Pakistani talent to reduce inequalities in health through digital solutions

Telenor Group announced the sixteen delegates who have been selected for the 2018-2019 Telenor Youth Forum, in cooperation with the Nobel Peace Center.

Pakistani talent to reduce inequalities in health through digital solutions

This year’s delegation will take on a mission to address inequalities in health through the use of digital technology.

Human health and related areas, such as access to healthcare and information, and fighting hunger and thirst, continue to top the lists of national and regional development agendas and dialogues.

Most recently at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly, non-communicable diseases and universal health care were key topics on the agenda. Health’s omnipresence as a topic and its direct relationship with development, societal empowerment and human equality is why the Telenor Youth Forum has selected it as this year’s theme and focus.

The 16 Telenor Youth Forum delegates for the 2018-2019 programme are accomplished young leaders in the markets where Telenor operates. They were selected from a talent pool of more than 5,000 applicants, coming from Bangladesh, Denmark, Malaysia, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden and Thailand. From December 2018 to May 2019, the delegates will be challenged to develop solutions that combat inequalities in health from all angles.

The two delegates selected to represent Pakistan include Maieda Janjua and Asma Ladak. Maieda, a graduate from Dartmouth College with a degree in Computer Science, has dabbled in digital marketing for a travel-tech startup in Latin America, managed business projects for a global education and travel company, worked in product development at an international telco, and, most recently, recruited for a fin-tech startup in Boston.

A strong believer in the role technology can play in transforming lives and reducing inequalities, Maieda hopes to get her MBA and continue working at the intersection of tech and social impact.

Asma, on the other hand, has worked for a variety of national and international leadership and innovation programs including Global Entrepreneurs and The Yale Global Scholars program. A medical student from Aga Khan University, Asma is enthusiastic about the important part that technology and innovation can play in changing the landscape of healthcare.

“Whether it’s being better able to care for our elders or ensuring healthcare access and information for low-income and rural citizens, we all have a lot to gain by bridging health with technology. And who better to contribute to this effort than the 16 youth selected for the Telenor Youth Forum this year?” said Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group President and CEO. “Reducing inequalities in health and in access to health services are integral to building a more promising, more peaceful future. Mobile networks and technology can play a vital role,” he added.

Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan, further added, “TYF is an amazing opportunity for our youth to collaborate and develop solutions that really impact people’s lives across the globe. We firmly believe that our youth is dedicated, passionate and essential for shaping a better future, and through TYF, we are giving them a platform to join our pursuit of empowering societies. We have high hopes from all the young delegates participating in Telenor Youth Forum and as always, we are expecting to see some really innovative ideas being presented.”

The Telenor Youth Forum exists to give a global platform to passionate youth who want to effect change in the world – and to connect them with the resources and expertise needed to develop sustainable, digital solutions to urgent social challenges.

In this year’s programme, the delegation will be divided into four teams, each posed a unique health-related challenge to be announced at the Telenor Youth Forum kick-off in December.

To guide the teams from challenge assignment to solution proposal, the following experts at Telenor Group will provide each of the teams coaching and mentorship for the extent of the six-month programme:

  • Ieva Martinkenaite, VP of Telenor Research; Member of AI High Level Expert Group of EU
  • Alanna Solberg, Head of Marketing for e-Health; Telenor Norway
  • Austin Menyasz, Director of Public and Regulatory Affairs; Telenor Group, Region Asia
  • Bjørn Taale Sandberg, SVP and Head of Telenor Research

The four teams will be scored throughout the programme based on concept proposals in Oslo in December, on progress between Oslo and the forum’s finale in Bangkok in May 2019 as well as on their final pitch at the finale.

The winning team will be awarded NOK 100,000 to further develop their solutions. The four teams’ challenges, journey and their final concepts are then featured in a digital exhibition, sponsored by Telenor Youth Forum and the programme’s partners at the Nobel Peace Center.

“Every year, the Nobel Peace Center is pleased to partner with Telenor on this programme because we share a vision of a more peaceful future. We believe that mobilising bright young minds helps us pave the path toward that future,” said Liv Tørres, Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Center. “The technology and connectivity available to the world today makes it possible for all to contribute, and we think youth have the most at stake in starting this change.”

A digital message in a bottle

Last year’s winning team, AGNCY, created a whistleblowing platform where workers can file reports to local and international labour organisations. Their challenge was to develop a digital solution that reduces inequalities in working conditions.

Their idea was to secure anonymous and verifiable reports of violations in workers’ rights and safety via smartphone from the workers themselves. The team is now building a prototype for their platform. AGNCY’s idea is presented in a multimedia digital exhibition at Their digital exhibition has also been on display in person at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.


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