Are you ready for the experience of a lifetime?
During Global Village we give young people a taste of cultures from different cultures. We do take that quite literally by having some food and snacks for students to try out. Getting out of your comfort zone is crucial for our volunteer projects abroad and this is a first step. During the event they can talk to people with different cultural background and get more information on our exchange programs.
We love celebrating people in all their cultural diversity. Our society is becoming more multicultural and the first step to make this work is getting to know each other’s culture. It is amazing how much we can learn from each other.
Our Global Village lets people have a taste of different culture. At the same time we want to open their eyes to more opportunities to discover the world and get new perspectives by giving more information about our Global Citizen program. When you volunteer abroad, you have a double impact. On one side, you help a community in their development and at the same time you challenge your own ideas of the world.
Our Global Village on the campus of UiO was a big success. We want to thank everyone for stopping by and making this event so much fun. If you were not there, the pictures below can show you a bit of how the event looked like. Even though it was cold, the food and the atmosphere were tropical.
Challenge yourself, become a Global Talent
Break the Border allows young people to get a first taste of skills that are needed to be a Global Talent. It allows them to step out of their comfort zone. During the event they can interact with guest speakers from both corporate as non-corporate sector.
In today’s society international experience is becoming more and more a necessity. It is important for young people to get out of their comfort zone and get some of the skills you cannot get by going to classes.
Break the Border wants to challenge young people to look beyond and find opportunities that will allow them to develop themselves more. It gives the participants a first taste of what kind of skills you develop while you intern abroad.
People who signed up for Break the Border can click the button to get an e-book on Storytelling written by a Greta Solomon, who has been coaching people on the subject for 14 years already.
Break the Border 2015 was a big success. We want to thank everyone for their participation and making this event a success. If you were not there, the pictures below can give you an idea of what the event looked. Soon we will be starting to work on the next edition of this amazing event.
This generation of young people – the largest the world has ever seen – has a historic opportunity to end poverty, combat climate change, create jobs and fight injustice, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a Youth Forum at UN Headquarters in New York this morning as he called on the participants to get involved in shaping a future sustainable development agenda.
Today, there are 1.8 billion young people, representing one quarter of the world’s population. Many struggle to find work, and are often hit hardest in conflict. The Secretary-General says that it is time now to see this huge cohort as a force of change that harbours the ingenuity and creativity to help solve the world’s most daunting challenges.
The event started with a keynote address urging an uptick in investment for children around the world, children’s activist and 2007 International Children’s Peace Prize Winner, Thandiwe Chama, called on delegates to be “on the right side of history” and place “our rights, the rights of children and youth, at the heart of the SDG agenda.”
“There’s no doubt that young people are facing multiple challenges to meet their potential but they are not giving up,” emphasized Youth Envoy Mr. Alhendawi.
“Everywhere I go, I see how the youth want to be connected to the United Nations; they will not miss any opportunity to volunteer and to advocate. They will participate at the Model UN just to simulate what’s happening in the rooms with delegates. Today we are not simulating. This is the United Nations in action.”
As the UN representative on all things relating to young people, Mr. Alhendawi said that a “sense of ownership” is critical to the success of the future sustainable development agenda. The 1.8 billion young people worldwide are ready to “carry their share” of the post-2015 development.
AIESEC representatives Karolina Piotrowska and Tala Mansi are present at the forum to voice our opinions in the role of Youth in light of the upcoming launch of the UN SDG’s.
Tala Mansi spoke on the panel voicing “the importance of youth development, bridging the gap between employment and education, and creating individual commitment and awareness of SDG’s from the bottom up.”
The engagement of young people is key to ensuring the successes of the SDG’s as young people will be the ones implementing these large global initiatives. AIESEC has engaged tens of thousands of young people in voicing up their opinions via the YouthSpeak survey where it captures their opinions on the challenges they face in reaching their fullest potential.
We further encourage young people to take ownership of the issues they care about and not sit still waiting for change to come. As we firmly believe that the world needs new leaders and our generation are the ones who need to step up, have courage and stand up for what matters to us.
The world needs your leadership and it’s your time to step up and take responsibility. When was the last time you spoke up about issues that mattered to you?
You can learn more about the ECOSOC Youth forum here.
The first thing you get to know when you hear about AIESEC is that it was established in 1948 with the aim of creating a new leaders’ generation: the generation which would avoid the Second World War’s horrors.
Years have passed, but our motto is still the same: “Peace and fulfilment of humankind’s potential”
But in the 1989, the risk of a third world war loomed like never before, and the epicentre, was once again, in Berlin.
Luckily things went differently: the wall fell down and the iron curtain itself was down for good. After one of the most dreadful times in our history there has come a new chapter in the life of many people, and AIESEC was there.
Stefano Boccaletti, Leonardo Cullurà and Claudia Siracusa, three generations of leaders were in Berlin of the night of November 19, 989.
A month ago I had the pleasure to meet them and to hear their stories.
Claudia started up:
“I just became an AIESEC member and I had to find an excuse to justify my getaway in the middle of semester. I told my father that I had been awarded with a journey for my scholar merits, but the lie was definitely worth it!!!”
For Stefano that would have been one of his last international meetings since he was close to the end of his term and he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
“The night of the 9th of November, was set in my AIESECers’ agenda as an outdoor global pyjama’s party. Suddenly, someone started shouting in German, that “the wall is being demolished”. None of the Italian delegates could speak German but it didn’t take long for us to understand what was happening.”
Leonardo told us that they have managed to steal a street sign to use it as a hammer. Suddenly they saw Claudia jumping on the wall and singing it with a few Danish.
The emotion and the trembling voice while telling us the story is beyond imagination.
The year after that, Claudia has become the AIESEC Brescia’s Local Chapter President, while Leonardo was voted the President of AIESEC in Italy. In their motivational speeches they both reminded that it is us, young people, who can change the future.
Ana Julea, AIESEC in Italy
As 2015 is slowly approaching, the world is closely watching to witness the accomplishments of the 8 MDGs, set by the United Nations back in the year 2000.
“The world has reduced extreme poverty by half, efforts in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis have shown results, access to an improved drinking water source became a reality for 2.3 billion people”, etc. says The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014.
Let’s take a closer look at the goals and progress reports from this video:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, but 1 in 5 still live on less than 1.25 dollars per day in developing countries. And although the world has reduced extreme poverty in half, 842 million people around the world still suffer from chronic hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education – The number of children with no access to primary school education decreased from 102 million in 2000 to 58 million in 2012. While the amount has significantly decreased, the number of out-of-school children is still alarming.
3. Reduce child mortality – Under-5 mortality rate was reduced almost by 50%, but a lot more needs to be achieved if we want to achieve 2/3 reduction.
4. Improve maternal health – Maternal mortality ratio is down 45% since 1990. However, every day about 800 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
5. Ensure environmental sustainability – Since 2012, 2.3 billion more have access to improved drinking water, but 748 million still use water from an unimproved source.
For more statistics, take a look at:
While we ought to celebrate our achievements and recognize the progress we’ve made, we shouldn’t forget how far the world is from where we want it to be. Working on these issues is not priority only now or only until 2015, but every day.
On August 19th 2014, 700 young people from 124 countries and territories gathered at the Global Youth to Business Forum, an event bringing together top young leaders and experts, business and thought leaders, with the aim of generating new, actionable ideas that will impact the world and its future.
They spent the whole day discussing the topics ranging from Diversity and Inclusion, Technology and Innovation to Climate Change, Sustainability and Changing Education. Together, they have come up with action steps that could help improve each of those areas and move the world forward. Stay tuned for our report to find out about the solutions youth and business co-created together!
Don’t forget that we have only 500 days left until MDGs. At the same time, let’s not forget that impact is a daily responsibility. This is why AIESEC offers volunteer internships that help tackle social topics such as cultural understanding, education and literacy, social entrepreneurship, environment, health and lifestyle and many others. For more information, please visit: http://globalcitizen.aiesec.org
This is how we contribute to making an impact every day and helping move this world forward. Share with us:
“We are not the leaders of tomorrow, we are the leaders of today”
– Opening remarks by Jayathma Wickramanayake, Sri Lanka’s first Youth Delegate to the UN
Last week Sri Lanka hosted the World Conference on Youth. Over 1,500 young people representing 169 different countries gathered in the capital city of Colombo for this conference which has been held all over the world every few years since 1936. The United Nations is currently in the process of drafting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the replacement for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which expire in 2015. The biggest problem with the MDGs was that there was little to no youth participation, even though youth were the ones who were responsible for carrying them out. The young people at this conference and around the world are determined to make sure their inputs are considered this time around.
The purpose of the conference was to gather youth input from all over the world to produce a joint outcome document between the government representatives in attendance and the global representation of youth, officially called the “Colombo Declaration on Youth.” This document will be taken back to the UN headquarters in New York City to be considered in the negotiations of the SDGs.
Participants came from all over the world and were fully funded by the government of Sri Lanka. Delegates included youth from marginalized backgrounds, youth leaders and experts, Sri Lankan youth delegates, national youth delegates representing 200 nations, and youth from international youth-led organizations—including AIESEC. Cassandra Ruggiero, Global VP of Public Relations for AIESEC International, and myself as the AIESEC Representative to the United Nations, who represented AIESEC at the conference. There were roughly 20 other AIESECers in attendance from Sri Lanka and the rest of the world.
The biggest testament to the strength of the AIESEC network was that anyone you asked about AIESEC had either participated in a program or definitely knew all about it. Whether or not they were formally a part of our organisation, everyone had the mindset of an AIESECer: determined to make the world a better place through youth leadership.
Cassandra was able to step in for a missing speaker on the Globalization and Youth-led Development panel to share these values with an audience of nearly one hundred people. She was given only 5 minutes to prepare after being asked to speak on the panel, a tribute to the ability of AIESECers to adapt under pressure to any situation. After speaking on the panel, we ran a side event on “Becoming the Leader the World Needs” to help delegates reflect on their leadership journeys so that they can take the excitement of the conference back home and make an impact in their countries.
While many side events focused on presenting information on different thematic areas, AIESEC’s event stuck to a youthful vibe that allowed delegates to learn from their past experiences in leadership and start to figure out what they feel their strengths are. This was just a taste of AIESEC’s leadership development program that runs for each of their members around the world.
“By figuring out how to be the best version of yourself, you can be a better leader for the world, and have more impact in whichever path you choose.”
The Millennium Development Goals have done a lot over the last 14 years to change the world we live in, but take a moment to think about how your leadership can shape the world post-2015. There are many avenues within the United Nations to express your vision for the future, including the MyWorld Survey, but the most important thing for you to do is think about your own community/village/town/city/country/world and figure out how you can make an impact, starting today.
To read more about the outcomes of the World Conference on Youth, head to their blog.
Every morning, I sit at my desk as Global VP of Public Relations for AIESEC International to do my daily news scan. I am instantly flooded with new articles about women not being represented enough in the top leadership positions; blog posts on how women need to take every opportunity they can at work; and reports on how to encourage female Millennials because we’re facing a leadership gap.
I then take a look around me.
In my office, there are women everywhere. Out of twenty-two full time staff on the global executive team of AIESEC, eleven of them are women – three of them are at the upper management level. Around 50 percent of our 100,000 members are women. As an organisation we are rich with “up and coming” young female leaders.
Even down at our national level where we have offices in 124 countries and territories, young women are consistently represented in the highest leadership positions. “I decided to run for President of AIESEC in India because I had something to offer and I had a vision for where I wanted the organisation to go” says Ramita Vg, Global VP Product Development for AIESEC International. “I never questioned myself because I would only be the second female President. I did it because I felt responsibility for the organisation.”
So if at a younger age our women are still striving for these upper leadership positions, where do all of the good women go?
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg ignited an international conversation about women and ambition with the publication of her book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. Her argument that women need to overcome internal barriers in order to advance as leaders has provoked significant debate. Skeptics claim that Sandberg’s message simplifies a complex problem and ultimately blames women for not making it to the top; supporters believe she is inspiring women to aim higher in their careers and offering practical advice to help them succeed.
From looking at the way our young women advance in AIESEC, we can pinpoint to four possible reasons why they do not make it to the upper leadership roles:
It is not always a natural next step to apply for a higher position within an organisation or to seek out more responsibility in a higher labeled role. Regardless of being a male or female, if someone is feeling happy, challenged and fulfilled in a particular position, they may not have the urge to apply to a higher position. It may be that they are already happy in their current role and in the impact they are creating. Generally, when people are happy they do what they can to keep that feeling.
Not every woman will decide to put her career first. This comes down to what the individual defines as success; as their end goal for their lives. Some will choose their education level; others will decide that attaining a certain position will determine their success. For some the salary they make and the materials they own determine their success. Some women will decide that having a family and children is their idea of success. Each woman will have their own definition of success, and this does not always coincide with taking leadership roles within an organisation. There are certain tasks and behaviors that upper level management roles will demand that are unable to be balanced with other priorities. Maybe what needs to change is the way we view leadership roles and what is needed to fulfill them? If you were to ask someone what a typical day looks like for a C-level executive, they will most likely describe it with long hours, back to back meetings and an overall demanding lifestyle. Maybe the typical life of an executive needs to be redefined so that the opportunity can be taken by more individuals than just those who strictly prioritise work.
A woman may be skilled enough to take on a leadership role, but if the environment around her does not encourage and support her to do so, it could never happen. This is down to the system and people that make up the work environment she is in. If the system is not open, progressive and does not embrace diversity it is very hard for a woman to push her way through it. If the people around her are not encouraging, and are not showing and supporting her through the path of advancement, she may never know the opportunity is open for her. Creating an environment that supports any skilled person, no matter their gender, to take on a higher position is the responsibility of the company or organisation.
Do women question their abilities to take on larger roles and responsibilities? Does the male-dominated boardroom intimidate them? We can think of many questions when we look at the substantial drop in female leaders as we move up the corporate ladder. Is there a change in their ambition as they get older or are there other factors stopping them? In her books Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead and Lean In for Graduates, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, states that women often do not aspire to more in their careers and in their leadership journeys. Maybe it is because they don’t think about it, or they don’t believe that they could actually succeed in reaching the goals they set for themselves; as women tend to not believe enough in their capabilities. After determining that they want to be a leader, women need to lean in and take every opportunity regardless of their fear of failure.
PwC is one global company that identifies with the Lean In movement and is committed to supporting an environment that will help women to achieve their full potential. The firm believes that it will take a collaborative effort of companies, leaders and from women themselves to start to close this leadership gap. According to U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner Bob Moritz, “Leaders profoundly influence the aspirations of the people who work with them, which is why ambition requires mutual accountability. Companies have a responsibility to provide opportunities and support women as they explore career possibilities and life choices. That’s why PwC is leaning in.”
On 24 April from 4:30pm GMT, PwC will be hosting its first-ever global forum on women and leadership. The event is part of “Aspire to Lead: The PwC Women’s Leadership Series,” which includes a number of programs and workshops designed for college students who are looking to build their leadership skills.
Sheryl Sandberg will share her perspective, and answer questions on the challenges women face when transitioning from campus to career in a special live webcast. The event will be broadcast live from Facebook’s campus in California. A replay will be available shortly after the live broadcast and translated versions of the webcast will be available the week of 5 May.
We encourage you to participate in this discussion by tuning into the live webcast or watching the replay at www.pwc.com/aspire. In addition, this webcast is open to anyone, so please share this unique opportunity with those in your personal, school and professional networks.
Maybe if we can get young women to start planning their career goals now, we have a better chance of helping them get there – and hopefully gain more good leadership that the world desperately needs.
The topic of women in leadership sparked a conversation throughout our office that we want to continue – stay tuned for more content coming in the next few weeks!
“There are 26.2 million people unemployed in the EU today – an increase of more than 9 million people from 2008. This trend has significant economic, political and social consequences for Europe. The challenge for European leaders is to solve this puzzle and to help citizens find sustainable and long-term employment opportunities.”
(www.iiea.com – The Institute of International and European Affairs)
Sustainable and long-term employment opportunities do not include just generating new job posts, but also educating and preparing youth to be ready for responsibilities these job posts bring. Nowadays Millennials complain about the lack of open job posts, while businesses argue that Gen Y lack the needed skill sets.
Who is right and who is wrong?
Rather than taking one side, let us consider the fact that there is a gap in expectation setting from both sides: what young people want from their employers vs. companies’ expectations from their employees and the type of employee they would be more likely to hire. Imagine what would happen if we aligned supply and demand – the kind of the jobs young people are looking for and developing the set of characteristics young people need to perform in their dream jobs.
What is also often disputed when talking about youth unemployment is the mindset young people born as Gen Y share – they are ambitious but not humble; they expect excellent conditions from the get go; they are not prepared to start from scratch and work up the ranks, rather demanding everything right now. How can we make sure young people understand what is needed in order to land their dream job? How can we shift the current mindset?
As often happens, challenges arise from more than one source; it is the combination of everything mentioned above. On one hand, the education young people are acquiring is leaving them unprepared to deal with today’s job market reality. They lack practical knowledge, skills and strategic thinking, which are usually not acquired through formal education. And on the other hand, employers seek young people who are ready to dedicate themselves to work, learn and advance but who nevertheless have some previous experience or at least certain set of characteristics and skills. Do we as young people know what these characteristics are? And are we developing them?
On April 7th in Warsaw, Poland, Europe Youth to Business Forum will gather all stakeholders important in solving the issue of youth unemployment – young people, educators, government and business. They will have the opportunity to discuss and generate ideas on how collaboration can lead to solving this challenge in the region.
Join us on livestream (bit.ly/EuropeY2BF) and contribute to flipping the switch on youth unemployment in Europe!
AIESEC and ING share the same commitment towards leadership development, because in a world advancing at an unprecedented pace, we need leadership more than ever in order to tackle the arising challenges. However, as the world is changing, leadership is evolving too – adopting new forms that correspond to the 21st century lifestyle and culture. Nowadays, individuals are not leaders per se, but because they are experts in an area there is demand for, because they know how to build a culture, impact people and start a movement.
In order to build and nurture the right culture and develop the right kind of leadership, it is important to start from the “Iceberg principle” – What is it that we value and how will we behave according to it? People perform best when they are motivated and when they work on something they genuinely believe in, guided by values and ethics established within a shared culture.
That is why ING aims to build positive, inspiring leadership from the inside out and does this by encouraging employees to really know themselves; because leadership begins with self-awareness.
ING Bank will be facilitating a workshop at Youth to Business Forum Top Leaders Edition on February 25, 2014 where Mr. Robert Scholten, Country Head for Greater China will give participants a chance to learn about the ING Orange Leadership behaviours and how they are also applicable in the day-to-day life.
Join us on our official Facebook channel www.facebook.com/GlobalY2B and watch live to find out more about the type of leadership that is developed in this international bank.
The year 2015 is approaching and with it the turning point for the current Millennium Development Goals. All eyes will be on the United Nations and the post-2015 developmental agenda. It is the right time to start thinking about what the future holds beyond 2015. Leadership nowadays is culture-oriented and issue-based, striving to be not just a concept, but a socially responsible solution for the challenges the world is facing. Once we define challenges we want to tackle in the future, we can be set to shape the type of leadership young people will need to be able to solve world’s burning problems.
The world is changing at an unprecedented pace and it is necessary to have a visionary outlook in order to predict challenges and start generating possible sustainable solutions. Today’s professions did not exist 10 years ago and we probably have not yet anticipated the professions of tomorrow. However, by ensuring we are developing experts aware of the world they live in, we are one step closer to being in charge of our future, keeping up with the evolution and not falling behind.
Technology has changed the way we perceive the world and has influenced the lifestyle of a new generation – Gen Y. It has created interconnected, intertwined society, but has also contributed to information overload, or in other words “information glut” and “data smog”.
T.S.Eliot once asked “Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
Technology did not only change our lifestyle, but also a much deeper aspect of society – the one comprised of values. Since the values that guide people have shifted, we have to ensure that the values the world is built on today, will not endanger any aspect of life in the future. While it is encouraged to live in the present, shortsightedness can prove fatal, as seen by the state of the climate change today.
Representatives of Generation Y will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2030. It is crucial to understand the way they think, work and act in order to provide the right opportunity for them to develop skills they will need in the future and in order to ensure the right kind of leadership is in store for tomorrow. If provided with an interactive and informative learning platform, young people will be able to develop their potential to the fullest and use it to contribute to their society.
We should define the type of leaders we want to develop in the future. The first step to developing leaders is knowing what kind of leadership we would like to see in the future. Dynamic? Collaborative? Impactful? Inclusive?
It is important to remember that leadership is not an end goal, but a solution. There are no easy fixes for the challenges we are facing. But the best way to tackle them is to invest in youth – young leaders who will one day decide about the future of our world. In order to achieve that, it is necessary we begin today.
What type of leadership would you like to see in 2030?