Decision makers and leaders of today have a great responsibility in making the right choices and leading a group of people or a whole population towards the better. These decision makers are expected to make rational decisions that represent their society’s values and beliefs, to bring about greater development and change to their community. Sometimes decision makers are faced with choices that might clash with their personal interests and opinions, but they must move forward with it and decide what is better for the majority. The risks and challenges that they might face are not to be taken lightly since the world is developing at a great pace and leaders or decision makers, just like everyone else, have to keep up with it, otherwise, many people will probably suffer. For this reason, sharing knowledge and expertise with different people from different communities and age groups is an arising need.
In the past decade, the young generation has had a very important role to play in the world’s social, environmental, economic and political life. Their opinion matters these days more than any other day, they have a more valued say and they represent an example of an ambitious and active citizen who is ready to change the world. Therefore, we ask ourselves to what extent decision makers nowadays can benefit from young potential and creativity in order to make better choices.
Grown Up with New Technologies and Connected with Each Other
At first, the appearance of new technologies made the world move at a faster pace. Thus, today’s youth were the first generation who were able to witness the development of this technology. This makes them the source of knowledge to decision makers when it comes to new technology and online management. In addition, when following up with new technology, leaders can learn how to adapt to this fast-paced environment and stay up to date with global changes and new trends in order to make better choices. New technology can also allow decision makers to avoid corruption and mismanagement.
Moreover, ever since the appearance of social media platforms, we have noticed that the world has become a global village, so to speak, which enhanced the feeling of global citizenship in the younger generation. Thus, they’ve been supporting each other from all over the world such as during the Beirut Blast that happened on August 4th, 2020 where Lebanese citizens, expats and foreigners got united to support affected families. They gathered themselves to help clean and renew damaged houses and provided mental health support for people to deal with their post-traumatic stress disorders. Lebanese young expats also gathered themselves under the name of Impact Lebanon and launched an online crowdfunding campaign that raised around 6.6 million pounds to support NGOs working on the ground. The formation of similar initiatives could also be observed after the fire in Notre Dame de Paris or the devastating fires in the Amazon rainforest or in Australian forests.
These platforms were an important factor in reducing the desire among youth to enlist in the army and transformed physical wars to tweets and donations to online bank transfers/ crowdfunding. Therefore, young people introduced new ways to solve issues and less materialistic topics to focus on. This can be a good lesson for countries’ leaders that they need to treat each other as one entity and to be unified under a common cause, which is developing a better future for all citizens of the earth.
Advocating for Environmental and Social Improvements
Furthermore, we have noticed over the past years that the younger generation is committed to environmental and social improvements. On the opposing side, we haven’t seen such an important involvement from politicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs and leaders who have been more concerned with profit and business contracts disregarding the impact of their decisions on the society and the environment.
For example, we can’t forget how the young Greta Thunberg blew the world by her impactful words blaming the world’s leaders for hurting the planet, increasing global warming and pollution. She showed how much they were criminals by being materialistic and only thinking of numbers; beside climate change, another example would be killing animals to make high end bag brands and shoes or deforestation of rainforests to produce luxury furniture. We can also remember Malala Yousafzai who revealed how leaders are shading the eye on gender equality, especially when it comes to women’s education.
These young ladies were a wakeup call and a huge source of inspiration to all leaders around the world. The above-mentioned activists were among the few examples that shook the world with their level of maturity, intelligence and ambition, which shows us the extent to which decision makers can learn from this younger generation how to take more humanitarian actions and care for the planet.
Looking Up to Younger Generations
To conclude, today’s young generation is on a totally different page than decision makers and leaders of the older generation. Today’s younger generation is tech-savvy and believes in fast, efficient and creative ways to deal with global issues. They have shown to be more active on the ground by constantly advocating their thoughts and beliefs that revolve around humanitarian and environmental issues, aiming to promote a healthy development of the world. All leaders and decision makers can learn from these young people modern ways to handle the world’s pressing issues, such as the environment and social equality, and make choices that would enhance the life conditions of many people around the world.
Finally, ever since we were little, we were taught to learn from those older than us and look up to them; however, today, the younger generation has proven that it can be educating the world about how to be caring, creative, efficient workers and giving back to the community at the same time. Thus, they are the seeds to a fruitful future.
An article by Mira Osman, YGC 2020.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Solutions Initiative.
Mira, 2020 Young Global Changer, is a communication officer at the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI). She has a Bachelor degree in economics from Saint Joseph University in Beirut (USJ) and takes part of the Lebanese Young Leaders of Tomorrow program (LYLOT). During her career, she worked on several advocacy campaigns that she believes in such as “Sharek latghayer” (Translation: Participate for change) that aims to push for the public consultation process to be adopted in the Lebanese parliament. Also, one of her latest campaigns tackled the importance of access to information and data analysis in making social change.