On 20 August 2022, UNU-IAS launched the Youth Ambassadors' Forum, a series of workshops on the topic of "Building Community-centered Innovations to Promote Sustainable Development and Safeguard Intangible Cultural Heritage". The workshops are part of a UNU-IAS project aiming to enhance the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, using information and communications technology (ICT). They are being held from August to October 2022.
The first workshop (20–21 August 2022) engaged 27 youth ambassadors in training sessions on Luang Prabang cultural heritage, the importance of community-level ICH, and ICH safeguarding approaches and their linkages with the SDGs. Participants were introduced to the design thinking process as a tool to create innovative solutions to safeguard community-level ICH. Design thinking guides learners to a deeper understanding of others' needs, and encourages them to think and act collaboratively and creatively. It helps transform complex challenges by capturing unexpected insights to promote innovation centered on real-life problems.
The youth ambassadors will work in teams with local ICH artisans to identify and understand the phenomena that threaten ICH, and create solutions to address these challenges. Participants will deliver their final presentations on 15 October 2022.
The Youth Ambassadors’ Forum is part of the Grant for Global Sustainability project, implemented by UNU-IAS in collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok, Tokyo Institute of Technology, the International Training Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (CRIHAP), the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC), the Luang Prabang World Heritage Office, and the Luang Prabang Department of Information, Culture and Tourism. Further information on the Luang Prabang Youth Ambassadors Forum schedule is available on the UNESCO website.