Wanted: Youth Speakers at the World Forestry Congress 2015 – Durban, South Africa (All Expenses Paid)

Wanted: Youth Speakers at the World Forestry Congress 2015 – Durban, South Africa (All Expenses Paid)

Deadline: June 15, 2015 (Selection on Rolling Basis: Apply Early)

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is currently looking for passionate and inspiring youth speakers to make a TEDx-style presentation at the youth special event during the XIV World Forestry Congress. If you are involved in a youth-led initiative or project established and run by young people to engage communities, they want to hear from you!

The XIV World Forestry Congress, hosted by the Republic of South Africa, will bring together the global forestry community to review and analyse the key issues and to share ways of addressing them. The Congress programme will be professionally and culturally rewarding, with a variety of sessions, events and dialogue, to ensure that all participants are engaged in defining a vision and strategies for the sustainable future of forests and forestry.


Three to four slots are available to fill.

FAO will pay your travel, accommodation and registration costs for the full week of the Congress, 7-11 September, in Durban, South Africa.


If the answers to the questions below are YES, here is your chance to reach out to a global audience!

  • Are you 18–35 years old? (this includes students and young professionals in this age group)
  • Are you actively involved in a youth-led initiative or project created to benefit people, forests and the environment?
  • Are you interested in sharing your success stories and lessons learned with the global forestry audience?
  • Are you interested in having your project/initiative profiled at the XIV World Forestry Congress?

Selection Criteria

All entries will be posted on the #Forests2015 blog. First-level selection will be based on the number of comments and “likes” that your entry attracts. Final selection will be based on the quality of the entry and made to ensure a diversity of speakers (gender, topic, language and continent).

Specifically they will look for:

  • impact and or potential impact of youth-led initiatives
  • Projects that adopt cross-sectorial or integrated land-use approaches (forestry, agroforestry, watershed etc.)
  • projects that bring together young people of diverse backgrounds
  • engaging stories

How to Apply

To be considered as a youth speaker, please prepare the following:

  • a short informal video (no more than 5 minutes) introducing yourself and the project/initiative – this can be recorded on your cellphone, as it’s what you say and show that counts, not the video quality. You can post your video online and include a link in your submission, or attach the video file to your entry (max 10 MB).
  • a short text about your initiative (no more than 400 words)
  • a photo of yourself and any photos (no more than three) that show your project/initiative

How to Submit

  • You can submit your video, text and photos by email to yemi.adeyeye(at)fao.org and copy katherine.clyne(at)fao.org. Please put ‘Youth Speakers entry’ in the subject line.
  • Alternatively, entries can be sent by post to: Yemi Adeyeye; Forestry Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome, Italy.

If you have already submitted a video as part of the Congress call for abstracts, please let them know and they will include it for review in your submission.

Participation deadline is 15 June 2015 and Notification of results will be on 30 June 2015.


As they need to prepare speakers for the talk and arrange travel plans, selections will be made on a rolling basis, so speakers may be identified before the participation deadline. Apply early if you want to be considered for a speaker’s slot!

For more information, visit the World Forestry Congress and the Call for Youth Speakers at WFC 2015.