Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the annual Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) Hub is returning to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2023, hosted by Masdar and taking place at ADNEC.

Y4S is the UAE’s premier sustainability and youth empowerment program, nurturing young talent and inspiring smart, disruptive innovation to transform the fight against climate change. The upcoming Y4S Hub is expected to attract more than 3,000 participants aged 18 to 35 and aims to enlighten, empower, and engage young people to tackle sustainability challenges.

Held under the theme of ‘Advancing Youth Engagement for Climate Action,’ the Y4S Hub 2023 will host networking events that connect young people with industry leaders.  It will also showcase young innovators who have developed sustainable solutions and increase knowledge and awareness of important sustainability issues via a series of high-level panel discussions and speeches.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President Designate, and Chairman of Masdar, said: “We know that young people can bring fresh perspectives to climate action.  For years, Masdar has been committed to empowering young people, both at home and abroad, to lead the transition to a more sustainable future.  As the UAE looks forward to putting inclusivity at the heart of COP28, the Y4S hub at ADSW 2023 serves as a vital space for young people where transformational ideas can come to the fore.”

Y4S at ADSW 2023 will hold high-level discussions with speakers including HE Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; HE Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to IRENA; Omar Al Braiki, Head of Negotiations at the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change; Ineza Umuhoza Grace, The Green Protector and Coordinator, Loss and Damage Youth Coalition; and Nelson Switzer, Managing Partner of Climate Innovation Capital. Y4S Hub is supported by ADSW 2023’s principal partner, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy. 

HE Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said: “Innovation is key to solving many of the planet’s problems. Young people, with their energy and curiosity, are well placed to develop and lead innovative solutions and it is our duty to help and support them to do so. The Y4S Hub at ADSW 2023 provides an ideal space for young people to collaborate, share ideas and develop beneficial initiatives for the UAE.”

The Y4S Hub will include an ‘Out-of-Labs’ workshop, showcasing nine innovation projects developed by UAE-based university students. There will also be an ‘Ecothon Innovation Challenge’ pitch day, where judges will select two winning innovations from entries submitted by eight teams.

Y4S has reached over 38,000 young people through online and in-person youth programs, over the past seven years. At last year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), in Egypt, Y4S brought together young teams from the UAE, Africa, and Europe to develop innovative sustainability solutions such as solar-powered home lighting and clean electric stove systems for rural communities.

With the UAE preparing to host COP28 in November 2023, ADSW will play a critical role in driving momentum on climate action. The World Future Energy Summit will also be held at ADSW 2023, from January 16 to 18, with a focus on the clean energy transition.