On behalf of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, we are pleased to announce that in celebration of International Youth Day this year we will be hosting the first-ever fully virtual #YouthLead Innovation Festival from 12 to 13 August 2021 (8:30 to 11:30 am EDT).

Over the challenging past year, we have seen how young people continue to be a source of inspiration and hope for the world through their resilience, persistence and innovative solutions. Yet, too often, many young innovators from vulnerable and marginalized communities continue to be left behind. With this in mind, the #YouthLead Innovation Festival seeks to highlight the role of all young people as innovators and solution-makers, as well as the efforts that partners have led to support them, by celebrating youth-led solutions that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and COVID-19 response and recovery. 

Over the course of the two days, the Festival will feature sessions focused on six thematic tracks, including: Health & Wellbeing, Climate Action & Biodiversity, Economic Empowerment & Employment, Digital Technology, Food Security, and Education. 

Here’s how you can engage and support:

Spread the word on social media. A full Trello board for International Youth Day and the Innovation Festival is available here (, with new content being added regularly in the lead up to the event. Make sure to use #YouthLead and #YouthDay, and tag @UNYouthEnvoy in your posts.

Encourage young people and others in your network to register. Registration for the Festival is now open here ( and will remain open until the event begins. For those who are unable to register in advance, it will also be streamed live @UNYouthEnvoy on YouTube and Facebook.

Celebrate examples of innovative #YouthLead solutions. As a core component of the Festival, we have identified a range of youth-led innovations supported by partners across and around the UN system. We’re encouraging others to join us in amplifying youth voices and ideas throughout the month of August by sharing these solutions across your channels (assets are available on the Trello board here:

Submit videos from young innovators as part of our TikTok Takeover. To ensure we’re providing spaces for the voices of youth in all of their diversity, we’re encouraging young people to submit videos to be featured as part of a #YouthLead takeover of the @UNYouthEnvoy TikTok account throughout the month of August (videos can be submitted here:; please feel free to circulate this opportunity widely to your networks). Young people can also participate directly by using #YouthLead and stitching a video from @UNYouthEnvoy which will be posted in the coming days.

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