|Yasser Masood: wants youth to play active role in communities|
Yasser Masood, curator of the TEDx Youth conference, said that the purpose is “to introduce people to what TED is, the three pillars: Technology, Entertainment and Design, and to get this culture going because there are so many discoveries out there, your hero doesn’t have to be some big-shot, maybe your hero is right next door to you.” He hoped that the conference would allow like-minded young people, aged 14-18, to network, learn and hopefully play an active role in their communities and in society as a whole.
Guest speakers were chosen to “fit the universal theme for the global event: Play, build, learn and share, and how the youth can build society. We realised that, especially relevant to this region, there’s so much untapped potential, and now they’re on the cusp of so many things, it’s like a movie – ‘just press play,’” which is the theme of Doha’s conference, said Masood.
TEDx Youth events all over the world, including the one in Doha, were broadcast live over the Internet, connecting all the worldwide conferences on one network. Participants were also encouraged to tweet their comments and opinions to raise the profile of the event.
The event was divided into three sessions entitled ‘Pause’, ‘Play’ and ‘Fast Forward’ and speakers were invited to give presentations on themes that fit in with the session, whether it was reflective and contemplative, getting involved and doing things or looking towards the future.
Speakers included acclaimed poet Abdul Hameed al-Yousef, Raed al-Emadi – Deputy CEO at Silatech, Sheikha Hanadi Nasser bin Khaled al-Thani–Vice-Chairman at Nasser Bin Khalid & Sons Group, Issa al-Mohannadi–CEO of Msheireb Properties, Sadeq Qassim-winner of the hit TV show Stars of Science, as well as a number of local entrepreneurs, musicians, medical professionals and activists with inspirational stories and ideas.
Raed al-Emadi, Deputy CEO at Silatech, an organisation that was recently created to tackle youth unemployment across Mena, gave a speech on the importance of stopping and thinking carefully about what you want to do in life and knowing who you are.
He said that he has met many people who never stopped to think about what they wanted to do with their life and just “pressed play” without pausing, ending up in a career they are not suited for.
Al-Emadi gave the example of a government in the Middle East that opened a new department within a ministry, creating several hundred new posts to be filled.
The ministry received 8mn applications for the open positions, not from unemployed people, but simply from people who were not satisfied with the job they had.
He encouraged young people to take an active interest in how their careers develop, even while still in school. It is important, he said, to ask crucial questions at career day events that help you properly understand what certain career paths entail in order to make the right decision.