How Chennai-based Indian Youth Café is part of the Museum for the UN Live's My Mark: My City campaign

The youth organisation recently entered into a partnership with Museum for the United Nations to spark an online discussion to design environment-friendly cities of tomorrow
Orientation session with youth at Urban Desi House (Pic: Indian Youth Café)
Orientation session with youth at Urban Desi House (Pic: Indian Youth Café)

The Indian Youth Café, a youth-led start-up in Chennai that conducts various events, promotes young talent, hosts co-working spaces and works with government agencies for the betterment of youth, recently entered into a ten-year-long association with Museum for the United Nations, a new and visionary global museum that exists as a digital platform that young people around the world can have free access to.

The 10-year-partnership will focus on bringing together passionate individuals, communities, start-ups, innovators, etc to galvanise action to address climate change and other environmental issues. “The first step in this process is being part of a campaign called My Mark: My City. This initiative by the Museum of the United Nations-UN Live in collaboration with Indian Youth Cafe is asking young people to imagine and act on positive visions of our future cities. The campaign is already live in many cities like Anchorage, London, Copenhagen, Karachi, and many other cities are joining in. Cities are home to the majority of the world’s population, and fundamental to the challenge of climate change. If we act now, then we can create sustainable cities that work for people and the planet. This is a social experiment, a pilot project to be honest, and we want it to reach as many people as possible,” says Sehaj Sahni, founder, Indian Youth Café, adding that he has already reached out to colleges and schools in the city to be a part of this campaign.

“This is a platform where anyone and everyone can come forward and share their ideas, essentially what they think can help save the future of our cities as urbanization is contributing greatly to climate change. In 10 years, our cities will become uninhabitable if we do not come up with proper solutions to avert such a situation. Ideas can be posted online using relevant hashtags and voila! You can be part of the climate conversation too,” he explains.

The initiative also encourages different points of view and perspectives from different occupations, as the organisers believe that only a diverse discussion can yield significant results. “We are trying to focus on advocacy rather than activism now. Every voice is welcome. In the long run, we want to create global partnerships also. Say, for example, if a person staying in Chennai comes up with a solution to deal with the cyclones in the US, then their solution will be tagged to that particular city and it will also start an international discussion thread on the same.  We will also want the outcomes that are derived from local workshops to be shared globally! Anything is possible,” Sehaj points out.

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