Adobe Foundation hosted more than 100 students and educators from 23 countries at our third Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Summit. Students were immersed in a five-day media arts experience where they collaborated in groups with creative professionals and luminaries, learning new digital media skills.
This year, we were honored to kick-off the Summit with a keynote by Lee Hirsch, a documentary filmmaker and founder of The Bully Project. Lee stressed the power of creative storytelling and the impact creativity enables, encouraging students to use their passion to create projects that can “change hearts and minds.”
Building on Lee’s message of impactful storytelling, AYV Youth Summit attendees worked together throughout the week to create collaborative media projects on issues most important to them. Each group included youth from around the world, and each brought their exhilarating creativity to produce compelling stories about education, environmental protection efforts, human rights, identity and culture and community development.
The challenge for each group is pretty great: youth had essentially two days to produce a media project on a meaningful topic, while collaborating across as many as four different countries in each group. The energy of the event was palpable, as youth courageously generated ideas together, discussing and storyboarding how they would approach their projects, and in just one day, bring their ideas to life with Adobe tools.
Below is a look at some of the final youth produced projects. For more, check out the Adobe Youth Voices YouTube Channel
At the final culminating event, AYV Live!, youth shared their media projects with a live audience. The night was filled with all sorts of surprises, including an appearance from internationally renowned recording artist and founder of the Common Ground Foundation, “Common.” In a freestyle rap, he talked about the importance of believing in yourself and using your creativity to realize your dreams. The event also featured Adobe’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen and its CMO, Ann Lewnes who honored the Creativity Scholarship recipients and Aspire Award Winners.
After an exhilarating week, everyone who participated, including volunteers, learned something new about a different part of the world, tried a new technical skill, challenged themselves creatively, and made connections that made the world a bit smaller.
This Summit represents Adobe’s broader commitment to creativity and to making an impact in the lives of today’s youth by providing them with the skills and confidence needed to succeed. Of course, the challenge is to keep the momentum of the fantastic week going. As one student put it, “The journey doesn’t end here. This is your chance to take leadership in your classrooms and after school programs to push the limits on what your peers thought was possible. Look what success you saw from just three days of work. What can you do in three weeks or three months? Anything and everything! Take charge!”
After watching and interacting with such talented youth and educators, during this year’s AYV Summit, I am inspired by their confidence to continue to connect across borders, and create with meaning and purpose.