Sustainable Development

From 600 Young Global Leaders, 5 actions to create a sustainable future for all

Workers remove scaffolding from a replica of planet earth after repairs at Science City in Ahmedabad, India, July 29, 2016.REUTERS/Amit Dave     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - S1BETSIYPBAA

Image: REUTERS/Amit Dave

Amy Kirby
Communication Specialist, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, World Economic Forum Geneva
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Sustainable Development

The World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders (YGLs) and its Alumni community committed to promising targets during their 15th Annual Summit held in San Francisco on 15-18 October 2018. The 616 YGLs from more than 85 countries around the world participated in wide-ranging discussions where ideas, innovations and trends to co-create a sustainable future for all were shared.

With inspiration from Klaus Schwab, the Founder of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, pioneer of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and the backdrop of San Francisco’s innovative technology scene, five commitments were announced:

1. Expediting refugee entrepreneurship

In collaboration with the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Forum of Young Global Leaders will drive unique educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for 1,000 refugees and host communities in Kakuma, Kenya, by 2020. As a starting point, the Global Shapers Community has created the first hub ever in a refugee camp.

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2. Forging new approaches to public sector leadership

A partnership between the Apolitical Academy and the Forum of Young Global Leaders will hasten innovation in political leadership to unlock the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s promise to build a more sustainable future. Apolitical will equip 100 Young Leaders to effectively influence politics and policy in the next two years.

3. Seeding a new deal for nature

Today, 4% of the oceans and 15% of the land are conserved and these levels will not preserve the planet. The National Geographic Society and Dynamic Planet will take advantage of the Forum of Young Global Leaders to secure a New Deal for Nature by 2020 and commit governments to protecting 30% of the land and sea by 2030.

Tom Szaky, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, TerraCycle; Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education and Culture of Finland; Miroslava Duma, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Future Tech Lab; and Poppy Allonby, Managing Director and Head, Strategic Product Management, Europe, Middle East and Africa, BlackRock, at the YGL Alumni Annual Summit 2018. Image: World Economic Forum
4. Ending the Indian sanitation crisis

The Maverick Collective, an initiative of Population Services International (PSI), will work with a coalition of Young Global Leaders, through a project entitled #AfterTheFlush, to ensure that every citizen in 10 urban cities across India will have access to clean sanitation facilities by 2020. In urban Indian towns, approximately 90 percent of all faecal waste is left untreated and disposed into public spaces, presenting severe risks to human health. To combat the issue, over the next two years, #AfterTheFlush will mobilize local governments, private actors, and consumers in India and establish a sustainable sanitation ecosystem, ultimately providing healthier outcomes for all Indians. The Maverick Collective was founded by YGLs Kate Roberts and HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

5. Scaling social gastronomy

In collaboration with Cargill and Gastromotiva, YGLs have committed to uniting 1,000 social gastronomy ambassadors and establishing 20 social gastronomy hubs by 2020 to address social inequality, fight hunger and improve nutrition education in communities that need it the most.

The World Economic Forum is proud this year’s summit was a carbon-neutral, #GreenEvent. Environmental criteria and actions were integrated every step of the way, including in programme design and event logistics through initiatives led by YGLs, including the recycling of summit badges, the providing of sustainable notepads, and the distribution of extra food to those in need. With the support of YGL-led consulting firm Three Squares and Founder Jaime Nack, the summits’ carbon footprint was calculated and offset with carbon credits purchased from Schwab Foundation Social Enterprise, South Pole.

The Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, closed the summit by sharing her very own and personal story with the young leaders. London Breed is no stranger to the brutality of San Francisco, she was raised in poverty, her younger sister died of a drug overdose and her brother is in prison. However, she was able to overcome tragedy, thanks to a public youth empowerment and training programmes, (and a strong grandmother) to become Mayor of her city.

She inspired the audience, announcing her mission to support and lift young people up so that no one is left behind through her new Opportunities for All programme to give paid internships to all high schoolers.

Download our report for more highlights from the Young Global Leaders and Alumni Annual Summit 2018.

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Related topics:
Sustainable DevelopmentStakeholder CapitalismLeadership
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