Okan Dursun from Türkiye is among the 17 young leaders for SDG
On 21 September the UN announced the 2022 cohort of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals, recognizing their efforts to bring about a fairer future for people and the planet.
Every two years, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth picks out young change-makers who are at the forefront of attempts to combat the world's most pressing issues, and whose leadership is catalyzing the achievement of the SDGs.
The current cohort of leaders were chosen following an open call for applications earlier this year, which resulted in more than 5,400 applications from over 190 countries. Since launching in 2016, the initiative has collectively reached millions of young people around the world.
The 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are a diverse, highly accomplished group, all between the ages of 17 and 29, who hail from all corners of the world and work across all pillars of the UN, including sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security.
Among them are an aspiring astronaut, a poet, and a Paralympic medalist. Others range from artists to climate entrepreneurs, and education innovators.
Okan Dursun from Türkiye the Founding Member of Twin Science is one of the young leaders selected. Twin Science is the world’s first ed-tech company that combines science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning with SDGs education for young people to raise them as tomorrow’s changemakers. Twin Science has reached more than one million young people with Twin STEM Kits and the Twin mobile app in over 70 countries. Twin Science has been recognized as a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum, won BETT Awards 2020 and the Silver Play for Change Award from Toy Industry of Europe.
As a student, Okan started his journey with the Young Guru Academy, one of Turkey’s leading NGOs, while studying at university. He was selected as one of the 50 young talents among 50,000 applicants to develop impact-driven projects for refugees, orphans, the visually impaired, and others through volunteerism.
Passionate about eliminating inequality in education worldwide, Okan has also been leading a social responsibility project called the World Science Movement (WSM). The project aims to give children better access to STEM education. WSM has reached over 500,000 underprivileged children in Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Turkey. Okan believes that no curious mind should be left behind and he is dedicated towards working for this purpose until reaching all young people around the world.
“The 2022 class of Young Leaders for the SDGs represents an incredibly diverse, intersectional and inspirational group of young people who reflect the very best of global youth activism and advocacy when it comes to challenging the status quo and creating a better world for all,” said Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.
“Even amidst the ongoing pandemic, climate crisis and global instability, these young people demonstrate immense resilience, resourcefulness and leadership in finding innovative solutions to the world’s biggest challenges”.