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It starts with the family, but government should inspire youth to innovate

13 February 2017


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Innovation starts with young thinkers, but they need support for their ideas to see the light, according to young innovators speaking their minds at World Government Summit 2017.

Innovation starts with young thinkers, but they need support for their ideas to see the light, according to young innovators speaking their minds at World Government Summit 2017.

“People usually support you when you’re successful, but we need support from the community around you,” said Fatima Al Kaabi, a young Emirati innovator.

She described how her family supported her by moving her to another more supportive school.

“I got bullied at the other one because I played with screwdrivers instead of barbies. Only once I got news coverage, my former teachers were very proud of me, one of them had told me I wouldn’t make it onto the stage until 30, and I made it when I was 13,” she said.

Thomas Suarez, a young American innovator, who's chief engineer at CarrotCorp found more interest among his fellow pupils.

“I started an app club for other kids at school and it definitely was mutually beneficial, as they teach you as you teach them,” he said.

He pointed out that the internet offered a wealth of resources to draw from.

“The internet is a huge support, and so are tech talks, but friends and family are important. In the UAE the government driving young people into innovation and technology is super important, providing foundations, inspiration and motivation,” Thomas said.

“If there is no big entity, which says go do it then it may be not very popular, but have a government entity say you should go and innovate, it becomes a cool thing to do,” he added.

Fatima couldn’t agree more, remarking she admired the pro-activity of the Ministry of Youth.

“They have turned youth hobbies into services and hope they can share this with other countries the ministry’s experience. I set my goal to become minister one day myself,” she revealed.