Speakers

Dr. Michael Baffoe

Dr. Michael Baffoe

Professor, University of Manitoba, Canada

Prof. Michael Baffoe, B.A, (University of Ghana, Legon), B.S.W. M.S.W, Ph.D (McGill)

He is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. His areas of research and teaching are: World Immigrant and Refugee Movements, Settlement and Integration in new societies, Local and International Community Development, Social and Education Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. Dr. Baffoe has over the past five years, been actively engaged in research on the social construction of disabilities in Ghana and the application of the social model of disability to promote and foster the social and educational inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Dr. Vladimir Okhmatovski

Dr. Vladimir Okhmatovski

Professor, University of Manitoba, Canada

Supervised and graduated 11 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students with research operating budget of $2 million in collaboration with industry leaders such as Cadence Design Systems, Intel, Sonnet Software, Defence Research and Development Canada, and others.

Won 3 best papers awards for creation of novel computational methodologies in electromagnetics. Awarded 4 U.S. patents for new algorithms related to RF Integrated Circuits modelling; solutions resulted in 3-5x time-to-market acceleration for leading wireless chip design companies such as Hitachi, Infineon, Matsushita, and others. Authored over 80 articles in top-tiered journals and conference proceeding in the areas of electromagnetics and supercomputing. Co-Founded CEMWorks Inc - a start-up company specializing in computational software for electromagnetic analysis and design of wireless systems in electronics, aerospace and automotive industries

Felix Finkbeiner

Felix Finkbeiner

Plant-for-the-Planet Founder and Foundation Council Member, Germany  

Founder of the international children’s initiative Plant-for-the-Planet and Council Member of the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation. Together with his team, Felix has effectively promoted climate justice by organizing hundreds of Plant-for-the-Planet Academies; training over 27,000 Climate Justice Ambassadors; and by planting over 12 billion trees worldwide. He is an internationally acclaimed public speaker, who has spoken at the European Parliament and the United Nations General Assembly. Felix is a prolific writer, whose book Tree by Tree – Now we Children Save the World (2010) was published in multiple languages. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bavarian State Medal for Environmental Merits and 21st Century Superhero (awarded by Global Tolerance and the UNESCO).

Yanjie Yang

Yanjie Yang

Student, Strathclyde University, UK

Yanjie founded Strathclyde’s Youai Scotland Association as a charitable society. The charity aims to provide an education for disadvantaged Chinese pupils through fund raising activities such as recycling and selling. The public environmental protest against China-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines programs took place on 4th May 2013 in Kunming, China. This brought together thousands of citizens from different backgrounds. At the end of the protest, the local government agreed to stop the PX program for citizens against.

Volunteering for Yunnan Parallel provided the opportunity to bring Yanjie into contact with the problem of AIDS and also an understanding of NGO operational models in China. She also plays an active role in college activities. She was the chief editor in a Chinese literature association and organized the first Tourism Culture Exhibition on campus as well as organizing fellows to survey historic villages that are currently protected in Zhejiang, China. Yanjie is preparing to apply to an education charity (Tener Calliope Foundation) and the linked first non-profit-making Chinese library in UK, which will help and encourage Chinese students to study humanities and social science as well as create the bridge to help poverty Chinese pupils.

Apurv Gupta

Apurv Gupta

Student, University of Edinburgh, UK

Apurv Gupta currently studies International Relations and Law at the University of Edinburgh. As a high school student, Apurv has volunteered in countries like India, Australia, Thailand and Peru. His work has ranged from helping construct greenhouses to helping child victims of human trafficking on the road to recovery via interaction and psychological activities. He as been a tireless advocate of women’s rights in India, where along with a local NGO, he visited slum areas educating parents of young adolescent girls about the benefits of education and independence. As the Vice-President of UNICEF, UK Edinburgh ‘on campus’ branch, Apurv, has raised significant awareness and monetary assistance for women and children caught in the Syrian civil war through fundraisers and flash mobs.

He is currently appointed as the Youth President of UN Association UK, and manages and coordinates activities of more than 45 UNA youth university branches across the UK in their mission to build a stronger, credible and efficient United Nations.

Benjamin Robinson

Benjamin Robinson

Student, Deakin University, Australia

Ben is a Student Representative at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and has been responsible for the implementation of a number of student and youth welfare projects in Melbourne.

He has established a new support service to assist students from lower socio-economic status backgrounds with the assistance of government funding. For the past 3 years, Ben has also volunteered to assist international students in making the transition to living and studying in Australia.

Ben spent the first few months of 2013 working in South Korea as part of the Australia-Korea Internship Program and has studied in China. 

Video

 

Testimonials

Bongiwe Pricilla Mbinqo-Gigaba
Member of Parliament, South Africa
Bongiwe Pricilla Mbinqo-Gigaba

It’s a great opportunity for young parliamentarians all over the world to meet and share views of how to deal with issues in different places.

As a participant of G20 Youth Forum I’ve got information from others, what views, what people are doing, how best can we practice in our places and how we can improve our society.

It was a good experience and I think for next Forums it will be better to get more countries to share their ideas together.

Jenny Mikakos
Member of Parliament, Australia
Jenny Mikakos

I think the main purpose of the G20 Youth Forum is to bring together students, academics and young parliamentarians around the world to share ideas as to how we can make a better world. It is very important to have an understanding of the views of each social group fora successful policy.

It has been a very successful Forum. I wish to congratulate the organizers. I thought it was very interesting to be able to learn more from my colleagues at the International Young Parliamentarians’ Debate about the respective nations and native societies. We have decided many important questions and we will try to implement them in our countries.

Liv Holm Andersen
Member of Parliament, Denmark
Liv Holm Andersen

I expected to come here, to share a lot of ideas with representatives from parliaments and also from academic institutions. First of all I met some incredible people and second of all most importantly I got a lot of inspiration on my field which is social issues.

In our section we have very interesting papers and point of views. The greatest thing is to notice how really different systems and societies we representing. And at the same time we can agree on so many goals and aims for this world and for our countries to work on together. And that is very incredible, great.

I hope that Denmark will make really priority and send more not only MP but also representatives from local parliaments and more Universities because I think it’s a great opportunity to our young parliamentarians, youth and students to be inspired and to inspire others.

Maria Magdalena Matthys
Member of Parliament, South Africa
Maria Magdalena Matthys

I think it’s a very good cause for young people. In my vision the purpose of G20 Youth Forum is to encourage young people to learn and educate themselves, to unit them. I also think that it’s good opportunity for academics to come and share their experience. And also for young parliamentarians to be an example for the countries, they can encourage more youth, young people to participate in this program.

I talked about professionalism of women in South Africa and I’ve learnt a lot from other countries about agenda issues.

Alvin Botes
Member of the Executive Council, South Africa
Alvin Botes

One of the objective things of G20 Youth Forum is to insure a comprehension of network, to exchange intellectual and societal ideas among current youth leaders, formal youth leaders and those working on the youth agenda across the world.

One of my colleagues on the International Young Parliamentarians’ Debate presented me kangaroo – I’m from South Africa, I was in Russia and received an Australian kangaroo. It’s the exchange of ideas and network. So this little kangaroo symbolizes this.

It’s a good platform for intellectual debate and it should be held annually.

Bing Ren
Professor, Nankai University, China
Bing Ren

According to my understanding, G8 and G20 originally focused on the finances and economic issues. But through out of the years and particularly my personal participation this time I think the issue animation becomes broader than that. It is not only economy and finance, but social issues, environmental issues and arts, history. Very different areas comes together to discuss and make dialogue together.

I hope to involve myself in different kinds of platforms – I can speak out my opinion and suggestions – that makes my exchange here more meaningful.
I work in education, I pay attention to educating young people – so I find a lot of common problems around the world. That makes me inspired with the idea that we should participate in these meetings and thanks to G8 and G20 Alumni Association for inviting me hear.

And the other impressive thing is: I think G20 Youth Forum have made great efforts in organizing many people together and try to collect the ideas and also to make this activities more interesting and alive. That is also good impression for me.

Shinya Hanaoka
Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
Shinya Hanaoka

When I go back to Japan I would like to inform about G20 Youth Forum other faculty members, also international division of our University. Then I will recommend some students from our faculty to join this Forum over the next two years.

Xinghua Liu
Assistant Professor, Nankai University, China
Xinghua Liu

This is very famous, impressive and huge youth forum, and also well organized. My first impression was that we can meet with different people from other countries. There are different cultures, different national dresses – for me it is good experience to meet new people from all over the world.

G20 Youth Forum is very good instrument for public all over the world in different countries to learn about G20, especially for the young leaders and youth elites in different countries. I think it will play very important role in the media, in the mobilization, press mobilization in different countries.

Hai Tao Huang
Lecturer of Zhou Enlai School of Government, Nankai University, China
Hai Tao Huang

Firstly, it’s very precious experience for me. I can meet people all around the world more than 60 countries. It’s very good opportunity to speak with them and to exchange ideas. And, secondly, communications is not enough – we can understand each other and then we can understand ideas of the whole world; especially I’m very happy to see that the future young leaders they gather together. This may be a good guarantee for the development of the world. They have fresh ideas – and this is very important.

Marçal Avelino Salazar Marques Mendes
Jurist, University of Minho, Portugal
Marçal Avelino Salazar Marques Mendes

The purpose of the Forum is very well constructed. I think it makes us like a prototype of government. It develops a capacity of communicating with people and with some ministers and with the government itself. It’s important for participants that they go home and make there some kind of experiments and be reasonable and capable to understand the solution to each country and for the whole world.

Connell Wise
Founder, Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive, United States Youth Chamber of Commerce, USA
Connell Wise

In my understanding of the main purpose of G20 Youth Forum it is the international cooperation between different countries of the world to basically bring a global understanding how the leaders economic and financial crisis are facing in the world and how to avoid those crisises.

Meaghan Anne Williams
Teaching Assistant, Queen's University, Canada
Meaghan Anne Williams

The networking opportunity is incredible and it’s very encouraging to meet young people from all over the world who are interested to talk in same kinds of issues, answering the same kinds of problems, working together, collaborating. Not just making new friends but hopefully making new peers, colleagues to work in these issues in future.

The conference has been incredible for learning more about what the academic world can do to facilitate change in the real world. Sometimes academia is so theoretical that you lose sight of what is actually going on. But this conference has proved that there are a number of individual academics working to harmonize that view.

Melina Djulancic
J.D. Candidate, University of Manitoba, Canada
Melina Djulancic

It is the nice opportunity to get together with the young people from around the world. For me it’s important that people discussing their ideas. Our group was concentrating on the young entrepreneurships and all important things around this field. Basically entrepreneurship in schools is one of our recommendations and easier access to capital for businesses.

Abraham Johannes Swanepoel
Student, North-West University, South Africa
Abraham Johannes Swanepoel

Thinking that we are the future leaders of tomorrow G20 Youth Forum gives as an opportunity to start to get used to discuss things, used to live in them and exchanging points of view with other people.

I think it is awesome opportunity just to meet other people, get up different points of view from different countries. As I’m from South Africa and we are still developing country to get point of views that is from developed countries. It gives me lot of knowledge that you can take back to your country and try to employ it in your country system.

Aya Fujita
Student, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Aya Fujita

G20 Youth Forum is: A lot of people from international society build a partnership, leadership and friendship.

I got a lot of intellectual involvements, we discussed about health care, child care and women empowerment. Each country has different background and situation; it’s very great to know about what country has the same and which are different.

Fei Yang Qi
MA Student, University of Birmingham, UK
Fei Yang Qi

The main purpose of G20 Youth Forum is young leaders working together and think about how to push the world by the small steps.

I think there are a lot of benefits in participating in G20 Youth Forum, for example team work variety, especially to make others think about your points and change your views in discussions.

Floris Busscher
Student, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Floris Busscher

I think the main purpose at our level – at a Youth Summits and at a Conference, is to bring together young people with ideas, with creativities and with innovations. To bring together, to exchange ideas and maybe together come to enhance ideas to create a synergy between the creativity of young people. Opportunities is to meet always amazing young people which enhance your network in international level and also to be inspired by people from other countries and to increase and enhance your own prospective, how you see things in a multinational way with different cultures and different political system influencing its positions.

The most interesting moment is an Opening Ceremony – lovely discussion between people from all different kinds of fields, from different countries who exchange ideas on education which is of course the kind of thing that applies to all of us. So to see it and try to feel the G20 spirit on the ceremony was the highlight.

Italo Ribeiro Alves
Student, President of the International Business Society, Quinnipiac University, Brazil
Italo Ribeiro Alves

One on my career paths that I have been potentially exploring will be diplomacy. I believe that dialoging with young people from all other the world I can practice my cultural and communicational skills and learn how to debate and understand the social issues.

Lindsay Ann Markle
Student, Purdue University, USA
Lindsay Ann Markle

The purpose of the Forum is to exchange ideas between other countries. It’s such a unique opportunity because everyone here comes with an open mind and it’s really interesting learn about other cultures. It’s really a unique experience – I’m really glad I came here.

I expected to hear different prospectives about government’s role and society and it met my expectations.

Megan Eleri David
Student, Cardiff University, UK
Megan Eleri David

The main purpose of G20 Youth Forum is sort of empowering young people to feel like they can make a change.

I was a moderator on my committee. And I’m very proud of the document which we were working on. I had a team who I’m really excited about. We have three main ideas on our recommendation: one about child care, one about women’s empowerment in work places with an education and one about social security in developing countries.

Stefan Vasilev
Student, Wageningen University, Netherlands
Stefan Vasilev

Definitely the main purpose is to communicate with a lot of people, to exchange ideas with the experts in your field, and also to send a message about our ideas.

Governments always appreciate opinions from young people who are thinking out of the box. I hope they will appreciate our recommendations too.

Victoria Pilbeam
Student, Australian National University
Victoria Pilbeam

I think it’s really great to bring a lot of young people together to talk about important issues. It’s always a good idea. Mostly it's important to meet amazing people who really like to be engaged and are really passionate about different issues.

We looked on the questions: young women’s’ careers and family. We made some pretty concrete recommendations.

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