From December 9-11 in Oslo, 16 young people from Europe will join 12 youth from Asia, as participants in Telenor’s second annual Youth Summit. The event, in cooperation with the Nobel Peace Center, is designed to bring together young, social entrepreneurs, who will arrive in Oslo armed with ideas for positive change through use of mobile technology.
Here’s a quick look at the 16 participants from Europe:
Melania Berbatova, 20, Bulgaria
I am a 20-year-old Computer Science student from Bulgaria. I’ve always been passionate about education, understanding how things and societies work, being part of a great team and taking on challenges. That’s how my project started… I had the chance to meet other people who were interested in education, and we concluded that making access to online education easier will improve Bulgarian society in many ways. I hope that at the Telenor Youth Summit, I’ll be able to meet other youngsters who are interested in education and who can give me priceless advice from their perspectives. Ten years from now, I just want – no matter if I’m an educator, programmer, writer, manager or scientist – to be an influential and useful person, with a fun and noisy family by my side, of course.
Tsvetelina Kalcheva, 19, Bulgaria
I come from Sofia, Bulgaria and I am currently in my second year of bachelor studies at Sofia University, St Kliment Ohridski. Growing up, I had an array of hobbies including volleyball, filmmaking and photography. But as the years passed I became particularly interested in graphic design, NGO work as a member of the youth section of the UN association of Bulgaria, and politics. I chose the latter when it came to higher education. To my delight I was able to combine my passions under the “Smartigraphs” project by educating youth about politics through the use of infographics. Through the Telenor Youth Summit, I hope to have the opportunity to develop this project further. In 10 years I might be anywhere in the world – the UN, my own graphic design studio or any profession that will enable me to contribute to society.
Asbjørn DM Sørensen, 20, Denmark
I am 20 years old and this summer I just graduated High School. While I studied – I also worked on my project ‘NGO Millionaire’ – which I now work on full time and like to call the future media platform. We have made it possible for everybody with a smartphone to support three of the world’s biggest issues – displacement, illness and underprivileged children – for free. Companies use more than 10 billion (Danish) kroners on advertisements in Denmark every year, and it is a small portion of this money that we would like to give to relief work instead. That’s why we made an app that connects charity to advertising. Some people would call it ad-supported crowdfunding; but basically you just look at advertisement to support relief work. My dream is to take NGO Millionaire international and fundraise billions for people in need. And I hope Telenor Youth summit is the first step on the road, in order to expand my competence and network, which will be useful in my future work and for the distribution of the NGO Millionaire app.
Thomas K Petersen, 25, Denmark
I am a happy and ambitious person with a never-ending wish to learn, improve and apply my learnings. I was born and raised in Aarhus, Denmark, where I am living with my 3-year-old son. This summer I graduated with a Master’s degree in Science, Technology and Society studies, which combines my two favorite subjects – information technology and sociology. I am currently working as a Junior Business Process Consultant at LEGO. How to improve the quality of life through information technology is a subject that I seem to think about constantly. Through my studies, I have been lucky to learn many different theoretical perspectives that I can apply to various social challenges, and I hope to contribute with these learnings at Telenor Youth Summit. In 10 years, I hope I am still as passionate about this subject and incorporate it in my professional career.
Márk Matusz, 18, Hungary
A loving family, great schools and teachers, sympathetic friends and critical thinking. They all had their role awakening my social interests. I’m only 18 years old, completing my last year in the high school, and heading for the final exams…not to mention the university applications in the UK. This year is a changing point in my life; however, I’m deeply convinced I must work for the wealth of humanity. I believe every one of us deserves love, hope, respect and tolerance. For me, as an open-minded person, it’s natural to see that the world is ours and only with cooperation can we bring happiness to those who are not as lucky as we are. Therefore I endeavour to be self-aware and try to show other people their responsibility to change unacceptable social phenomena. Telenor is giving me chance to meet other socially committed representatives to discuss all emerging topics and ensure resolutions with the help of mobile technology.
Kornélia Bálint, 21, Hungary
I’m extremely thankful to the inspiring mentors who have pushed me to achieve my dreams all way from the dusty classroom of my Eastern-Hungarian hometown. Within only five years I became a delegation leader at the national sessions of the Model European Parliament. I volunteered locally and globally, served as committee president at international Model United Nations sessions. I was among the best speakers and received an invitation from a Hungarian MP to visit him in Brussels and meet diplomats from the European Parliament. I was selected by the American Embassy to represent Hungary at a Department of State program, an academic global institute. The pinnacle was my completion of the challenging International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. It changed my entire outlook on the world. Now it’s time for me to give something back for all the support that I have received so far to achieve my dreams.
Nemanja Ostojic, 20, Montenegro
Ever since I was a kid, I have been passionate about technology. That passion expanded over time, and now besides technology I love different fields of economy (which I currently study), entrepreneurship and helping young people. The thing that annoys me is that people (here) are so afraid of change. They are just not willing to risk, despite having great ideas. That’s what inspired me to come up with a solution. I want to make it a bit easier for their ideas to become reality. This crowdfunding website will do exactly that, by funding ideas people like and find innovative. I hope that the Summit will help me improve my idea and will broaden my network. In 10 years I see myself as an owner of successful start-ups, being recognized as a leader of digital change, who is also funny, witty and regularly sarcastic.
Jovana Biga, 21 Montenegro
I’m third-year student at the School of Economics at the University of Montenegro. I’m very engaged in many extracurricular activities such as: volunteering in the NGOs “Digitalizuj.me” and “Suncev zrak – svet u nasim ocima”, as well as the tech company ITSystems. I’m part of the organization committee of Spark.me conference, as well student ambassador for Prezi. I like to travel and explore other cultures, so I attend Erasmus trainings and forums for young people all around the world. I’m really passionate about new technologies and the way they are changing the world. I want to use the opportunity that Telenor is giving us to try to make an impact, using great advice that we will get in Oslo, as well as exchanging opinions with young and ambitious people all around the world. In 10 years I see myself as person who will be involved in changing the world.
Karl Oskar Teien, 26, Norway
Growing up on an organic farm in small-town Norway, I spent most of my time riding around on pigs with a black cape, thinking I was some Norwegian version of Zorro. I eventually grew up, and at age 17 I left home to live with people from 90 countries at United World College, and realized that if there was one thing uniting our generation, it was desire to have a positive impact on the world around us. My own search for positive impact led me to work with organizations in Argentina and Peru, go to the Arctic with WWF to speak up against climate change, study in Canada, Spain, South Africa, and United States, and most recently, launch a social business in India. I hope to continue working for financial inclusion in the years ahead, and believe this summit will help bring each of our worlds a little closer together.
Kathrine D Kvinnsland, 19, Norway
I am from the western part of Norway. I had a difficult time growing up and I moved into foster care when I was 15 years old because of child neglect. My own experiences inspired me to start an organization with the goal to make mental illness less taboo among youth. My main passion is to help other people in need. At the Telenor Youth Summit I hope to get inspired and get more ideas on how mobile and digital communication can improve quality of life and address important issues. I am now studying a bachelor degree in sports, outdoor life and health to become a teacher. I think that teaching is a meaningful job. Growing up under child neglect I can remember how much my teachers meant to me and I would like to be that important person for someone as well.
Yulia Gilimyanova, 21, Russia
Currently I am living in Moscow, but my hometown is in another region of Russia – Bashkortostan Republic, Ufa city. I study Mathematics at Moscow State University. This summer I joined the internship program in telecom company Vimpelcom. I really enjoy working there and I have learned a lot. In my free time I enjoy reading, drawing, learning languages and travelling. I also like spending time with my friends with whom I visit theaters, take part in different competitions and quizzes. Participating in Telenor Youth Summit is a big honor for me. I have always wanted to help people and to create a social project, but I think I do not have enough experience and knowledge in this field. The TYS will give me an opportunity to exchange ideas and listen to the opinions of the participants.
Inna Vlasova, 21, Russia
I was born in Orel, Russia, and last year I received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Now I’m studying for a Master’s degree in Business. I’m also working for the telecommunications company Vimpelcom as an intern in the compensation and benefits department. Besides that I try to be not socially indifferent to what is happening in the world. Every day thousands of people need help. It may be financial, moral or any other assistance. There is developing startup called “donorsearch” in Russia that makes it possible quickly find donors using mobile communications. I believe that this project will motivate other participants of the Telenor Youth Summit and in future, it will be possible to look for donors using this application all over the world!
Martin Pantović, 18, Serbia
I come from Serbia and I currently am in High School. I’ve participated in four international summits so far, and I loved all of them. You always learn something cool and meet interesting people there. Since I go to High School, I didn’t have time to be an employee, but I’m a basketball referee on weekends. At the Telenor Youth Summit, I want to point out to people that we have a big problem in our society that nobody speaks of. My passion is improving education system in world, and the idea that I’ll be presenting at the event is a Debating Social Network, that will serve to start the change, I hope. It 10 years, I’ll like to have nine years of experience in working to improve education in Serbia, and get a PhD in Psychology.
Daniel Šaranović, 23, Serbia
I am a student in my final year, within the Faculty of Mathematics. My studies are oriented towards computer science. As such, my passion is programming and creating new tools and programs for people to use…programs of all kinds, from fun to useful, from simple to very complex. In programming and mobile technology, I see a great potential, as this can make life easier, solve important problems efficiently and increase the quality of everyday life. At Telenor Youth Summit I expect to hear new ideas, learn new things in programming and mobile technology, and improve my idea through various discussions with talented young people. In 10 years I expect to be in an IT Security team of one of the major IT companies and improving in areas that I am passionate about.
Jonathan Ekstrand, 20, Sweden
I’m from Sweden, and I recently graduated from upper secondary school. My passion is to bring new ideas to reality, to help younger people discover their potential and bring their innovations to reality. With Telenor Youth Summit, I hope to have new experiences and get to know more people around the world, and see how they combine innovation, society and making a difference. In 10 years, I see myself doing something meaningful. I would love to be the founder of my own investment company, specializing in young people. But no matter what, in 10 years, I hope that I have found something that I enjoy doing and something I can be proud of. It’s not your accomplishments that characterize you, it’s who you are. And remember, the sky is your limit.
Sara Magnusson, 24, Sweden
I’m an engineering student from Sweden. My biggest passion is Science/Tech and I believe it’s through technology that we’ll make this world a better place. In my company “The SwedishScienceFactory”, we run after-school activities with cool topics such as Robotics, Chemistry and Programming for kids all over Sweden by cooperating with schools and universities. I hope to meet cool entrepreneurs from all over the world at Telenor Youth Summit and to learn more about the challenges they face and discuss how we together can achieve change. I hope to be part of a network that can help me improve my company and at the same time enable me to support other entrepreneurs in their effort to make the world a better place.
My dream is to be the leader of a tech company that is improving people’s life, perhaps in innovative energy sources or smart homes.