration will significantly broaden the reach of the programmes and its impact on target beneficiaries. Technovation will contribute its unique curricula for mobile applications development as openly licensed material, which UNESCO will then promote and adapt, in particular for content localization and translation to local languages. Moreover, UNESCO and Technovation will collaborate to empower key stakeholders in Member States to develop training opportunities for young people in mobile apps development.

About YouthMobile

The global objective of YouthMobile is by 2017 to have empowered at least 25,000 young people worldwide, particularly young women, with both the high-level skills and confidence to develop, promote, and sell at least 5,000 locally relevant mobile applications (apps) that solve local issues of sustainable development, and provide self-generated, viable employment opportunities in the mobile/ICT industry.

About Technovation

Technovation’s mission is to inspire and educate girls and women to solve real-world problems through technology. Technovation began as a pilot program in 2010 with just 45 girls. Over the past five years, it has transformed from an in-person program taught by Technovation staff to a global competition reaching thousands of girls in 28 countries. Technovation is a program of Iridescent, a 501c3 non-profit that trains engineers and scientists to mentor young people, inspire them to develop a sense of wonder about the world, and guide them in tackling real world challenges.