Shenzhen Deep Dive: SCOLAR Network Participation at SCO Youth Campus 2022, Shenzhen

To mark the 7th SCO Youth Campus 2022, SCOLAR Network delegates arrived in a smart, driven city, Shenzhen, on May 31, 2022, to attend a three-day camp from May 30 to June 2. It was organized by the China International Youth Exchange Center and Shenzhen Youth Federation to support the All-China Youth Federation and People’s Support of Guangdong Province. The campus was attended by 13 different countries of the SCO region, including six delegates from the SCOLAR Network. This youth exchange camp held in Shenzhen marks the image of Shenzhen through the form of visiting scientific and technological innovation enterprises, experiencing traditional cultural exhibitions, experiencing exchanges and innovation stories, telling Chinese stories, and helping to build a new pattern of the youth foreign affairs. This camp was assembled by the Member state of Standing Committee Leaders of Shenzhen, officials and diplomats from SCO member and observer state, the youth Federation of Shenzhen, and youth who were young entrepreneurs, students, and workers from 13 different countries of the SCO region.

Day 1

On May 31, the SCO youth exchange campus was attended by Wang Qiang, Member state of the Standing Committee; Fu Zhenbang, the Vice Chairman of All-China Youth Federation; Gao Dawei, the Honorary Chairman of Shenzhen Youth Federation and Deputy Director, Wen Ping at Qianhai, was officially opened at Shenzhen-Hongkong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurs Hub. Fu Zhenbang and Gao Dawei welcomed all the SCO youth for the exchange of innovation, technology, and culture in this three-day camp at Shenzhen during the opening ceremony and introduction. Ms. Shikha Thapa Magar from SCOLAR Network gave an opening remark to represent SCO youth. She mentioned that SCOLAR Network is working daily to bring the youth of SCO countries closer together, and this camp proves to be a robust connection between the young people of this region.

On the same day, campers also visited 40th Anniversary Exhibition and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hongkong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurs Hub. World-renowned tech companies like Tencent and Fantawild were also in the schedule where campers experienced their history and innovations. Finally, enjoyed folk culture to end the day with three different cuisines reflecting the folk culture.

Day 2

On June 1, to continue the SCO youth camp 2022, all campers visited Twenty-four history academies and oriental academies built by the OTC Culture group. It is “The Home of Literature and Art” and a new landmark for cultural tourism in Shenzhen. Campers were introduced to the Literature and Art of China and the beautiful ambiance of the academy.

In the afternoon, a parallel session on “Promoting Youth Innovation, Boosting Scientific and Technological Cooperation” was organized at the SCO Youth Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation, held in Qianhai, Shenzhen. Government officials from SCO member states, observer states and dialogue partners, scientific research institutions and university representatives, science popularization workers, heads of innovative enterprises, and media representatives from home and abroad participated in the forum online and offline. Shen Yueyue, Vice Chairman of the SCO Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Committee; Wu Gang, President of China Young Scientists and Technicians Association; Wang Qiang, Member of the Standing Committee of Shenzhen Municipal Committee and Minister of United Front Work, SCO Deputy Secretary-General, Representative of UNESCO Beijing Office and Russian Ambassador to China attended the forum and delivered speeches.

In this session, youth from the SCO region shared their innovation and projects in health, agriculture, new technology, education, and culture. President of SCOLAR Network, Victoria Khu, under the parallel session “Youth Technology and Innovation” presented SCOLAR Network’s projects such as Model SCO, AGORA and SCOLAR Academy and also about growing hubs in 7 different countries of the SCO region bringing youth from different background to connect and network through dialogue, exchange of culture, and innovations.

Finally, we ended the second day with a cruise ride to the Greater Bay Area from Shekou Cruise Center. We viewed the longest bridge connecting Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macau and a spectacular magic show, live concert, and dance.

Day 3

On the third day of the camp, June 2, campers visited Build Your Dreams company BYD is world-recognized for its innovation. Campers experienced cloud bus and NEV test-drive and the history of BYD and its up-to-date innovations.

In the afternoon session of June 2, President Xi Jinping proposed the SCO Youth Innovation and Technology Forum in his remarks at the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was officially opened in Shenzhen. Shen Yueyue, Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and President of the Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Commission of the SCO, Abduhakimov Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan and leaders of SCO member states, Zhang Ming, Secretary-General of the SCO, and foreign representatives, attended the opening ceremony of the forum. Officials and representatives of SCO member and observer states vowed to enhance the development of youth innovation and international cooperation through the “Shanghai Spirit.”

Youth exchanges and technological innovation have always been priorities of cooperation for the SCO, Shen Yueyue, vice-chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and chairperson of the Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Commission of the SCO, said.

Abduhakimov Aziz delivered a keynote speech via video link. He noted that his country encourages young people to implement top-level planning and reform plans, fully supports the SCO’s work on youth affairs, and will continue to contribute to the progress of the SCO youth cause and the development of the SCO member countries.

Youth cooperation is an essential priority within the SCO cooperation agenda. About 800 million young people in the SCO member states are the future hope of the organization and the bearers of the baton of future SCO development, Zhang Ming, Secretary-General of the SCO, said at the ceremony in a video speech.

Wang Hongyan, president of the All-China Youth Federation, said a growing number of young people among SCO members are becoming a driving force behind the latest technological and industrial developments.

Six parallel sessions of the forum were held, including the Parallel Session on Youth Innovation and Cooperation, the Parallel Session on People’s Health, the Parallel Session on Digital Economy, the Parallel Session on Artificial Intelligence, the Parallel Session on Green Development, and the Parallel Session on Poverty Reduction Cooperation and Rural Development. Fruitful results were yielded during the parallel sessions.

In the evening, there was a separate session for SCO youth campers about Sharing from SCO youth, where five SCO youth presented their innovation and experiences to other campers.

Two delegates from SCOLAR Network, Dr. Riaz Ahmad and Mohammad Mahdi Rahmani, shared the SMEs and Metaverse in Education system projects.

Finally, Gao Dawei, Director of Shenzhen youth Federation, delivered his closing remark and welcomed all SCO youth to Shenzhen for future development and collaboration through innovation and cultural exchange. We ended the camp by interacting with each youth and the final light ceremony, concluding this beautiful SCO youth campus in Shenzhen.

This SCO youth camp gave us a remarkable experience of learning about innovation and new technology in the SCO region from SCO youth. As a takeaway, this deep dive into Shenzhen motivated us to work together and collaborate to develop the region.

Feedback from the participants

Dr. Riaz Ahmad

Dear All, I have attended more than 50 international events in China and abroad, but SCO China Youth meeting-2022 was excellent, full of learning, exploration, and teamwork. Being a SCOLAR participant, I found all the members funny and knowledgeable. During the whole journey, it was an impressive event which is unforgettable. Thanks, and I hope to see you again and again.

Ali Qadir

Like always, it was such a wonderful trip full of fun and learning with all of you who joined. Thanks to the host/organizers of the camp and the SCOLAR team for allowing us the opportunity. I will be waiting for the next one.

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