Masdar’s Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) global initiative has launched an online platform, SkillUP, to equip one million young people by 2030 with the knowledge and skills necessary to fight climate change in their communities, schools, and workplaces, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Masdar, a global leader in renewable energy projects, launched Y4S in 2020 to empower future generations of local and global sustainability leaders.
The newly launched Y4S SkillUP platform harnesses the appeal of a gamified mobile app to engage young people in the fight against climate change by offering them accessible, self-paced opportunities to develop skills critical to achieving the SDGs, while also enhancing their employability in a transitioning global economy.
Dr Lamya Nawaf Fawwaz, Masdar Executive Director of Brand and Strategic Initiatives, said, “Empowering young people to become sustainability champions is the core mission for Y4S as we at Masdar recognise that young people have significant untapped potential to drive sustainable change, and it’s critical that we educate and prepare them now to meaningfully contribute to our global energy transition. Masdar is expanding our renewable energy portfolio across more than 40 countries and works through Y4S, one of our strategic initiatives, to engage students and young professionals wherever they are, and in ways they find compelling, which is why SkillUp’s globally accessible, mobile platform is so promising.”
By leveraging the latest in educational technology, the Y4S SkillUp platform provides 42 hours of self-paced learning and engagement opportunities, from video presentations to information materials, activity sheets, and interactive quizzes all of which center around the more than 20 specific skills identified in Y4S’s Future Skills 2030 Report as being relevant and necessary to achieving the SDGs.
SkillUp users can complete specific courses to earn certificates for each of the 20+ skills, which span five broad categories: knowledge, personal, people, cognitive, and design thinking. Within each category, focus areas include STEM knowledge, critical reasoning, digital fluency, innovative thinking, collaborative mindset, new media literacy, ecological ethos, entrepreneurship, self-promotion, problem-solving, active learning, resilience, and adaptability, cross-cultural competency, leadership, people management, communication, emotional intelligence, social intelligence, public speaking, sense-making, interpretive skills, design thinking, and creativity.
The SkillUp platform’s ‘Innovate with Y4S Unit’ also offers users self-paced guided lessons about each of the 17 SDGs, for which they then have the opportunity to define SDG-related challenges in their daily lives and pitch workable solutions for their communities, schools, and workplaces.
As a key Masdar strategic initiative, Y4S is aligned with the UAE’s Principles of the 50, UAE Net-Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, and United Nations SDGs for mitigating climate change by building youth capacity, resilience, and adaptability. Specifically, Y4S hosts two year-long education and skill-training programmes: the Future Sustainability Leaders (FSL) and Sustainability Ambassadors (SA) programmes – both of which aim to empower the next generation of sustainability leaders by connecting them with global policymakers, corporate decision-makers, entrepreneurs, and technology pioneers to learn about best sustainability practices and leadership.
FSL targets university and post-graduate students aged 18 to 35, whereas SA targets students aged 13 to 17 in high school.