May 25, 2024
YOUTH INNOVATION HUB — The Youth Innovation Hub has been opened at the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center on Sept. 1 in a bid to involve the young people in ideating and implementing innovative solutions for tackling safety challenges of the city. — Neil Clark Ongchangco

The Baguio youth are invited to unleash their creativity and embrace collaboration as the city government opened the Baguio Youth Innovation Hub at the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center on Sept. 1.

City Planning, Development and Sustainability Officer Ar. Donna Tabangin said the Synergize Innovation and Gravitate Leadership towards Adaptive Technologies or Siglat Youth Innovation Hub is a safe and inclusive space to improve the young people’s safety and wellbeing in urban environments.

It aims to involve young people in ideating and implementing innovative solutions for tackling safety challenges of the city.

CPDSO senior research specialist Brensen Bengwayan explained the state-of-the-art facility offers collaborative spaces designed to foster interactions across disciplines where “technology means art, science means design”, as it provides the youth a platform to showcase their creation to the world, pitch to the investors, connect with potential collaborators, and celebrate the journey towards innovation.

“We believe in nurturing not just innovators but responsible global citizens through their community programs and sustainability initiatives. We aim to make a difference on a larger scale. Whether you are a technology enthusiast, an artist, a scientist, or a dreamer, the innovation hub – where ideas take flight and the youth of today become the trailblazers of tomorrow – welcomes you to unleash your creativity and embrace collaboration,” Bengwayan said.

Tabangin said the initiative is a collaborative effort with the Safe and Sound Cities program and the Cordillera Youth Center, which received a grant for the establishment of the hub from the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation in partnership with ICLEI.

Baguio has been chosen as one of the two cities in the Philippines along with Naga to be part of the international group of cities putting forward the innovations of the youth towards safe and sound cities.

“We are partnering with the schools in the city and the private sector, as we need to come together to make sure that we would indeed move forward to the goal of innovation because we are now in Industry 4.0 moving towards Industry 5.0 and we need to make sure that the young people in the city are equipped with the necessary skills for the 21st century,” Tabangin said.

She expressed hope the youth will use the hub, work there, be creative, and help solve the problems the city and its people are encountering.

“Space is just a space, it is the people that really work. So we are working together with schools, some of them have produced amazing innovations. Let’s polish it some more so that it truly become solutions meant to solve problems of the city,” she said.

Bengwayan added the hub is also meant for youth who do not have space for inclusivity and they may use it for free to experiment or review and have a quiet place to study, or talk with fellow students and mentors.

He said it is also one way of complementing schools that lack space for students’ innovations. The CPDSO also plans to provide mentorship, capability building, and workshops for the youth in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority which will give free seminar and workshops and has also provided some of the equipment ready for use at the innovation hub. – Hanna C. Lacsamana