Since moving to Germany in 2009, I have been privileged to meet so many wonderful people and Gen Yers from all walks of life, who are in the game of changing the world for the better – whether in the charitable sphere, through literature, art, design and music or through their work for the environment or in technology.
Passionate about positive change and empowered by the knowledge that we all inherently possess unlimited potential to make a difference in some way, I wanted to explore the concepts of engagement, inspiration and creativity in our generation further – more than just what a particular organisation or movement is about but really get inside the mind of the key players who are driving change: Who or what inspires you? Why do you do what you do?
Much has been written on wisdom and learning lessons from babyboomer leaders and Gurus. I am the first one to admit that we can learn alot from older people. Yet I am also the first to admit that learning from older people can sometimes be hard – sure they have the life experience, whereas we do not and to be honest, it can sometimes be quite patronising. I see the danger that if we restrict ourselves too often to just passively LISTEN to what other, older people who’ve “been there and done that” have to say, we will never learn how we can step up and take charge of our lives. There are a few questions which have been niggling away at me since I turned 30: How can we learn from our peers, people who are experiencing what we are experiencing? How can we find out about new ways to do something meaningful and get involved? How can we have the confidence to make mistakes, and take some risks along the way?
That is why the new global conference One Young World, which gathers youth leaders under 30 from around the world to solve pressing global issues with the likes of Desmond Tutu,author Waris Dirie and even Jamie Oliver as patrons, is a welcome initiative. I wasn’t there last week but did watch the live stream. Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Laureate and Founder of the micro – credit Grameen Bank, told delegates in Zurich at the second annual OYW conference:
“You are the most powerful generation in the whole world. And the most knowledgeable generation because you know how to access information. You are much more prepared than anyone else in any other generation.”
These days, let’s face it, who can (or wants to) fork out $3000 to hear Donald Trump?
That is one reason for starting this series on my blog: to feature exciting people from different backgrounds who I feel are making a positive change and to share their stories with with you. It may sound like a fairly broad agenda I know, but for me it is easy to narrow down. I meet so many different people at conferences, dinner parties, cultural launches, on the train, through introductions, on my travels or on social media. The sparks tend to fly when we figure out we share similar philosophies and three main traits: a sense of duty to act, being annoyingly inquisitive and seeking to challenge the status quo through action.
It is a new initiative and will evolve organically, pretty much like the rest of this blog. I am open to feedback and suggestions. I am really excited at what kind of conversations it will start and new ideas it will spark. It is not in any way an attempt to indoctrinate, rather an avenue to share inspiring stories. It is my hope that through these dynamic interviews, it will inspire you to follow your dream, however big or small and realise that there is always a way to do something. At the end of the day, it is about being true to yourself and doing what you love, and not just to please your parents/partner/family. The first interview is with an award – winning European Social Entrepreneur, and I’ll be posting very shorly.