Get the deets on the Global Innovation Youth Leadership Summit (aka GIYLS)
Editorial Team member Jade Cave chatted with Manogna (the community financial director over at GIYLS) and Shraddha (the marketing and media specialist over at GIYLS) to learn more about this pretty darn cool initiative.
JC: Can you guys tell me a little bit about GIYLS? Who are you guys? What do you do? What’s your mission?
Manogna: GIYLS, the full form is the Global Innovation Youth Leadership Summit and mainly our mission right now in one sentence is to educate teens about entrepreneurship and encourage teen leadership in low to middle-income countries. One thing we’ve already done in the past is a summit in Liberia, where we promoted teen entrepreneurship and did this by getting speakers from all around the world etc.
So you’ve already done a summit - what are your plans for the future?
Manogna: We actually planned to have some events during the summer, but unfortunately due to the circumstances we had to cut that all up. But we are still trying to cope with the circumstances, and we’re trying to host a virtual diversity concert. And through this, we want to help not only the COVID relief funds, but also help teens in other countries learn about entrepreneurship. Another thing we have going on right now is an ambassador/ expansion program where we’re trying to get ambassadors from each country around the world to stand up for their own communities because YOU know what you need for your community rather than us. We have a vague idea, but being in that community you know more about what’s going on, what you need, and how you can help. That’s where we come in. We want to get these ambassadors and almost train them, and be with them and help them make an impact in their own community and make a difference.
What was the inspiration behind the Virtual Diversity Concert, how did the idea come into existence?
Manogna: One trend that’s going around right now is at home how you can make a difference, and you’ve seen at home challenges and at home concerts. Through this, we want to really help people get a distraction, and also help the world, because not only are they getting entertainment even though they’re at home, the world’s just so crazy right now, but also by joining this concert you’re making an impact and helping people that need help.
Shraddha: It brings in a couple of themes like diversity, relief for COVID. As well as just helping the community in general. It’s good as a distraction and as a way to bring the community together in a way.
The artists that will be featured - who are they and how were they chosen?
Shraddha: We’re focusing on younger artists as of now, like less well-known artists, because we were planning to do kind of competition, as in the winner gets to donate to their preferred organization, something like that. As of now, we’re still reaching out to new artists.
So you’re still reaching out to young artists - does that mean that a young artist that would like to participate could contact GIYLS and be considered for this initiative?
Manogna: Of course, yes.
Manogna: Right now we’re planning to get it in by the start of the second week of June, but they can always ask us and we can find some way to get them in.
What kind of art forms are you showcasing?
Manogna: Right now we want mainly musicians and dancers because we want to do a live stream and that’s the kind of entertainment you find on a live stream, but if we find something that is just outstanding and we have to have it, it’s different, of course, we’re gonna let them in!
What sets the Virtual Diversity Concert apart from other celebrity at home concerts and events that we’ve seen? What makes this special?
Shraddha: The main factor is the diversity theme, it brings people from all across the world and it brings awareness to how different we are and how beautiful each culture is. But also how blends with helping the community and supporting ones in need - I guess that’s what gives it a different touch.
Manogna: Another unique thing about this concert is though we do have some adults, mostly it’s going to be student drives, teen or even youth-driven, so that’s one thing. It’s that you can still make an impact even if you’re at home and you’re not at school or able to volunteer outside, you can still make an impact at home and help in any way you can. Even if you don’t have any money to donate you can still donate your talent. That’s what we’re going for.
As of right now how many cultures, demographics and groups are showcased?
Manogna: We have some people from Africa and India trying out and also trying to get some more people from America, but different diversities trying out. We’ll still have to see, but nothing’s set in stone as of yet, we’re trying to be as diverse as possible.
How are the funds going to be distributed? What organizations are you looking at?
Manogna: Our idea right now is that if it is a competition kind of thing, the best artist, or one of our members can choose the organization or COVID relief fund we’re donating it to, because most of the time some of these artists have their own interest of relief fund, so they can choose. Most of it will go to COVID relief, and GIYLS will keep some of it to support the ambassador programme in the future.
Could you elaborate on the competition aspect of this?
Manogna: It’s not set in stone, we’re still going with some ideas as things may change in the future. What we’re thinking is we’ll have these younger artists do their things, and if we have enough audience members, they will vote on which artist is the best, and the winner will choose the organization/ relief fund that the funds will go to, but we still have to see how things go.
What are you most excited about with this initiative?
Shraddha: I am really excited that this is a global thing, it kind of involves everyone, and being connected throughout the world is something special, it’s not just your community it’s everyone. Plus diversity is just something really great!
Manogna: for me, the most important thing is the fact that a lot of youth think that because they don’t have an income or they don’t have anything to give they can’t do anything, but donating doesn’t have to be just money it can be through any manner. And I really want to empower that and bring in leadership. Because you don’t really have to be an adult or someone with a job to actually be a leader, you can do it at any point. I really want to empower these youth to make a difference because you don’t have to be something to make a difference, you can just be a normal person.
When, where, and how can we watch?
Manogna: Right now we’re working on some technology stuff, but right now our goal is around the start of the second week of June, that time when summer slowly starts, and as for the platform we’re thinking Youtube live stream so people can join as it’s streaming. Practically, where? At home. You can just watch it at home, Youtube. That’s basically it.
Any final notes or comments?
Manogna: Anyone is allowed, there are no restrictions, make sure that if you really want to do this please let us know. We’re trying to get as much interest as we can, and if you feel like you can do something - we’ll have a spot for you. You don’t only have to be talented in music or dance to be a part of this, I’m sure we can find some way you can help us. If you’re interested in any part of this we just want you to join. That’s it.