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Empowering SA youth as catalysts for change, through tech

by Media Xpose

The youth can revolutionise the way we tackle sustainability challenges. By leveraging their knowledge of digital platforms, they can create innovative solutions that promote environmental sustainability, social development, and economic growth. But it’s up to us to empower them as drivers of change, writes Hasneen Sheela Shereef, TCS Head of Marketing and Communication for Middle East and Africa.

Technology, in the hands of the youth, can play a pivotal role in solving the world’s most pressing problems. That’s why, through the TCS Sustainathon, a flagship competition from TCS,our aim is to harnesses the power of technology to co-create solutions that address global issues.

We engage with students and equip them with the skills needed to become future technology and business leaders. By providing a platform for the next generation to collaborate, we nurture a dynamic ecosystem where ideas can flourish, and impactful solutions can emerge.

What sets the TCS Sustainathon apart is its unique emphasis on collaboration between the youth, private companies, non-profit organsations, and government agencies. Together, they forge a formidable alliance to drive change and build a sustainable future.

Sustainathon stories of success

Last year, TCS brought this global competition to South Africa and engaged with some of the brightest young minds in the country to solve some of the pressing societal challenges. The successes of past winning teams exemplify the transformative potential of the initiative. 

Take team Smurfs Going Green, from Gardens Commercial High School, for instance, who confronted the challenge of food insecurity in South Africa. They recognised the detrimental effects this issue had on other school children, and their community as a whole.

Through their innovative thinking and utilisation of technology, they devised efficient ways to alleviate food insecurity and minimise wastage. Their tireless efforts serve as a testament to the critical role the youth can play to address social challenges and effect meaningful change.

Similarly, team Taste the Waste, from Livingstone High School, embraced the “farm to fork” concept to make locally produced food more accessible to their community. By engaging with local businesses and the community at large, they confronted the challenge of food accessibility and waste head-on.

Their approach highlights the significance of the youth in recognising opportunities and finding solutions that foster care for others. Through the integration of technology, they not only simplified daily challenges but also learned that with critical thinking, real-world issues can be overcome.   

The Waste Warriors, from Louwville High School, directed their attention towards reducing food waste by getting to the root cause of the issue. They suggested the use of cutting-edge technology, such as drones, to map farming areas, optimise crop growth, and monitor soil conditions effectively. 

Through their endeavours, they showcased the pivotal role of the youth in addressing environmental issues while emphasising the importance of raising awareness about the consequences of food waste. Their dedication and commitment exemplify the potential of young minds to lead transformative change.

Inspiring agents of change

These winning projects have the potential to have an impact far beyond their immediate spheres. By addressing crucial challenges like food insecurity, these young innovators can contribute to improved livelihoods, economic growth, and community empowerment. 

Their tech-driven solutions not only provide tangible benefits, but also ignite a sense of awareness. The ripple effect of their endeavours is testament to the power of youth-led initiatives and the role they can play in shaping a sustainable future.

The TCS Sustainathon stands as a beacon of hope, empowering the youth to become drivers of change. By providing a collaborative platform for innovation and problem-solving, it enables young individuals to channel their creativity and passion to create meaningful solutions that positively impact their communities.

As we look ahead this Youth Month, the transformative potential of the next generation becomes increasingly evident. They are taking the future into their own hands, shaping a more sustainable, inclusive world. Their voices and actions have the power to inspire others and drive positive change.

At the same time, it’s up to all of us to support the youth by encouraging critical thinking, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to innovation. Together, we can amplify the voices of the youth and empower them to be the architects of a better tomorrow.

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