World Youth Development Forum 2023 - Empowering Youth for Decent Work and Sustainable Development

From October 30 to November 1, 2023, the 2023 World Youth Development Forum and the Thematic Forum on Digital Development Forum unfolded in Beijing. 15 excellent youth actions recommended by the International Labor Organization (ILO) through the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth were selected as the first batch of 100 model projects of the Global Youth Development Action Plan.

On November 3, at the International Youth Entrepreneurship Forum in Dalian, under the theme of ''Youth Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development", experts from the ILO and the Global Initiatives on Decent Jobs for Youth, policymakers, and practitioners from entrepreneurship education programs of various countries, and youth change-makers shed light on good practices and experiences in utilizing strategies and innovative approaches to empower youth entrepreneurship. 

Organized by the All-China Youth Federation, the World Youth Development Forum includes a series of thematic forums youth exchange camps, and other activities to provide a platform and support for youth participation in global sustainable development. The International Labor Organization (ILO), as the UN support unit of the Forum, attended the opening ceremony and plenary session of the conference and delivered speeches at the Thematic Forum on Youth Digital Development and the International Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship. 15 youth-led projects recommended by ILO through the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth were selected as the first 100 typical projects of the Action Plan for Global Youth Development.

With the theme of "Youth Solidarity and Action, Innovation Drives Development", the Forum aimed to promote the youth development agenda and encourage the world's youth to take concrete action to advance the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Forum was attended by 2,000 youth representatives from more than 130 countries through online and offline means.

At the Thematic Forum on Digital Development, Dai Xiaochu, Deputy Director of the International Labor Organization's Bureau for China and Mongolia, highlighted in his speech that young people are the core of the digital era. Young people think through new technologies and are keen to solve problems through new technologies for social and economic development. The International Labor Organization and International Telecommunication Union’s joint digital skills campaign has mobilized partners' commitments targeting more than 25 million young people in digital skills development to increase their opportunities for decent work in the digital era. In his view, technology and digitization would provide young people with opportunities for full and decent work.

Susana Puerto Gonzalez, Senior Youth Employment Specialist at the International Labour Organization (ILO), delivered a keynote speech at the forum, introducing the United Nations Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and the support provided by the ILO to young people in the areas of digital skills and jobs in the digital economy. She argued that, as natives of the digital age, young people have a natural advantage in digital technology and are better equipped to utilize it and create it. Technologies created economic value as well as employment opportunities; young people were both drivers of technological progress and beneficiaries of the development of the digital economy. The Government and the private sector must work together to enable young people to understand the skills needed in the digital age and to receive the appropriate education and training so that they can find a place in the rapidly changing labor market and grow in their careers.

The International Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship, as an important part of the World Youth Development Forum 2023, explored topics such as how youth entrepreneurship can contribute to sustainable development and how Know About Business (KAB) entrepreneurship education programs can play a role in the rapidly changing labor market. More than 100 guests attended the forum, including representatives of domestic government departments, international organizations, KAB program leaders from 10 countries, and selected youth leaders from the Global Action Plan for Youth Development.

In his opening speech, Dai Xiaochu, Deputy Director of the ILO's Bureau for China and Mongolia, mentioned that promoting youth entrepreneurship has great potential and that youth employment and entrepreneurship have always been an important part of the ILO's work.

"The ILO has been committed to promoting youth entrepreneurship and employment globally, promoting entrepreneurship is expected to foster innovation and provide a sustainable economic response that fuels economic growth and creates decent jobs, thus helping people to escape from poverty, and building an innovative system that provides opportunities to young people requires an enormous commitment and joint efforts of the whole society, and we need to work together."

-Dai Xiaochu, Deputy Director, ILO Bureau for China and Mongolia

During the forum, Linda Deelen, Head of the KAB Program at the International Training Center of the International Labor Organization (ILO), systematically introduced the global implementation of the KAB Program and its positive impact on youth entrepreneurship around the world to the delegates. Susana Puerto Gonzalez, Senior Youth Employment Specialist of ILO, shared the opportunities and challenges of youth entrepreneurship for sustainable development. KAB national program leaders from China, Costa Rica, Pakistan, Seychelles, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka introduced the implementation of the KAB program in their respective countries and emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship education for youth development.

Know About Business (KAB) is an entrepreneurship education program developed by the International Labor Organization (ILO), which provides entrepreneurship education and training in vocational colleges and secondary and tertiary education institutions to develop and enhance young people's innovative awareness and entrepreneurial ability, and to prepare young people for the transition from school to the workplace. The ILO and the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) have been working together to implement the KAB program in China since 2005, and over the past 18 years, the KAB program has played an active role in fostering the spirit of innovation, practical ability, and entrepreneurship among college students, and has been successfully integrated into China's youth development plan. By April 2023, the KAB China program has trained more than 11,000 KAB entrepreneurship education teachers in more than 1,840 colleges and universities, set up KAB entrepreneurship clubs for college students in more than 430 colleges and universities, and carried out thousands of innovations and entrepreneurship practice activities every year, making it the most innovative and entrepreneurial college students' clubs in various colleges and universities.


  • International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • All China Youth Federation

  • KAB China Office

Beijing, Dalian , China

Published Date

21 November 2023