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Tech-savvy youth offer hope for the future

By Zou Shuo | | Updated: 2022-07-23 20:11
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An employee introduces 5G-enabled artificial intelligence at the Guizhou Big Data Exhibition Center in Guiyang, Guizhou province, May 26, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

As digital natives, young people can make good use of the benefits of digital economy to promote world development and seek solutions to the pressing issues facing humanity, experts said at a sub-forum of the World Youth Development Forum on Saturday.

Beata Trankmann, resident representative of United Nations Development Programme in China, said although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people back to poverty and global conflicts have led to soaring oil prices around the world, there is still room for optimism.

Speaking at a sub-forum on youth and the digital economy, she said that digitalization is transforming our world at an unprecedented rate and sophisticated new technologies are being developed every day. If the world can sustainably harness and direct the technologies toward the many pressing challenges facing our world, digitalization can be a force for good and help get the world back on track to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, she said.

"The other reason for optimism is all of you here in the room and joining online – youth. As the most tech-savvy generation of young people in history, you are poised to lead on the digital economy."

Today's youth are digital natives, with the passion to create innovative solutions, drive social progress, and inspire change for a more inclusive and sustainable world, she said.

However, she said that the digital divide needs to be narrowed so that all youth, especially those who are most marginalized, are able to adapt to the future of work.

It is estimated that tens of millions of future jobs, such as coding, software development and big data analysis will require advanced digital skills, so it is essential to ensure that the digital economy does not exacerbate divides and deepen inequalities. All youth should have access to learning the skills required for the jobs of the future, she said.

Fu Zhenbang, vice president of All-China Youth Federation, said that the digital economy has broken the boundaries of time and space and reshaped industries, the global economic structure and the allocation of resources.

Young people use the Internet to access information, exchange ideas and make friends. Their development prospects have been greatly expanded by digital technologies, which also offer them new job opportunities, he said.

China attaches great importance to enabling young people to further drive the development of digital economy. There are many young digital talents in the country and a large number of young entrepreneurs have started businesses in the digital economy, he said.

The country has prioritized narrowing the digital divide between urban and rural areas, so all young people in China have access to the internet and the benefits brought by digital technologies and the digital economy, Fu said.

Young people around the world should seize the opportunities, continuously improve their digital skills and mindset, and strive to become innovators and trailblazers in the development of digital economy, he added.

The forum was hosted by the All-China Youth Federation and organized by China Youth Daily.

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