Two Malaysian youths selected to 'start change' with Telenor Youth Forum 2017 in Oslo, Norway

Press Release
November 7, 2017

Ida Thien and Shaun Adam Abdullah, chosen out of more than 7,000 applicants worldwide to be part of this year's Nobel Peace Prize week

SHAH ALAM, 8 November October 2016 - Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) today announced Ida Thien and Shaun Adam Abdullah as local winners of this year's Telenor Youth Forum (TYF) challenge, a programme that is held in Oslo, Norway coinciding with the Nobel Peace Prize. In its fifth year, TYF is organised in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Centre and brings together inspiring and talented youths from around the globe to find ways to use digital technology for the social good.

Ida and Shaun are among the 26 talented youth from Telenor's 13 markets selected from a pool of nearly 7,000 applicants to represent their countries. Adopting the theme, ''Digitalisation for Peace'', TYF challenges these millennials to tackle global, social challenges by developing a digital service and later, build an exhibition on their social cause.

Quah Yean Nie, Digi's Head of Communications and Sustainability said, ''Telenor Youth Forum brings together passionate youth to address common global challenges and impact change, by leveraging on the power of digital innovation. We are confident that both Ida and Shaun, with their experience championing their causes here in Malaysia are able to contribute and share their ideas with their like-minded peers from different parts of the world and come up with innovative digital solutions that can help reduce inequalities and create impactful societal change.''

26-year-old educator Ida Thien is actively involved in a mentoring initiative, Closing the Gap, a Teach for Malaysia (TFM) Alumni which supports promising students from the underserved communities to get equal opportunity for tertiary education. ''To me, digitalisation is one of the many compelling tools that can be used for equalising access of information to all, which is important in my line of work. My experience as an educator taught me that given the right support and tools, which many of us take for granted, these students are able to grow and be successful. I look forward to not only learn from other TYF delegates about how this issue is tackled in their communities while endeavouring to represent mine but also at the prospect of coming up with a solution that can be shared across contexts through a digital platform,'' explained Ida.

Shaun Adam bin Abdullah, 27, believes that a peaceful society starts with a healthy mind and is interested to see how digital can play a significant role in creating better empathic capabilities among the younger generation. ''The various social media platforms enables people to connect with each other no matter where they are in the world. They allow us to emphatise, and be more aware of what's going on in other people's lives through the numeorus sharing made over, having the ability to detect emotions and maybe to even understand what is going through their mind. What if digital technology can help spot mental health issues early and save lives? I am very excited to meet my fellow TYF delegates to discuss and exchange ideas on the possibility of using digital solutions to create a more ambient-aware society that both empathizes and collaborates to promote mental well being,'' said Shaun.

More than 7,000 applications were received for the Telenor Youth Forum 2017 through essays, video interviews, event appearances and other screenings, and this has amounted to the largest global recruitment process ever conducted by Telenor.

TYF ''We Start Change'' exhibition
Recently, Telenor in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Centre has revealed the first digital exhibition for its Telenor Youth Forum, entitled We Start Change.

This exhibition encapsulates the work of the 26 youth from TYF 2016 who have been tackling the global, social challenges that were assigned to them almost a year ago. They include climate change, gender equality, education for young refugees, mental health and unemployment which are stem from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which Telenor actively supports through its own sustainability work.

To learn more about the TYF program, visit