“The Whole is More Than the Sum of its Parts”
ISSIA is the largest youth-led NGO based in Hong Kong. Established in 2019, ISSIA has since involved over 300 members from 80+ schools globally.
Over the years, ISSIA has expanded from solely a magazine to include events, videos, podcasts, and more. While we continue to maintain high-quality, timely content on the ISSIA Magazine, ISSIA has expanded into a peer-to-peer platform for global issues education, where internally and externally, we provide project-based opportunities to delve into the complexities and nuances of our ever-changing world. We have always believed in the power of diversity and community to synergize for social change.
With 30+ projects and initiatives covering various SDGs ranging from No Poverty to Reduced Inequalities to Climate Action, ISSIA is an SDG hub. Our core SDGs are notably SDG 4 “Quality Education” and SDG 17 “Partnerships For The Goals,” through which we seek to 1) cultivate ‘global citizenship’ and 2) build 21st-century skills to empower future changemakers.
Over the past two years, we've held Youth NGOs Conferences e.g. our UN World Youth Skills Day event, where we brought together leading youth changemakers in Hong Kong for a day of upskilling workshops (both peer-to-peer and expert-led), roundtable discussions, networking and "troubleshooting sessions" — all to share skills, best practices and develop partnerships.
The New Strategic Direction
Over the past few years, we’ve seen an exponential rise in the number of youth initiatives in the region with a new generation of Gen Z changemakers. This can be attributed to the popularization of changemaking as the 'new reality' and the increasing accessibility of digital platforms (e.g. social media) and content creation tools. However, there is often a lack of connectivity amongst these initiatives.
We see that there is a great opportunity to create truly sustainable Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17) and therefore drive systems change in the region, changing 1) the norms surrounding changemaking 2) the long-term impact of changemakers.
How can we further develop peer-to-peer connectivity?
ISSIA wants to play an even more active role in ecosystem-building: our upcoming focus is to create a coalition of youth-led NGOs to connect, share best practices, and synergize for impact. We aim to increase build capacity, partnerships and increase the sustainability of youth initiatives across APAC.
To do so, we will be co-designing this ecosystem with our partners, including other youth-led organizations. One partnership is with the Systems of Youth, Knowledge, and Enterprise (SYKE) to provide services for youth changemakers to learn from and support one another in various areas of change-making (e.g. a knowledge management system). We have exciting projects planned including our peer-to-peer mentorship program, ISSIA Committees and Youth NGOs conferences
As we like to say at ISSIA, “the whole is more than the sum of its parts.” As an inclusive community, we believe that everyone can be a changemaker.
Interested in our ecosystem-building efforts? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org