If not me, then who? If not now, then when?
We have inherited a collection of global challenges which need to be addressed with a global mindset. One Young World, a summit bringing together the brightest young minds from 196 countries, challenged my beliefs and redefined the benchmark of what is possible.
After speaking at the conference in 2015, I got involved in the organisation itself given my deep belief in the ability it has in developing a global and empathetic leadership mindset. What would the world look like today if global superpowers had been friends when they were 25? In my generation we may just find out!
Here are some of the key reflections I have taken which I think are specifically relevant in our profession:
- You don’t have to leave your job to change the world The big challenges of our generation often require solutions through reimagining business models and value chains. Global business has an important role to play − learn to use this platform as a force for good.
- Achieving climate change is the space race of our generation This is the first truly existential, universal problem humanity is facing. If we do not make radical changes to the way we live, work and play, climate change will reach irreversible levels. This will render anything else we do irrelevant.
- Mental health is the invisible enemy Be kind to others and yourself. Looking after your mental wellbeing is critical to be in a position to make sound judgements on a consistent basis.
- Education cannot wait Despite all current efforts, by 2030, 200 million children will still not be in school. What will these mean for our societies? Through imagine.nation we focus on education in the formative years, an area we believe is significantly under-supported, resulting in children not having a real fighting chance.
- Structural racism and inequality are everywhere. Challenge yourself on issues you have turned a blind eye to Start reflecting, asking questions, and speaking to people who are different from you. What is the starting point in life for different people and why? What barriers exist in our own workplace? What level of cultural conformity is expected?
- The biggest cause of extremism is exclusion We need to create societies, and businesses, which are truly inclusive through dialogue, mutual understanding and actions that embrace all. There is a common agenda for humanity and there is more power in being united than divided.
- A proactive rather than reactive mindset is imperative While consequence is important, the cause behind societal challenges needs to be addressed with urgency.
- There are many deficits in the world, but leadership is perhaps the greatest one Many of the world’s most pressing issues are within our power to address. They require empathy only gained by truly putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and they require the commercial skills in our profession to solve problems. Ask yourself, if not me then who? If not now, then when?