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Nestlé and Microsoft partner on hackathon to promote digital inclusion of youth

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VEVEY, Switzerland – The Global Alliance for YOUth, in partnership with Nestlé, HCLTech, Microsoft and Publicis, has recently opened the registration for its first hackathon, Code4YOUth. Powered by the global technology company HCLTech, the hackathon aims to promote digital inclusion, spark creativity, and support young people develop digital skills.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) there are currently 70 million young people unemployed around the world, and that number is still rising. “Young people are a source of inspiration and creativity. In a context of a digital revolution, it only makes sense to invite future generations to help us drive the development of innovative and inclusive solutions to achieve an equitable access to digital devices and the internet,” said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé’s CEO Zone Latin America and Chair of The Global Alliance for YOUth.

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All hackathon participants will meet virtually and work collaboratively on solutions according to four different challenge tracks:

  • Digital Inclusivity, or giving people more access to the internet and digital devices as well as opportunities to develop the skills to use them.
  • Skilling for Success, or identifying ways to make relevant digital learning experiences available for anyone.
  • Mental Health, or creating digital tools and services to support people’s well-being including to prevent the negative effects of exposure to digital platforms.
  • Digital accessibility, or designing products, services, vehicles, and buildings (environments) that can be used by people with disabilities.

Participants will have a total of six weeks to develop a prototype and submit it to the jury panel. During the hackathon they will benefit from trainings and expert mentors from prominent universities, leading companies and start-ups, and international organizations, including IMD, the University of St. Gallen, Cambridge University, World Bank, Resilyou consultancy and NielsenIQ.

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Winners will get the chance to share their ideas with top industry leaders, get the opportunity to go the annual technology conference Vivatech and to receive financial rewards from a prize pool of USD 25,000.

“We are looking to collate and identify ideas through this hackathon which can have a long-lasting impact on improving digital inclusion. Fostering young, enthusiastic talent from places where traditionally digital technologies do not reach can be a true game changer in uncovering tangible solutions for digital accessibility,” said Ashish Kumar Gupta, Chief Growth Officer, Europe and Africa, Diversified Industries, HCLTech.

The Code4YOUth Hackathon is open for developers, data scientists, college students or anyone who is passionate about digital inclusion and looking for a safe and encouraging space to team-up, brainstorm, explore new ideas and learn. The registration opens today, February 28. Projects must be submitted by April 25, 2023. Find more details on the Code4YOUth Hackathon.

Laurent Freixe, commented on the launch: “We are very happy to launch and support this new initiative. It is in line with Nestlé’s ambition to help 10 million young people get access to economic opportunities. Digital capabilities are crucial in today’s world. We hope that through this platform, young people will be able to expand their skillset, create opportunities for themselves and generate value for business and society alike.”

Nestlé founded the regional Alliance for YOUth in Europe in 2014 with the purpose of helping prepare young people to enter the professional world. After its successful launch, the Alliance was expanded to the Pacific Alliance countries in 2017 (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), the Mercosur countries in 2018 (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Sub-Saharan Africa region in 2019 (South Africa, Angola and Ivory Coast). At Nestlé, we are committed to helping youth by joining forces with our colleagues from the private sector to provide access to the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the world of work.

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