Get involved: From digital consumer to digital creator with Open Weaver

13 May 2024

The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched a ‘Makeathon’ in partnership with Open Weaver.

In April the Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC and leading technology professionals convened to launch the ‘Accelerating Entrepreneurship Using AI & Digital Program’. The event was organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Trade Oceans and Natural Resources programme.

Youth at the forefront of technological change 

In 2024, building on the Commonwealth Year of Youth, the focus is on harnessing the power of 1.5 billion young people under the age of 30, representing 60 per cent of the Commonwealth’s total population across 56 nations, to harness the power of AI.

The event highlighted the growing need to empower developing countries, particularly young people, women, and differently abled individuals with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In his opening remarks, Open Weaver’s CEO, Ashik Balasubramaniam, emphasised the importance of youth being at the centre of the world’s global transformation. Encouraging the youth of the Commonwealth to be at the forefront of technological change, he said:  

“A lot of disruption is coming, and as youth, you are going to be at the forefront of disruption. That is why this programme has been created. We want you to be the change agents of disruption, so that you are not its victims.

We want all of you to embrace AI, embrace generative AI and embrace digital, and then see how it can be helpful in green tech, in climate, in fisheries, in blue economy.

There is going to be a lot of transformation - potentially the next industrial revolution is powered by AI. This programme is going to put that power of transformation into your hands.”

A collaborative, inclusive, interconnected and innovative future

During her special address, Secretary-General Scotland, formally declared the Makeathon open to applicants.

“In a world where digital opportunities abound yet coding skills are scarce, the Commonwealth aims to be a catalyst for significant change. This Makeathon seeks to transition our members from digital consumers to creators, particularly benefiting those in smaller states.

As we move forward, let us embrace this opportunity to support our youth, investing in their futures and working collaboratively towards a more inclusive, innovative, and interconnected Commonwealth.”

Suresh Yadav, the Senior Director (A.I.) Trade Oceans and Natural Resources at Commonwealth Secretariat moderated the event for the Commonwealth Secretariat and noted that the Makeathon had the potential to empower all Commonwealth citizens to make their mark on the global digital economy.

In 2023, the Commonwealth Artificial Intelligence Consortium (CAIC) was launched to fulfill the mandate established at the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), aiming to equip citizens with the skills necessary to fully benefit from digital innovation and opportunities in cyberspace.

The event further highlighted the Commonwealth Secretariat’s dedication to shaping a sustainable and equitable future for our world through AI.

About the Makeathon

The ‘Accelerating Entrepreneurship Using AI & Digital Program’ is a four-year partnership that aims to harness the potential of Intelligent No-Code to empower students, young entrepreneurs and micro enterprises to become digital enterprises, in the Commonwealth’s 56 member states. By leveraging Open Weaver’s innovative no-code technology, this program will allow participants to create scalable business solutions without the need for traditional coding skills.

Through a structured program offering training on entrepreneurship and digital tools, as well as mentorship, the initiative seeks to transform participants’ innovative ideas into sustainable businesses. The program will focus on key thematic areas such as Tourism, Finance, Climate Change, Health, Energy, Education, Blue Economy, Agriculture, Fisheries, MSME development.

The deadline for applications is 15 May 2024.  

Register now  |  Watch the webinar

Media contact

  • Grace Adeniji Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat

  • E-mail