Economic Growth

These 6 millennial Co-Chairs have a message for Davos

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, Basima Abdulrahman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, KESK Green Building Consulting, Iraq; Cultural Leader, Juan David Aristizabal, President and Co-Founder, Los Zœper, Noura Berrouba, Member of the Governing Body, European Youth Parliament, Julia Luscombe, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Feeding America, USA, Akira Sakano, Chair, Board of Directors, Zero Waste Academy Japan, Japan, Mohammed Hassan Mohamud, Zonal Chairman, Kakuma, Kenya and Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, USA during the Session "Shaping Globalization 4.0" at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 22, 2019. Congress Cenre - Congress Hall. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Valeriano Di Domenico

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, is one of seven Co-Chairs of Davos, along with the young leaders Image: World Economic Forum / Valeriano Di Domenico

Briony Harris
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Economic Progress

The Co-Chairs of this year's Annual Meeting have delivered a strong call to action to participants in Davos.

Perhaps the most emotional plea came from Mohammed Hassan Mohamud, a Somalian refugee who has spent the last 20 years living as a displaced person in Kenya. Next week he will go back to that camp. And what keeps him awake at night is whether he will spend the rest of his life there.

His call to action for participants was two-fold. First of all he said that refugee camps were unethical, killing people and their spirit. Then he challenged people to get to know refugees, talk to them, and demystify them. "I don't know what you're afraid of," he said.

Read more about Mohammed’s experiences of growing up in a refugee camp here

Or watch his full speech below:

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An education revolution

Colombia's Juan David Aristizabal also gave a moving account of his early life, when a recession caused young people to turn to violence. He has since dedicated his life to equipping people with the skills they need to be successful, through his foundation Todos por la Educación.

"We are in a learning crisis - people are not equipped with the right skills," he said, "So one of the things I want to do is show how we have to change the education system - do a revolution in education."

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A Sustainable future

Basima Abdulrahman is from Iraq, and watched the devastation of her home country during her life as a student in the US.

She decided to take the road less travelled and return to her homeland to hep rebuild it. "We are finally on a brink of a new era," she said, referring to the rebuilding of Iraq which will cost an estimated $100bn.

"My mission is to make sure we invest sustainable and green," she said, setting the bar higher for everyone involved.

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Saving the planet

Noura Berrouba is a member of the governing body of the European Youth Parliament. Her message was that young people won't be silent bystanders when it came to safeguarding the future of our planet.

"Step up on climate action or step aside," she told world leaders.

"If we want to honestly repair the climate crisis, we can't just repair a broken system, we must reimagine it," she said.

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Fighting inequality

Julia Luscombe grew up in Chicago, and saw at first hand the inequity between people on one side of the street in comfortable homes and people on the other side who didn't have enough food to eat. That led her to start a nationwide network of foodbanks.

Her call to action is to address these inequities through stopping food waste.

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The circular economy

Akira Sakano lives in a community that is committed to zero waste. Her small community in Japan is already recycling or reusing 81% of everything it uses.

Read her full story here.

Her call to action is for the world to see what has happened in her small village, adapt their systems, and learn how to embrace a circular economy.

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World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

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Related topics:
Economic GrowthEducation and SkillsSustainable DevelopmentNature and Biodiversity
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