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What vision do young NZers hold for the country?

What vision do young New Zealanders hold for the country's future?

An answer to this question will be unveiled during the upcoming Digital Earth Summit on Sustainability '06 in Auckland, drawing on considered responses by 100 young people invited to describe what they wanted the country to look like in the year 2050.

This vision will be presented as part of the Youth Voice programme at the summit, being held at the Aotea Centre from August 27-30.

Team Leader of the Youth Voice, Carl Chenery, says that it is vital for young people to be part of such conversations about the future.

"This event is an opportunity for youth from across New Zealand to better understand their role in contributing to a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous society."

Chenery, and his team from within Excelerator's Future Leaders Programme, working alongside Anew NZ in developing a network of youth advocating sustainability, asked the prospective attendees aged 17-25 to submit an essay describing what they wanted New Zealand to look like in the year 2050.

"We had an amazing response. What came through clearly is that young people are deeply concerned about global issues like the environment and the part they can play in achieving sustainability."

Planned by the New Zealand Society of Digital Earth, the Summit aims to assist industry, government, education, research and IT leaders to better utilise data for addressing goals of sustainability with the help of emerging technology.

Attendees will hear speakers like influential climate change expert Dr Bob Corell, urban planning advocate James Kunstler, and Professor Tetsuya Sato, Director General of the Earth Simulator Centre in Japan.

The young people will then join workshop sessions which aim to set a challenge for New Zealand for achieving sustainability in areas such as urban development, food production and management of natural resources.

At the end of the Summit, Youth Voice will join the collective agreement on the next steps.

Registrations for the Summit are still being accepted through the Digital Earth New Zealand web site: www.digitalearth.org.nz


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