Saturday, 7 September 2013


Last night, 5th of September, we finally all got to San José - Costa Rica ! Most of the group flew in from Geneva via Madrid  (picking up María & Johannes on the way) and we're just waiting for Alec D to get here on the 8th.

After one short night in the hotel, we were off ! A little bus came to get us and drove us to the Irazú volcano. 
Despite the rain, walking around the different craters was pretty impressive. 

(Deniz and Selse made a friend)

Just before, we'd gone to the town of Cartago. A lovely place, with a church that people from all over the country make a pilgrimage to. It is called Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles.

After our volcanic wander we made our way to Jenny's, a lovely little Costa Rican lady who provides an authentic meal on her farm. We got to drink fresco de guayava and eat tortillas with ground beans.

 (Charles, Jenny and Allan)

She also had some interesting creatures in her garden... (Some type of rhinoceros beatle ?) 

Jenny made us Costa Rican coffee, with nothing more than ground coffee beans, a cloth filter and boiling agua.

And then it was time to say goodbye !

Sunday, 1 September 2013

"How might online identities reshape our understanding of culture, ethnicity and gender?" by Johannes Leuschke

When looking at the big issues of today's world, for instance the war against terror or the constantly unequal distribution of prosperity, you almost always find that these global issues are ascribed to cultural, ethnic or gender related differences. Be it the incomprehension of Islamic rites or gender discrimination; a better understanding of culture, ethnicity and gender is a main key for a better, more peaceful world. Therefore, one challenge for the summit is focusing on how online identities might reshape this understanding.

The Internet is used for many different purposes; on one hand it offers a huge amount of distraction from daily life while on the other it helps to organize it. Using it can be funny, informative and productive at the same time. However, the main point in this context is that it enables the users to enjoy the benefits of a linked-up and thus interactive world, in which borders do not seem to exist anymore. This borderless connectivity is a huge chance which is, still, accompanied by the necessity of engaging oneself in the cultures one now has access to.

A huge amount of people use social media - a Facebook profile, a Twitter account and up to a certain extent, even a telephone number are so called online identities. The Internet, as it is often said, has the opportunity to make small voices louder and equal to others. Through their online identities, people express themselves in a way that was not possible in the past, and taking a look at the ideas on the ITU crowdsourcing platform, many contributors seize on this matter of fact. The variety of ideas in this category ranges from educational programs to virtual summits, from creativity projects to culture-based social networking. Some conceptions are rather theoretical, while others offer concrete solutions. One can find a lot of interesting and highly productive proposals, but one will easily recognize that a vast majority of these contain the creation of something new, be it a virtual classroom for cultural studies or even a whole online museum for ethnic affairs. However, establishing something new is not absolutely necessary to face this challenge because, as explained, online identities already exist and the majority of the people on our planet make use of them every day.

To draw a conclusion, one can definitely say that ICT’s offer a strong possibility to reshape cultural awareness in various ways. The Internet especially is an amazing opportunity, not only to become informed about new cultures, but at the same time to get in touch with people of these different backgrounds through online identities.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

"How can ICTs be used to create a better understanding of how our bodies work and help us live a healthier lifestyle?" by María Gómez de Olea

Recent statistics show that the number of child and adult obesity is rapidly increasing in MEDCs due to the modern lifestyles which involve less movement and activity as well as more processed food and less balanced meals. People tend to spend more time on the internet, watching TV or playing videogames, so why not use these technologies to promote a healthier lifestyle and raise awareness, since the number of people who ignore the impact of an unhealthy lifestyle on our bodies, is appalling?

In the world there are almost 1.1 billion smartphones of which 50% android users and 43% apple users are below 34 years old. All of them are connected to the internet in one way or the other. Therefore one of the first targets of this question could be this type of users as awareness campaigns can be launched through either social networks, games or applications. If we take a quick look at the ideas published on Crowdicity, we note that a vast majority of them focus on the creation of applications for smartphones and share two key words “Awareness” and “Healthier”.

Some ideas suggest an application which shows how the human body is constituted, the dangers of drugs and unbalanced meals or the benefits of physical activity. Furthermore, there are already publicity campaigns organized by TNCs such as Coca Cola or governmental institutions such as the Spanish Ministry of Health promoting the benefits of eating in a healthy way and sports. Therefore if we combine all the ideas, we get to the conclusion that ICT’s can be an essential tool for promoting physical activities and a healthier lifestyle instead of damaging it. They are also very helpful in what raising awareness campaigns against numerous dangers such as teenager and adult drug addiction or anorexia. Therefore if we combine all the ideas, we get to the conclusion that ICT’s can be an essential tool for promoting physical activities and a healthier lifestyle instead of damaging it. They are also very helpful in what raising awareness campaigns against numerous dangers such as teenager and adult drug addiction or anorexia.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

"How might ICTs improve access to healthcare?" by Stephanie Horsford

In todays world, with a rapidly growing population, the governments have to find more effective ways to ensure that their population is taken care of, especially in terms of healthcare.
In certain countries that  offer comprehensive social welfares systems for example, Great Britain,  the NHS (National Health Service) takes care of the general population's healthcare needs. However, the system is not foolproof, as certain hospitals have shown inabilities to cope with the amount of cases and people to deal with, for example in United Lincolnshire hospitals in the UK.

Because there is already a lot of pressure on the governments of many countries to provide the healthcare, the ICTs can start to make a difference. With the technology that most people have access to today, such as 3G phones being able to access internet anywhere in the world, access to healthcare can be improved thanks to ICTs.

With Apple being one of the biggest technological industries in the world, it is possible to create a hospital app for each country, which would locate the nearest hospital and also provide information like answers to general directory questions. Further on from this, doctors could contact the people on their way to the hospital or people who are waiting for the emergency services to arrive. They could therefore be in direct contact, whether by video, text or telephone, in order to advise the people with the patient what actions should be taken.

ICTs can also reduce the transport time to and from hospitals; for people with medical support machines at home, the machines used to treat the patients can automatically send the information everyday or every week to the hospital for doctors to assess and determine what needs to be done. The doctors can therefore advise the patients or the patient's family what to change or what not to change in the medication, diet, or treatment.

For countries that have vast remote locations such as the outback of Australia, ICTs could be the difference between life and death when through ICTs you can send an image of the injury and receive immediate response and advice.

For illnesses like diabetes, certain insulin pumps have a Wi-Fi signal and can, like the machines mentioned before, regularly update the hospitals, and doctors on site can determine whether anything needs to be changed to better deliver the medication or treatment immediately.

Also something that could be used from home thanks to ICTs would be an online website of each hospital, where anyone can ask questions, and where the answers will be answered by certified doctors and not just anybody. A glossary could be available of all medication and possible pills or creams or solutions, so that if someone forgets what their medication is for, they are able to access, through  a secure site,their account in order to check that they are using the correct medication.

All in all, ICTs has the endless scope to be able to improve access to healthcare, initially mainly in more developed countries, then in the future developing  countries by providing a better and a more responsive and cost effective cheaper direct contact with people who can help, without the need to travel or take time to be consulted face to face on medication or to confirm.

Of course this does not negate the need for personal appointment but rather brings  a more effective peace of mind  to patients and addresses the issue of travel time. Furthermore, ICTs are useful in cases where  people are able to find different medical techniques in different continents or countries that in their own they are not able to access.

Stephanie Horsford

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


It is amazing that after a few weeks of blogging we have forgotten to post the latest video of our FerMUN 2013 conference ! Here you will find a quick and visual explanation of who we are and what we do. (Also available here)

Once again, we would like to thank the ITU for its great support !

Monday, 5 August 2013


A few months ago FerMUNers were interviewed for the BYND 2015 "Soundbytes" video and of course we wouldn't have expected less: students expressing their ideas in many, many languages !

Tomamso Luisari, 1ére student (aged 16)

Aoibheann Quinn-Maguire, 1ére student (aged 16)

Zhané Conteh (Distraction), María Gómez de Olea (Communication), Ellen Ackroyd (A new Era), Aoibheann Quinn-Maguire (Limitless).

You can also find "Soundbytes" in French, Korean, Hindi and many more on Youtube !

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Finally ! The first of what we hope will be loads of good videos for the summit. (You can find English and Spanish subtitles on Youtube). Enjoy !

Friday, 26 July 2013


The Crowdicity platform for the Global Youth Summit was launched a few weeks ago. This platform was created in order to enable young innovators (after all anyone can be one) from all over the world to share, discuss, comment and vote on ideas submitted for the six challenges constituting the summit.

As the majority of you know, the summit is based on six big ideas: GET AHEAD - RESPECT YOUR ENVIRONMENT - BE SMART BE SAFE - BE HEALTHY - CHANGE YOUR WORLD - HACKATHON. Each of these ideas (except Hackathon) include two challenges which are discussed on Crowdicity.

The most popular challenges among young innovators are : "How might we use ICTs to help young people develop entrepreneurial skills & increase youth employment?", "How might we use ICTs to make healthcare more accessible?", "How might ICTs lead the way to a greener society" or "How might we integrate ICT training in education to improve skills, development & capacity building". The FerMUN students prefer the CHANGE YOUR WORLD challenges as they have submitted ideas such as “An online youth parliament”, “Global online cultural summit” or “Promote educational programs in order to introduce young people from minor ethnic groups into ICTs without compromising nor destroying their identity” – in total these have 41 votes. We also find great FerMUN ideas in the BE HEALTHY’s challenges, where our students have underlined the necessity of creating either a platform or an application : “Create an online platform where people needing a particular type of healthcare unprovided in their country could spread their message” or “Create an interactive application for smartphones in order to improve the lifestyle of adults and young people, but at the same time raising awareness”.

The most voted ideas from Crowdicity is “Agricultural Based Solution System” which is a Nigerian Agricultural Based Solution System that is targeted to ease analysis, statistics, disease management, maintenance, organization, decisions and sales operations of livestock and crop farmers online (139 votes). This is followed by “Patient Health Discovery tool" – an IT application that provides a real-time analysis responding to a health state description. It is about developing an Intelligent Agent for automated healthcare and “Mobile Healthcare Application with local language translator to educate health issues people face as they age”. Finally “Landmines Detection !.. No victims, more natural resources to be used!” is a project made out of four separate stages/projects (aviation system, detection system and antenna, and signal processing system) and will satisfy an urgent need for purifying vast deserts in order for petroleum companies, agriculture and new cities to get water far from the Nile.
These are only a few of the almost 430 ideas shared !

Crowdicity works very well and it is an entertaining way to interact with people from all over the world. If this platform is anything like the summit, then we can't wait to be there !