How do we build future leaders?
The 21st century is the age of unseen opportunities and the breathtaking transformations. This is also by all means the century of the youth. It is the time when for the first time ever in history the technological advance allows the freedom of access to information and knowledge which the youth particularly takes great advantage of. The youth is seen, the youth is active, the youth is committed and responsible. But this is also the age of the greatest challenges that are more and more seen as global, what means requiring the whole humanity to act as one to resolve them. And it is vital for the youth to become aware of the global challenges and to develop the confidence to apply the extraordinary energy it owns and use the progressive technological means to achieve the fantastic results.
The dilemma is to what extent we accept the involvement of the youth. There are 1.8 billion young people living in the world nowadays (UN SG annual report, 2017). This is not just an impressive number. It is the large amount of voices that want to be heard, passions that want to be pursued, hopes for the life yet to come. The youth has the largest amount of energy. The matter is where this energy is directed. Is it aimed towards peacebuilding, security, sustainability, love or is it aimed towards radicalism, violence and hate?
We obviously do not want the youth to walk onto the wrong path. How do we ensure then, that our will is directed towards the certain steps that are taken on the way to the positive empowerment of the youth? The key to the mystery behind this is leadership. For in the leadership lays the fundamental difference between whether it’s we expect something from the youth to be done, or whether we actually see the youth taking the action.
None of us wants to foresee a depressive and apocalyptic future ahead. We are inspired by the great hopes that we have for the upcoming decades. We firmly believe that the generations that are to come and overtake the policy making processes will be better than the current political generation. Such hopes are turned into the visual reality through leadership of the youth. Once we see how the youth takes action, how the youth is capable of taking up serious challenges we understand that this is real and just the matter of when we decide to make this decision as the members of the youth “Do we want to become the leaders of today’s world” and for those who have access to the resources that allow such leadership to take place to make the decision towards the recognition of the unique and unsubstitutable role that the youth plays in the global affairs.
When we ask ourselves “How do we build future leaders” we really should keep in mind that we don’t want to build them in vitro and wait for the time to come so they can take action. We have to understand that the most important day of everyone’s life is today and we have to engage the youth right now and right here. This is the only way how we can actually build the future leaders. We just have to build leaders now. It is the matter of action. Let us at this moment focus on the three main pillars of youth leadership. These will be fully focused on the specifics of a young individual’s character.