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How young leaders will fix the world

By Bayo Ogunmupe
08 November 2021   |   4:11 am
Only young people have big ideas on how to improve the state of the world as coronavirus becomes endemic. In a time of high uncertainty, the need for scalable, coordinated and collective action is more urgent than ever.

Only young people have big ideas on how to improve the state of the world as coronavirus becomes endemic. In a time of high uncertainty, the need for scalable, coordinated and collective action is more urgent than ever. Members of the Forum of Young Global Leaders (a sub group of the World Economic Forum) are disrupting the status quo with big ideas to drive systemic change in this time of crisis. Let us learn more about the impact of the Young Global Leaders around the world.
The coronavirus has exposed and exacerbated existing inequity, injustice and vulnerability across the world. To date many people, many communities and organizations continue to navigate this health crisis while trying to manage its unmeasurable economic consequences. In addition, the cherished lifestyle disruption by the pandemic, the many technological advances and the fast paced changes are challenging mankind to evolve at speeds never experienced before. Thus, more than any other previous generation, today’s young leaders have a much better understanding of how their actions will impact on our collective future.

This has presented us with a unique opportunity to rethink the way we do things and challenge the status quo. It is time for our older leaders to respond and pave the way for a sustainable and inclusive recovery. Every year since 2005, the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL) selects a diverse cohort of promising leaders to accelerate their impact and shape a more inclusive and sustainable future. During the 2021 YGL Annual Summit, global leaders from different sectors, backgrounds and locations pitched their Big Ideas to tackle existing issues and called on their peers to scale their impact and create lasting change.
As we are working to rework the world, these young leaders identified, out of the box, priorities to ensure effective post pandemic recovery plans and secure a better future for current and future generations. First among these avant-garde leaders is the founder and managing partner, Novamed, David Walcot: Emerging markets face high levels of health inequity, the arrant levels of which have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic; with inequitable vaccine access. Left to the market, low income countries like Nigeria, would receive vaccines up to seven years after high income counterparts, because of their greater purchasing power and stronger economic incentive.
Thus, Dr Walicot offers to bridge the world health inequity, urging the emerging democracies to focus on building economic force through consolidation of their purchasing efforts – like the recent AVAT initiative by the African Union. Despite low purchasing powers, the sheer size of consolidated markets create greater economic incentives for resource mobilization. This paradigm shift could transform the landscape of global resource allocation in healthcare- including COVID-19 vaccines.

For the restoration of our natural world, the Executive Director, SCA Group, Bhairavi Jani believes that in this 21st century we have to move away from the anthropocentric view of the planet. Once we see ourselves not as the lords of our natural world, and seeing ourselves as an integral part of it; then our understanding of the universe will be transformational. Therefore, we will be able to see that we can work closely with nature without destroying it. We will then understand that in protecting and restoring our planet’s natural world through nature based solutions and acting in partnership with each other and other species, we can find new ways to coexist without exacerbating climate change.
Championing quality journalism as a means of nurturing a better informed citizenry is the Chief Executive of The New Humanitarian, Heba Aly. He opines that the role of quality journalism has never been more important in the battle against misinformation, especially concerning the big challenges facing the world today; from the pandemic, to the climate crisis, migration and racism. We need access to trustworthy information to make sense of a changing world. But quality journalism doesn’t come easy – and it is threatened in many ways.
And to help good journalism thrive, we should champion media that holds power accountable, media which amplifies the voices of the vulnerable and those that provide reliable information on matters of global interest to citizens. Each of us can champion this fact based journalism by spreading it. To tackle air pollution is the Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cambridge, U.K, Professor Tolu Oni, of Yoruba extraction. He maintains air pollution to be the deadliest global environmental health risk. It affects every organ in the body and contributes to the global burden of respiratory and allergic diseases. The private sector needs tackling air pollution from reducing emissions to using innovation to find new ways of dong things. By raising awareness we can set the stage for the next big clean air awareness summit.

For the founder of Club 2030 Afrique, Khaled Igue, rethinking multilateralism is the way forward for humanity. Exhorting that COVID-19 and global warming represent challenges to global peace, he writes that we have to collectively think, work and find solutions to save the whole of humanity.
To unlock the network effect, the founder of Miracle Foundation, Caroline Boudreaux, advised that the youth take the historic opportunity offered by the pandemic to build back better and greener environment. We should find new ways of connecting between civil society groups, venture capitalists, and asset managers to executives of hard core conglomerates. In her own opinion, the Founding Partner of Regenopolis, Diane Binder, extrapolates that with recent events that shattered the world, we’ve been reminded that human and planetary well-being are intertwined.
Binder says business as usual is no longer an option and that we should seize the opportunity offered by climate change to regenerate the cities. It is in the same vein that the publisher of Sahara Reporters Incorporated, Omoyele Sowore has been urging for a change of generational leadership, for the youths are better educated, better and better informed about current events than the old guard. The same goes for Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu, but colonial mentality which nurtured our love for Manchester United and Chelsea football clubs as against local clubs made us to prefer foreigners than the sons of the soil. The meaning of those who refuse to learn from history are destined to repeat it is: If Nigeria refuses to learn from its sordid past and change, her people might experience a period of time worse than the civil war.