OpenMic, a Nest I/O startup, has launched to give voice to the youth of Pakistan

OpenMic, a social startup that engages youth in the conversations about the future of Pakistan, conducted its Launch Event, called Mic Drop, on December 8th at The Nest I/O.

The event was attended by students, civic activists, youth wings, social entrepreneurs, and development practitioners. In a houseful session, the launch event hosted a panel discussion on empowering youth voices for active citizenship.

The panel comprised of a diverse speaker lineup that included Afia Salam – Communications Lead at Badal Do, Muhammad Jibran Nasir – Human Rights Lawyer & Activist, Ahmer Naqvi – Creative Head at Teeli, Noor-us-Sabah – Scholar at University of Karachi, Hamza Tariq – Graphic Artist. The session was moderated by Zehra H. Zaidi, a development practitioner.

The panel discussion explored how young population need to engage, collaborate, and voice their opinions for a progressive Pakistan. The panelists reflected that the political and activism space has gradually disintegrated for young vocal people to play an active part in voicing their opinions. Digital content produced by young content creators are now playing a major role to shed light on sensitive issues in a creative mannen. It has become essential for the privileged young population to collaborate and pursue active citizenship to uplift the deprived youth.

The panel discussion was followed by a three-vs-three debate match to discuss if student unions be revived in the universities of Pakistan. The debaters included students from Karachi University, NED University, DOW University, Jinnah Sindh Medical University, and Sir Syed University. The proposition team scored the winning point after building a strong case for the revival of student unions as apolitical and areligious movements to bring voice to the plight of young members of the society.

OpenMic Pakistan kickstarted in November 2015 and have impacted over 2500 students across 40 campuses in the city. They have awarded PKR 200,000 in scholarships under their social responsibility program to bring inclusive opportunities to students of public sector institutes to partake in social dialogues.

Moving forward, OpenMic is integrating a digital platform that will document dialogue activities across the country and generate data insights about youth viewpoints pertaining to civic challenges and governance processes. In August 2018, OpenMic was featured at the Harvard Project for Asian & International Relations as one of the 10 inspiring applicant projects. The startup is currently incubated at The Nest I/O, Pakistan’s only Google powered incubation space.

 For more information:

Asra R. Khan


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