Coding for Sustainable Development


UNESCO in cooperation with NetEase Youdao launches the “Beautiful Planet” Code Hour initiative.

On 29 June 2020, UNESCO Office in Beijing, together with NetEase Youdao Kada and Little Turing, announced the launch of the “2020 Beautiful Planet – Coding for Sustainable Development” initiative. It aims to promote a widespread of coding education among young people in China, especially women, in order for them to develop digital skills competencies to create and develop solutions for issues related to sustainable development.  

In today’s societies, the ability to leverage digital technology is increasingly indispensable. More than 90% of professional occupations requires digital literacy. Coding is one of the fundamental competencies to understand the hyper-connected world of the 21st century. Education systems are increasingly trying to ensure equitable, inclusive and high-quality digital skills education and training, including on computer programming (coding) skills. Coding is a literacy that enhance skills such as problem solving, teamwork, computational and analytical thinking.

For these reasons, UNESCO launched the YouthMobile Initiative worldwide since 2014, promoting the development of digital skills training programme, in order for young people to have essential skills for solving locally relevant challenges and fully participate in the fast-developing digital world. The initiative promotes the creation of inclusive digital societies, and strives to foster gender equality by unlocking women’s potential in ICTs.

Based on shared vision and goals, UNESCO Office in Beijing joined forces with NetEase Youdao Kada and Little Turing, for a cooperation on “2020 Beautiful Planet – Coding for Sustainable Development”, within the overall framework of UNESCO’s YouthMobile.

Launching the Beautiful Planet Code Hour initiative, Dr. Marielza Oliveira, Director of UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office and UNESCO Representative to the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea pointed out that the objective of this initiative is for teachers, students and young people to learn coding knowledge and skills , while at the same time improving their understanding of sustainable development issues, such as environmental protection, climate change, and gender equality, in order for them to create and develop digital solutions to existing challenges. Dr. Oliveira thanked NetEase Youdao for their support and contribution to the joint initiative.  

NetEase Youdao CEO Mr. ZHOU Feng said that Youdao is delighted to contribute to the promotion of coding education with UNESCO, especially in the context of SDGs, which makes it more meaningful. There is no doubt, he said, that programming skills and thinking is becoming increasingly important in today’s globalized world. Programming does not simply mean “writing code”, the development of programming thinking can be applied to all aspects of life in the future, he added.

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, improve the lives and prospects of everyone, while leaving no one behind.

Click here to participate in the “Beautiful Planet” Code Hour, which closes on 31 December 2020!