Dubbed “The Peshawari Revolution”, the Digital Youth Summit is a new forum with a long-term scope and some major plans for the future of tech in Peshawar. The event may seem like just another in a line of events that have been taking place over the past few years focusing on startups, startup culture and incubation, but it offers something more than these do.
The Digital Youth Summit (DYS) is a two-day event that comprises of a conference and an expo. It will be held in Peshawar on 21st and 22nd May, and while its focus is primarily on Peshawar, it invites people from all over the country to participate and attend.
The event is described as being “a first of its kind technology conference and expo in Pakistan featuring keynotes, panel discussions, and skills shops for young people.” With a motto of “bringing together the next generation of digital innovators in Pakistan,” is it apparent that the Summit intends to bring everyone together- including not only dedicated techies but also people with a vague interest in the area that might be able to learn a lot about this sector.
The Summit is divided into two parts: the first being an invite only conference, and the second a tech expo which is open to the public, though registration is required.
The conference features talks from several prominent people including Awab Alvi from TED, Ahmad Khan from Acumen, Madeeha Hassan from Savaree, Cecilia Paradi-Guilford from the World Bank, Ahsan Mukhtar from Google Business Group, and many others besides these.
There will be much more than just talks happening at this event, as their website explains: “To give you a taste of what to expect, think of 2 days of action filled sessions on design thinking, civic hacking, freelancing 101, proposal writing, coding for everyone, entrepreneurship education, social media, lean startups, iOS and Android Development and much more. There’s something for everyone in DYS.”
The expo will focus on startups and projects of interest, as well as highlighting the themes of the Summit. There are three themes and these are startups, innovation and freelancing. There will be information on startups, the interaction between business and technology, and training sessions. Innovation focuses on building a viable ecosystem in Peshawar and in other Pakistani cities as well, and informational and training-based breakout sessions. The Summits focus on freelancing will highlight the surge in online jobs and getting paid for working from home and how this system works.
A full schedule of events can be viewed here.
Who Is Behind DYS 2014
Believing that Pakistani youth have a lot of talent and a lot to contribute to the building of a digital economy, the DYS 2014 has been organized by Peshawar 2.0, a social enterprise looking to transform the city of Peshawar. Peshawar 2.0 is holding this event in conjunction with Khyber PakhtunKhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB) and the World Bank.
Peshawar 2.0 is a movement to recreate Peshawar “through innovation and entrepreneurship in technology, design and art.” It is a social enterprise interested in creating a space for young people to get involved in this sector, and in creating a supportive network that will assist in establishing an ecosystem. This can be summed up in their mission, which is to “strive to re-build our city though creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship by empowering the youth to be self-sufficient individuals that are able to give back to Peshawar, Pakistan and the World.”
The movers and shakers behind Peshawar 2.0 are enthusiastic, motivated and ready to take on this challenge. They have already been part of other successful events in Peshawar including: Peshawar Civic Hackathon, Startup Weekend Peshawar, TEDxPeshawar, and Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The team includes: Faisal Khan (@esepzai) in charge of Strategy, Muhammad Uzair (@Uzairktk) in charge of Communications, Bilal Ahmad (@BilalAAhmad) in charge of Campus and Salman Ahmad (@SalmanAhmad) in charge of Talent.
Faisal Khan (@esepzai) is the lead visionary behind this movement. With a combined interest in biology and technology, he has now focused his attentions on creating a startup hub in Peshawar.
Getting People Involved
Though this is their first DYS, the collaborators behind the event are making every effort to get as many people interested and involved as possible.
They have stressed this through their message: “This is your time! Make yourself and your country proud for developing the next groundbreaking solution to challenges in sectors of business, health, education, technology, and arts. Mind you, this economy is not just about technology people, as technology is for everyone. It is a massive resource that we as Pakistanis need to exploit for changing our world and communities in a our little way.”
According to ProPakistani, registration for the conference portion of the event is closed as seats have run out, though there may be some slots open for some of the training and breakout session events, and so those interested in this should arrive early to avail this. The expo is available to the public free of cost, and should be an informative, interesting and not to be missed event.