Young People Hold the Key to Creating a Better Future

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Young people today are coming to age in a world beset by crises. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic devastated lives and livelihoods around the world, the socio-economic systems of the past had put the liveability of the planet at risk and eroded the pathway to healthy, happy, fulfilled lives for too many.

The same prosperity that enabled global progress and democracy after the Second World War is now creating the inequality, social discord and climate change we see today — along with a widening generational wealth gap and youth debt burden, too. For Millennials, the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession resulted in significant unemployment, huge student debt and a lack of meaningful jobs. Now, for Generation Z, COVID-19 has caused school shutdowns, worsening unemployment, and mass protests.

Young people are right to be deeply concerned and angry, seeing these challenges as a betrayal of their future. 

But we can’t let these converging crises stifle us. We must remain optimistic – and we must act.

The next generation are the most important and most affected stakeholders when talking about our global future – and we owe them more than this. The year 2021 is the time to start thinking and acting long-term to make intergenerational parity the norm and to design a society, economy and international community that cares for all people. 

Young people are also the best placed to lead this transformation. In the past 10 years of working with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, a network of people between the ages of 20 and 30 working to address problems in more than 450 cities around the world, I’ve seen first-hand that they are the ones with the most innovative ideas and energy to build a better society for tomorrow. 

Over the past year, Global Shapers organized dialogues on the most pressing issues facing society, government and business in 146 cities, reaching an audience of more than 2 million. The result of this global, multi stakeholder effort, “Davos Labs: Youth Recovery Plan,” presents both a stark reminder of our urgent need to act and compelling insights for creating a more resilient, sustainable, inclusive world.

You can read the whole article here.

Source: World Economic Forum