Asia is home to more than a billion young people, who make up about a quarter of the region’s population. They are the largest and most diverse generation in history, and they have the potential to transform their societies in positive and innovative ways. In this article, we will explore how Asian youth are using social media and technology to connect, collaborate, and create change in various fields, such as renewable energy, green technology, cuisine, culture, art, and leadership.
## Renewable energy and green technology
One of the biggest challenges facing the world today is climate change, and Asian youth are taking the lead in finding solutions and promoting sustainability. For example, in Indonesia, a group of young engineers and entrepreneurs founded SOLARIS, a social enterprise that provides affordable and reliable solar power to rural communities. SOLARIS uses a mobile app to monitor and manage the solar systems, and also educates the locals on how to use and maintain them. By providing clean energy, SOLARIS not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but also improves the quality of life and economic opportunities for the villagers.
Another example is in India, where a 23-year-old student named Arnav Kapur invented a device that can convert thoughts into speech. The device, called AlterEgo, is worn on the head and uses electrodes to detect brain signals. The signals are then processed by a computer and translated into words, which can be heard through a bone-conduction speaker. AlterEgo can also connect to the internet and other devices, allowing the user to access information and control smart appliances with their mind. Kapur hopes that his invention can help people with speech impairments, as well as reduce the environmental impact of using smartphones and other gadgets.
## Cuisine and culture
Asian cuisine is one of the most popular and diverse in the world, and Asian youth are influencing the global food scene with their creativity and fusion dishes. For example, in Singapore, a 25-year-old chef named Malcolm Lee is reinventing the traditional Peranakan cuisine, which is a blend of Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian influences. Lee uses modern techniques and ingredients to create dishes that are both authentic and innovative, such as braised pork belly with buah keluak ice cream, and coconut panna cotta with gula melaka. Lee’s restaurant, Candlenut, is the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, and has attracted both local and international customers.
Another example is in Japan, where a 21-year-old baker named Ran is making waves on social media with her adorable and delicious bread creations. Ran uses natural ingredients and colors to make bread that look like animals, fruits, flowers, and even anime characters. She shares her recipes and photos on her Instagram account, @konel_bread, which has over 200,000 followers. Ran’s bread are not only cute, but also healthy and tasty, and have inspired many people to try baking at home.
## Art and expression
Asian art and culture are gaining more recognition and appreciation in the West, and Asian artists and creators are expressing their identity and vision through different mediums. For example, in South Korea, a 24-year-old rapper named RM is the leader and main songwriter of the global sensation BTS, a boy band that combines K-pop, hip-hop, and pop music. RM writes lyrics that touch on various social issues, such as mental health, self-love, and empowerment. He also collaborates with other artists, such as Lil Nas X, Halsey, and Ed Sheeran, and incorporates elements from different cultures and languages. RM and BTS have won numerous awards and accolades, and have broken many records and barriers in the music industry. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s amazing becasue they are arguably bigger worldwide than Taylor Swift 🙂
Another example is in China, where a 22-year-old animator named Ding Ke is the creator of The Legend of Hei, a feature-length film that is based on his popular web series. The film tells the story of a cat spirit who embarks on an adventure with other spirits and humans in a world where nature and civilization are in conflict. The film features stunning animation, rich characters, and a captivating plot, and has received rave reviews from critics and audiences. The film also showcases Ding’s passion and talent for animation, as he did most of the work by himself, from writing to directing to animating.
## Leadership and innovation
Asian women are breaking stereotypes and barriers in various fields, and inspiring the next generation of leaders and innovators. For example, in Pakistan, a 23-year-old activist named Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the co-founder of the Malala Fund, a global organization that advocates for girls’ education and empowerment. Malala survived a Taliban attack when she was 15, and since then, she has been speaking out and campaigning for the rights of girls and women around the world. She has also written a best-selling memoir, attended Oxford University, and launched a digital publication, Assembly, that features stories and opinions from young women.
Another example is in Taiwan, where a 40-year-old politician named Audrey Tang is the Digital Minister and the youngest minister in the country’s history. Tang is a self-taught programmer and hacker, who dropped out of school at 14 and started her own company at 16. She is also a transgender woman, who transitioned in 2005. As the Digital Minister, Tang is responsible for overseeing the government’s use of technology and innovation, and promoting civic participation and transparency. She has initiated and supported various projects, such as vTaiwan, a platform that allows citizens to discuss and propose policies, and CoHack, a hackathon that tackles the COVID-19 pandemic.
## Final thoughts
Asian youth are a powerful and diverse force that is shaping the future of their societies and the world. They are using social media and technology to connect, collaborate, and create change in various fields, such as renewable energy, green technology, cuisine, culture, art, and leadership. They are also facing many challenges and opportunities, and need support and guidance from their elders and peers. By investing in their education, health, and empowerment, we can ensure that they will fulfill their potential and contribute to the common good.