Connected Youth




In a ‘always-on’ world (IoT development) and emergence of Millennials with different value and behavioural system, we require a different approach to build future growth engine.  Connected Youth is an approach, and multi-stakeholder collaboration platform for cross-government departments, youth organization, cross-sector private enterprises (including chamber of commerce), academic institution and MSMEs’ participation in youth lifetime development.   The purpose is to digitally connect these stakeholders with the Millennials, and provide timely, relevant guidance and personalised support on the education, employment, and entrepreneurship journeys.  This Platform puts youth experience at the centre of its design and emphasis lifetime relationship (and data collection for better services).  Creating an ecosystem, rather than a single-function, digital island, is a more prudent business approach as it relies on its eco-system partners to deliver latest, relevant solutions & approach and do not make bets on technology, product and services which may be outdated.   This approach will provide more equitable access to information, and opportunities to the youth – breaking down the existing barriers – information, reach and biases.


Millennials are the first generation to approach adult life in less favourable economic conditions than their parents. They are part of the digital revolution, which leads to a different perception of ‘time,’ ‘space’ and ‘possibilities’. Everything is possible, here and now. Experience is more important than things. This requires a different approach and strategy in harnessing these energies is shaping future of our economy – the user experience design approach. User experience design is human-first way of designing services and products. We therefore examine the youth needs and motivations along the 3 subject areas (figure 1).

Figure 1  Use Experience Design – Elevate Youth Experience

The Platform focuses on the 3 youth needs – ’I want to learn’, ‘I want employment’ and ‘I want to start own business’.  The underlying generic needs are information & communication, self-expression, connections, recognition & privileges, gamification for motivation, and access to knowledge & know-how.  A system architecture designed around these youth needs will stand the test of time, more than those based on technology choice or current practices.

“I want to learn” goes beyond school, college and university days and aims at life-long learning process. Education is a huge financial and time investment, and the modern data technology can play a role in increasing its success – matching right talent for the right course, both for full-time education and ad-hoc courses.  A value-added service to the (non-top tier) education institutions are to find talents through improved student profiling to match with their programs (instead of relying on school overall ranking alone).   The expensive and non-effective way of finding and sifting through hundreds of schools in an education fair could be transformed with virtual reality technology (‘Virtual Education Fair’ module) and organization of information based on the individual needs.

In response to “I want employment”, the Platform (‘Skill Marketplace’ place for employers and youth) allows youth to showcase their skills which can be offered as commercial services.   This skill-based, project-based approach matches with millennial’s traits where project is preferred over long-term employment.    The Platform will also assist to capture individual activities and turn them into portable credentials (the projects I participated, the training I attended etc.).

“I want to start own business” offers useful policy guides, applications for government funds, and networking experience to find business ideas, collaboration partners and funding. The Platform could offer industry and educational partners to initially provide supporting resources on how to start a business and, in turn, tap into this potential rich pool of ideas and raw brain power.  It also allows the entrepreneurial youth to learn how to do business online and place their products on ‘Community MarketPlace’.  Community MarketPlace is operated by a local entity, for example, tourism agency to promote handicraft trade, banking group to deepen their relationships with SMEs, and big brand to expand their business horizon on lifestyle space.  This cultivates local talents on operating online businesses, rather than relying on global eCommerce Platform.  Community MarketPlace is the alternative online business route for our MSMEs.

In summary, Connected Youth approach allows youth related programs to plug in, retain development records, maintain longer, helpful relationship with the youth, and use data analytics to better serve the youth (personalisation).