International Development Youth Forum 2017, Japan

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About

Theme for IDYF2017

“What Is Development?  Where Are We Heading?”

Based on our mission to “Design Our Future”, IDYF2017 aspires to redetermine the meaning of ‘development’. Selected participants from all over the world will be invited to discuss what each of us conceive an ideal society and common goals are, in order to draw feasible solutions to provided case studies.
The term ‘development’ has been treated with various definitions and ideas, such as economic growth, social progress, and community development. Different cultural backgrounds, experience, and occupations shape different individual values toward development, and lead to diversity in its ideal goal. Due to this complexity, problems in the field of development would not be solved without the collaborative efforts of individuals and groups. Hence, it is indispensable that those youth, who will play leading roles in the future development fields, share their views and discuss what development is.
IDYF provides the opportunities to gather and cultivate the ability to understand various forms of ideal ‘development’, for world youth who are inspired to make changes in the development fields, by working together toward a mutual goal.

Discussion Theme for IDYF 2017

“Corporation and Development”

Approximately 70% of all capital flowing into developing countries as a result of economic globalization consists of private investments, although ODA is also included as one of the capital flow in that statistics. Corporate activities are rapidly strengthening presence by bringing economic benefits, technological transfers, and job creations. However, they cause problems such as labor exploitation, environmental disruption, and cultural tensions. These are becoming ever more prominent, as varying definitions of ‘development’ are beginning to find recognition.
Therefore, as architects of future development, world youth from around the globe will meet in this forum to discuss the nature of development, including its goals and the roles of multinational corporations, in order to create a new vision for ‘development’ that addresses the limitations of our current economic system.

Case Studies

1. Garment Industry in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has the third largest export of apparel products in the world and is called China Plus One, which means, a lot of industries including garment are moving their production bases from China to Bangladesh as its cost is only one fifth of that in China. 60% of these apparel products are exported to Europe and 23% to North America. Although the garment industry contributes to Bangladesh’s development to a certain level, it does produce several issues. For instance, around 70% of the workers in the garment industry are women (or children) and they suffer from physical and sexual abuse. Unrecognizable number of people are receiving less than the minimum wage. Industrial disaster, such as fire in Tazreen factory and the collapse of Rana Plaza, caused more than 100 or 1000 deaths respectively. In order to solve these problems, the owners and their apparel companies must pay close attention not only to the conditions or rights of the workers at the factories, but to every step in the supply chain process of their products.

2. Soybean Industry in Brazil

Soybean production has contributed significantly to the country’s development in Brazil. Currently, Brazil is the second largest soybean producer in the world and soybean is the second largest product in Brazilian exports. On the other hand, soybean production engenders continuous controversy. Some argue that the expansion of soybean fields causes environmental damage, and that the overproduction of soybean jeopardizes food security of the poor. More recently, critics argue that “land grabbing” by transnational agribusiness deprived land ownership of the local farmers. Furthermore, Brazil currently endeavours to transplant their capitalistic agricultural model to Mozambique under the guidance of Japanese companies and government. However, this is facing a strong resistance from the local population. Thus, the relationship between soybean and Brazil has always been complex and entangled, providing a number of important challenges we must consider for future sustainable development.

3. Cut Flowers Industry in Kenya

Kenya is one of the leading exporter of cut flowers, which started in the 1970s. Today, the country exports their cut flowers to over 60 countries, mainly to European countries and Japan. Floriculture is now the fastest growing sector in the Kenyan economy, providing employment to an estimated number of 50,000 workers. However, behind the success of the global growth of cut flower industry, it has been criticized for its poor labor environment, sexual assault towards female workers, unequal power balance within the cut flower association, complicated supply chain exploiting local producers and many more. Based on this case study, participants will be required to discuss what solutions for ‘development’ there is for Kenyan cut flower industry, including Kenyan locals and the companies/agencies outside of Kenya.

Program Contents for IDYF2017

1. Issue Analysis

In IDYF2017, our aim is to shape shared value of ‘development’ through discussion of our theme: “Corporation and Development”. In order to achieve our aim, we will analyze the structure of problems and identify the fundamental factor that induces the serious situations in three chosen case studies.
For an effective analysis, not only local expert knowledge but also different viewpoints are necessary. The diversity of backgrounds of IDYF participants from all over the world, who are selected by a very competitive selection process in December 2016, would definitely be appreciated throughout this analysis process.

2. Inputs from Experts

In order to seek highly effective and feasible solutions, participants will need clear understanding of the problems by acquiring appropriate and refined information.
In IDYF 2017, we plan to set up lecture or interview opportunities to offer the chances to hear from experts on the problem or solution, so as to gather high-quality information. Participants can learn from the time in which Japan went through the hardships of industrial pollutions and how the country improved the situations.

3. Group Discussion

After the analysis of the selected case studies and inputs of high-quality informations by the experts, there will be a discussion session by each group to plan their own solution. During this group work, participants may develop different views on previous analysis or information, or get clues from existing solutions. Animated and constructive discussion based on diversified backgrounds will be important.

4. Presentation & Feedback

After one week of intense sessions, there will be an opportunity to do presentations as the outcome of our forum for the public audience. We will invite experts from a wide variety of fields to the presentation and seek for advice on your solutions. On the next day of the presentation, we will give you time for the participants to improve their solutions, based on the given feedback.

What Makes IDYF Special?

1. Incredible Diversity

In IDYF2015, there were 4500 applicants  from approximately 162 developed or developing countries around the globe, and 44 successful youth from 34 countries participated. In the following year, we had 7 participants from Pekalongan region, Indonesia, where the case study of the year took place, and 35 other participants from about 27 countries who were chosen participated. People had different occupations such as university students, doctors, United Nation workers, technicians, journalists, or high school students. Youngsters who play various roles in different fields were able to work together and discuss the issues in international development. IDYF appreciates its participants’ great diversity.

2. An International Forum of Youth, by Youth, for Youth

Another unique part of IDYF is that it is an international forum of youth, by youth, for youth. This is the best environment for the young participants to think of new and original ideas. Also, not only the results of the forum, but also the process itself contains values and experiences that participants can take home.

3.Discussion based on Rich Information from the Field

Even though IDYF is an international forum for the next generation, we do not believe that it should end there at the end of one week’s forum by thinking about the ideal future of our society. When we face the reality, it is when we see the future. Therefore, at IDYF2017, we will spend greater time for interviews and feedback from professionals of the development field and encourage discussions with more details, statistics and information.

4.Support from Experts

Every year at IDYF, we have professionals from the international development field to give us lectures, and feedback. They also are the judges for the final presentation. Thanks to these kind supports, participants will be able to learn the forefronts and think deeply about international developments.

Eligibility

  • Those who are 18 to 28 years old
  • Those who have not participated in previous IDYFs
  • Fluency in English for discussion and presentation
  • Must be able to attend all programs during the forum

Desirable Attitudes

  • Active in discussion
  • Open-minded with creative ideas and diversified values
  • Eager to tackle development problems, using the experience of IDYF2017

Intake

Approximately 50.

Participation Fee

If you are selected to participate in IDYF 2017, you will be required to pay 25,000 JPY, which covers your accommodation, meals, and transportation fees during the forum (March 12th to 19th 2017).

*It doesn’t include transportation fees from the airport to the venue, accommodation fee before and after the program, or insurance.
*Optional tour on 19th is not covered.
*Payment details will be announced after the results of the selection.

Self-funded and Scholarship Applicantions

IDYF 2017 has two separate application types, one for self-funded candidates, and another for scholarship candidates. Note that you cannot apply for both.

Scholarships will be given to only one to three applicants with financial difficulties, which will cover
1. Flight tickets
2. Participation fee

Applicants who wish to apply for the scholarship must submit the application form for scholarship applicants, not the one for the self-funded applicants.  Those who passed the document screening will be invited to Skype interview.

How To Apply

Please submit online application form by 27 November 2016, 23:59 JST (GMT/UTC   +09:00). You can find the application forms for self-funded candidates and scholarship candidates in the original web page.

 *Note that you cannot apply for both.

Essay questions in the application

1. Why do you want to participate in IDYF2017? (100-150 words)
2. What is one problem in the development field that you are most motivated to solve? (10-50 words)
3.1. Although there are many definitions for the term ‘development’, how would you define it? (100-200 words)
3.2. How do you think corporations can contribute to achieve the development, which you answer in question 4.1? (100-150 words)
4. What kind of role(s) have you played in the past group work you did? (approximately 100 words)
5. Describe your personality in one phrase. (approximately 20 words)
Example: “smiley facilitator -contribute to heated discussions-”
6. (*Scholarship applicants only) How will you contribute to IDYF2017? What are your advantages or past experiences that can be utilized during the forum? Please tick ONE box below as a theme of your essay. (200-300 words)
(1)Skills, experience, or knowledge in relation to "Garment industry in Bangladesh"
(2)Skills, experience, or knowledge in relation to "Soybean industry in Brazil"
(3)Skills, experience, or knowledge in relation to "Cut flowers industry in Kenya"
(4)Other skills, experience or knowledge

Application Procedure

Application Deadline: 27 November 2016, 23:59 (JST)

  • Applications that arrive after the deadline shall not be accepted.
  • A confirmation email will be sent after successful submission. If not, please send us an email.
  • You can submit the application form only once. Even if you submit more than twice, only the first one will be counted.

Interview for Scholarship candidates

  • Those who passed the document screening will be invited to Skype interview.
  • The schedule of interview will be informed via email by December 6th, and the interview will be held from 7th to 11th, December.
  • Interviews are not held for self-funded candidates

Announcement of Selection

  • Successful applicants will be notified of their results on our website by December 18th. We will post the list of the applicants who passed our selection.
  • If you are selected as a member of IDYF2017, we will send you an e-mail to confirm your participation in our forum. In case you didn’t pass this selection process, we will not send any information to you.
  • Once you passed the selection, you cannot cancel your participation.

Other Things to Note

Visa Arrangements

Participants are to arrange required visa on their own.
As this may take some time, please complete it well before your trip to Japan. If you require any documents (e.g. invitation letter), please inform us so that we could provide you with them.
Visa expenses are not included in the participation fee.

Accommodation before and after the program

For those who wish to stay in Japan before or after the forum, please arrange your accommodation by yourself.
The expenses will not be covered by IDYF 2017.

Optional Sightseeing Tour

On March 19th, sightseeing tour will be organized in Tokyo. The details of the tour will be announced later.
*It is not covered by participation fee for the forum (25,000JPY).

For more information please click on "Further official information" below.

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