There’s a lot to think of when it comes to the future. Around the world, we hear news on the advancement of technology, the different project for a positive societal change and the stories of individual, famous celebrities or local heroes, who are inspiring progress in different societies. But when we look at our own communities and see the problems that plague other parts of our nation, we know there is much work that needs to be done. In the pursuit of the development of all countries, the United Nations has come up with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each member-country pledged to this cause is challenged to attain each SDG, which focuses on a specific growth area ranging from Poverty Alleviation to Environmental Protection (e.g. Individual Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Affordable and Clean Energy). The term “sustainable”, means that these are practices that can be done today, which have a positive impact on the future.

These are monumental tasks that are worth paying attention to, and the youth have a big role to play today in the journey towards the achievement of the SDGs, as the leaders of tomorrow. This is precisely why the youth needs to be aware and empowered to act on these goals.

The Civitas Asia National Student Conference 2017 is a three-day conference happening on March 1 to 3, 2018 in the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P). The conference, which is commonly known as CivAsia, serves as an avenue for a reasoned conversation on socio-political concerns. In this arena, youth leaders from the Philippines and its neighboring countries discuss socio-political concerns. CivAsia 2018 focuses on the theme: “Ready, Set, Go: OTW to Sustainability,” which is inspired by the role of millennials in the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals.

This year, CivAsia’s theme “Ready, Set, Go: OTW to Sustainability” aims to educate millennials about the first four Sustainability Development Goals (SDG), namely: Poverty, Zero Hunger, Health and Well-being, and Quality Education. These were specifically chosen because of their focus on the development of the individual person, who is the driver of change in society. Each day, pressing issues need to be addressed and solved, but how these issues are tackled is another important question that needs to be asked. Millennials are challenged to not only come up with good solutions but to come-up with innovative ideas that have a big impact on the future, for the benefit of the generations to come. This is the heart of CivAsia 2018.  Experts and leaders in the diverse fields of politics, health, economics, technology, social enterprising, arts, and journalism, will share their knowledge and expertise as they meet with the youth and talk about the current state of the country is in terms of the SDGs, as well as the different practices and interventions that they can use to lead the progress of these goals in their own communities.

In the spirit of Sustainability, which is “action at present for the future”, the participants are challenged to use their creative ideas to make society a better place to live in through concrete actions. In the age where technology and innovation have brought not only a more informed population, but has also opened the boundaries for anyone and everyone to start meaningful progress. Who says the youth cannot contribute?

CivAsia was established in 1997 by student leaders from UA&P with the aim to help bridge the Asia-Pacific community, assert the role of the academe in development, and sustain and nurture the leaders of the Asia-Pacific region. Since its conceptualization, the annual conference has consistently tackled topics and issues that concern the modern society by activating insightful discussions between student delegates and suitable professionals.

For more information, visit our website civasia.uap.asia, or follow CivAsia on Facebook (@civitasasia) and Twitter (@CivAsia). Register at Typeform (https://civasia2018-tagged.typeform.com/to/CEzCKk).

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