Career Prospects for young people in the Sciences including the Water Sector to ensure sustainable island living
This side event, organized during the 3rd United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States, will explore career options in different the fields of science and their practical applications in SIDS-critical areas such as the water sector. It provides an opportunity for UNESCO to connect some of its young scientist networks to advocate for and be involved in issues that they are passionate about at the global level. It will also showcase the organization’s efforts to encourage the participation of women in science.
There is need for SIDS to use Science Technology and Innovation (STI) in a more comprehensive way to achieve sustainable development and encourage young women and men to pursue science related career and entrepreneurial opportunities. Knowledge is the key to transforming the society of SIDS and this requires strategic investment in the opportunities given to the youth. Technological innovation in SIDS require a joint strategy based on a coordinated, comprehensive scientific framework of action and improved cooperation between states, in partnership with Universities, research networks and private sector entities which demand technology.
The decrease in the interest and enrollment of young people has major implications for science–society relations. Sound education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) improves the employability of young people and economic competitiveness, productivity and growth of countries. Furthermore, a well-trained workforce tends to pursue additional learning opportunities and improves investors’ confidence, which are important factors for achieving economic stability.
Greater investment of SIDS countries in STEM education and more exposure of young people to careers and opportunities in the sciences will be instrumental in sustainably addressing the priority issues of SIDS such as: preventing biodiversity loss and ensuring environmental sustainability, fostering sustainable management of freshwater and oceans and encouraging sustainable energy use.
One way in which UNESCO addresses this issue is by exposing young people to sustainable career paths in the sciences, improving the quality of science education systems and linking it to STI policy; supporting various networks of young scientists, researchers and innovators and facilitating their involvement in global processes; and supporting the innovative efforts of the youth. The side event will explore career options in different fields of science and their practical applications in SIDS-critical areas such as the water sector. It provides an opportunity for UNESCO to connect some of its young scientist networks to be involved in issues that they are passionate about at the global level. It will also showcase the organization’s efforts to encourage women in science through the participation of a L’Oreal UNESCO fellow.