Lebanon is hosting the ChangeMaker Festival for the second year in a row. It successfully proved that lasting and sustainable social change is all in the hands of the youth. They are the future of Lebanon’s network and support system.
The ChangeMaker Festival chose Lebanon to be one of the first hosting countries in the Middle East in 2018. Due to its success last year, it’s occurring again this year with the same initiatives, visions, and problem-solving tactics, for Lebanon’s young generation believes in diversity and colliding forces towards a better future.
Under the patronage of Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and in cooperation with the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut), the Changemaker Festival got organized to create a progressive movement to help us Lebanese in dealing daily with some of our country’s most glaring and heart-wrenching issues.
The festival aims to bridge the gap between Lebanese youth and the educational sector on one hand, and entrepreneurship and its impact on them on the other. Over two days, it brings together young men and women, decision-makers, and leading companies to create large-scale partnerships that stimulate action and progress towards a more sustainable society.
The festival includes participants from Lebanon and abroad, international influencers, CEO’s, social media platform executives and youth leaders in one place, all for one purpose. It also gives teenagers a chance to participate in creating world-changing movements by having startup competitions, where they present their problem-solving ideas and turn them into reality.
It also features some of the most inspiring speakers across industries, cutting edge youth-focused workshops, band and DJ live performances, a food truck line-up, and competitions with $5k to $10k cash prizes.
Various contests are planned, including a pitch competition, a case competition, a painting competition, and a photography competition; all to inspire action among Lebanon’s youth. The awards amount to $1,000,000 in prizes across the globe and $300,000 in Lebanon.
In addition, Lebanese celebrities are invited to meet with the young participants to share their experiences, dedicate their energies and minds to tackling their stories, and creating change.
Among Lebanon’s celebrities who participated last year: Rami Ayach, Badih Abu Chakra, Valerie Abu Chakra, Pamela El-Kik, Mohamed Qais, Anthony Touma, Mark Hatem, Silvio Chiha, Bashar El Jawad, and Nicolas Moawad.
As people of Lebanon who are concerned for ourselves, our neighbors, and the future generations, we care about so many matters, including truth and reconciliation, and how do we want to honor and support one another.
The ChangeMaker Festival, which is expected over 10,000 youth, 250 leading community players, and over 80 top decision-makers, focuses on giving youth and women a platform to empower themselves, to raise their voice, connect, learn from others, and be inspired to benefit our country in the best way possible.
It all comes down to believing in the power of the intersection of education, youth, entrepreneurship, and impact. Knowledge and education are the keys to healthier communities and a better world.
Having this festival will not only bridge the gap between youth, top decision makers, and leading corporations to create broad-based partnerships, but it will also give its people hope in the upcoming days.
Social change takes a lot of effort. Let us pause for a moment and celebrate together our strength in diversity. Lebanon’s people know that strength comes from our differences and in learning our stories. We are hopeful that our love and unity can be brought back to heal any problem and to advance further in life.