The chief executive of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, launched a philanthropic initiative in the UAE on Monday during his first visit to the country.
The #YouthForGood initiative, created with the support of the UAE’s Youth Hub and the Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Shamma Al Mazrui, aims to inspire young people to use Twitter to support humanitarian and social causes. The competition encourages participants to create a Twitter account that will be used to promote charitable initiatives.
Forming part of the social media platform’s global #TwitterForGood campaign, that encourages people to use positive power online to bring communities together, #YouthForGood aims to foster a culture of volunteering among young people in the region and worldwide.
On Monday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who was celebrating his tenth year on Twitter, welcomed Mr Dorsey to the UAE, calling him “a leader of positive change on social media”.
“We [the UAE] are keen to encourage our young people to harness the power of online platforms such as Twitter to create a positive impact on their communities. #YouthForGood is a significant initiative in this direction,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
Mr Dorsey said he hoped the initiative would help make the world a better place.
“At Twitter, our philanthropic mission is to harness the positive power of our platform to make the world a better place and we hope that such an initiative will empower youth by building their media literacy and digital citizenship skills to drive positive change,” he said.
The new initiative calls on young people living in the UAE to create a greater impact in local communities through civic engagement, volunteering or charitable partnerships.
#YouthForGood will be open to groups of three to five people over the next three months. The initiative encourages the young people to use the power of Twitter to launch a creative, engaging and active Twitter account that will fuel philanthropic efforts locally in their communities.
The winning team will be awarded with the acclaimed Twitter MENA Award and a Twitter for Good Ads Grant.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s son Sheikh Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, welcomed Mr Dorsey to the UAE on Monday.
During their meeting, Sheikh Maktoum opened his own Twitter account, which was granted a blue tick or “verified” seal and had amassed more than 14,000 followers at the time of publishing.
Sheikh Maktoum joins his father and brother Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, on the platform, both of whom have followers into the millions.
It has been a decade since the Sheikh Mohammed launched his Twitter account. He was the first Arab leader to join the social media platform.
To mark his tenth Twitter Anniversary, Mr Dorsey presented a book to Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, containing a compilation of selected tweets from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
The tweets featured two distinct hashtags, inspired by his life and journey as a leader: the Arabic hashtag #من_مفكرتي (translated as #MyDiary) which he used in 2012, and using the hashtag #علمتني_الحياة (#LifeHasTaughtMe).
Every summer, Sheikh Mohammed uses the latter hashtag to share his wisdom and insights, aiming to inspire a future generation of leaders to build stable and prosperous societies.