The power of high-profile international conferences, such as The World Economic Forum, stems from the remarkable individuals and organizations who attend and the globally pivotal agenda and action plan that is discussed. The logistic effort required to bring so many successful businesspeople and experts on world affairs at the same time in the same room is immeasurable. That is why the organizational anecdotes remain behind the curtains once the event is over, while the thoroughly expanded agenda and networking can be further practically implemented in the experts’ geographical and impact areas.
The World Economic Forum in Davos (WEF) has never been closer to Millennials. WEF’s live stream and media library with many videos out of 250 sessions are available on this link. For example, young people from around the world can connect simultaneously and watch global leaders identify and discuss the most pressing economic and political priorities in our world. Due to technology and interconnectivity portrayed in the six-person degree separation, Millennials can build up their understanding of world affairs and continue following: how the Republic of Korea is going to develop a creative economy once their President Park Geun-Hye emphasized at WEF ways to promote entrepreneurship. The theme of the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting was The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business, including youth leadership in many aspects.
Therefore, at The Millennial Challenge Session Muhtar A. Kent, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, USA shared ‘‘an action-based agenda in Coca-Cola’s 5by20 programme, which aims to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020.’’ Since December 2013 the programme has reached 337,000 users, thus empowering both Coca-Cola Corporation its employees and society. Millennials should also watch closely for The Forum’s Global Shapers, a network of 302 hubs and 3,165 shapers in all continents who implement youth leadership projects for the 50% of the global population under the age of 27.
In the age of recession we must also look at the employers’ perspective where McKinsey’s statistics becomes either an alarm or a green light for youth’s continual development. Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa, stated that a McKinsey study ‘‘found that 57% of employers complain there are not enough qualified candidates for certain work.’’ Certainly, in order to improve our economy and environment, the generation of young leaders who did not contribute to creation of those problems will have to use their enthusiasm and perseverance more straightforwardly, while they execute their leadership and expertise on a daily basis.
The session on Disruptive Innovations emphasized the synergy between a young ambitious workforce and the transformational technologies. Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe emphasized the necessity for developing a TQ (Technology Quotient), IQ (Intelligence Quotient) as well as EQ (Emotional Quotient) in the business arena. Levy shared the experience from Publicis Groupe offices, where “25-year olds challenge all the certainties we have held for decades. If you want to stay alive, you need to question yourself all the time.”
David Jones also believes that empowering young leaders can lead to more sustainable economies. David Jones is the youngest global Chief Executive Officer in the history of advertising with Havas Media Agency and co-founder of The One Young World Summit, sometimes referred to ‘‘Davos for 25-year olds’’ because of its intensive and effective consultations and projects. Jones shared exclusively for MUNPlanet what he said at a World Economic Forum panel, ‘‘This generation of young people is unique - it's the most knowledgeable, most responsible and above all most powerful generation we have ever seen - they understand the digital and social revolution that is changing the world better than anyone else and how to harness its power to drive change - they will succeed where we have failed’’
This year WEF focused its discussions on 4 priority areas: Disruptive Innovations which transform our professional lives and leisure time; Inclusive Growth as a way to prosperity in financial crisis; Society’s New Expectations so that business and government leaders are seen as more accountable and civic involvement strengthens.
Image: David Jones
At One Young World Summit in Johannesburg 2013 I had the great honor to meet some of WEF Global Shapers and David Jones. Thus, I can confidently highlight that one of the key findings of all global events lies in the quote of Dale Carnegie, stated around a century ago. ‘‘Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.’’ As you pave your way towards international Millennial empowerment, remember that the greatest and most practical truths about leadership are timeless.
Cover Image: The Guardian