• Sunday, January 19, 2014

Telenor Youth Summit 2013

Experience of a Lifetime

Sami Tahsin

It all started with a seminar held by Grameenphone at our university campus in IBA.  There were four hundred online business plan entries made from all over the country out of which only 5 teams made it to the grand finale. After a whirlwind of toil, sweat and contention my team was crowned as the National Champion. And before long, my sister Safa Tasneem and I were airborne and flying towards the city of Oslo.
Telenor Youth Summit 2013 was a maiden collaborative venture of Telenor Group and the Nobel Peace Centre -- an event to unite young social entrepreneurs and aficionados from all over the world in the digital hub, to discuss and pitch ideas, experiences and suggestions, for the betterment of the society. It was a gateway to meet and socialise with accomplished peers from all across Europe and Asia, and work shoulder to shoulder to make substantial contributions in an international platform provided with the handiest and the most effective tool of social media. We were honoured to get our voices heard. Personally, the most significant accomplishment Telenor Youth Summit directed us towards was being a part of the most prestigious events in the world -- the Nobel Peace Ceremony, the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, and also the preview of the Exhibition of the Nobel Laureate OPCW at the Nobel Peace Centre. Attending various informative workshops and presentations of organisations such as Facebook, Twitter, Mesh, Firefox, Wikipedia and getting to learn bits and bobs of the wizardry was a feather in the cap.

The writer (1st left from centre) & Safa Tasneem (1st right from centre) in Oslo.
The writer (1st left from centre) & Safa Tasneem (1st right from centre) in Oslo.

The entire week, from 7th to 13th December, 2013 spent in Norway couldn't have been more exhilarating! Given our first time in the snow, we were completely in awe. Visiting Vigeland Park; skiing and sledging at Frognerseteren; guided tours and sight-seeing in the city completed the experience. We were spoiled silly by the warm hospitality and friendship that was showered on us. The people we just met chatted and mingled with us like old buddies, and each of us went back home with beautiful memories, 24 new friends and 12 new homes all across the globe.
This high-paced global event made us more vigilant about the civic issues, democracy and up-and-coming social media tools. It has flag-pointed the obstacles to overcome, and the opportunities to exploit. It has enabled us to become sprightlier -- that is, more vocal and social, coaxing the introvert to look up from her perched glasses and unleashing the inner go-getter.
I sincerely hope that in the future, we can rise to the occasion and be the change we want to make, and rekindle that sense of communal harmony that brought us this far.

Published: 12:01 am Sunday, January 19, 2014

Last modified: 7:49 pm Sunday, January 19, 2014

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