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  • Andy Teale

The Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit in Washington DC

On 15th-18th May, Eco Brixs was invited to Washington DC to showcase our socially inclusive, circular model at the Global Youth Economic Opportunities (YEO) Summit. Dan, our Sales and Collection Manager attended as a youth leader and guest speaker on behalf of Eco Brixs on his first trip to the USA!

The event was organised by Eco Brixs’ partner organisation, Palladium, who arranged the event as part of their Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) programme. It brought together representatives from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and focused on developing strategies to create jobs for young people.

Dan presented on the panel titled “Defining, Creating, and Preparing Youth for Green Jobs” alongside members of UNICEF, USAID, Palladium and other researchers. In the audience were business leaders, development partners, innovators and other financiers.

It was the perfect forum to demonstrate Eco Brixs’ work as our model focuses on green job creation. We do this by paying for every kilogram of plastic waste brought to us by the local community, which helps to clean up plastic and simultaneously creates income opportunities.

And in addition to job creation, we focus on youth employment as well (within our remit to support vulnerable community members). This is because 83% of young Ugandans aged 15-24 are unemployed, so in response, we've actively tried to encourage young people to adopt plastic collection, which has resulted in 71% of our 3,000 plastic collectors being young adults.

Together, the panel discussed socially conscious solutions to tackle the environmental challenges facing the planet and how businesses can drive the positive change required. They can still make a profit, whilst simultaneously supporting the environment and people's economic prospects.

The conference also highlighted how young people need to be empowered in the transition to a greener, more circular economy, as they are often the ones best placed to tackle their local community's challenges.

The event served as a brilliant platform to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and forge meaningful collaborations to help address the world’s environmental problems. A huge thank you to Palladium and the CFYE programme for making our attendance possible!

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