I’m off to Doha – any thoughts!

I’m going to Doha in Qatar next week for the Silatech Conference:

“British Council in collaboration with the Qatari Students Network & Silatech is pleased to announce the exciting opportunity for youth to participate in the Silatech Workshop Summit in collaboration with British Council and Qatari Student Network on 6, 7 & 8 June 2009 in Doha, Qatar. This distinctive, high profile and progressive event will undoubtedly trigger a significant step to enhance the role of youth in the Middle East and North Africa as well as to increase the involvement of young Arab entrepreneurs in tackling the issues of employment and under employment that plague the Arab World.”

As you can see – a pretty big topic but the idea is that young entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa will look at how they can actively tackle youth unemployment in their countries and there is a scattering of people from the UK (myself included) to bring our own experiences into the mix.

I will be taking in my extensive experience of the community arts sector and how arts activities can inspire and transform young people and I have more examples than I can remember (I’m hoping that they will be useful – I’m guessing I wouldn’t have been invited otherwise).

But I’m keen to get other people’s views on this, namely:

– what practical impact/influence can young entrepreneurs have on unemployment in their countries?

– how can it go beyond being role models and offering placements?

– does it always need money – or are there more creative ways to bring young people out of unemployment?

OK – I know a big topic – I’m not expecting essays (but do point me to them if you like) and I don’t expect our experiences here in the UK can always be transferable. Thoughts and/or anecdotes on the back of a postcard or on a comment gratefully received!

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