With the launch of SOCAP this week, the question of social good and capital are buzzing through our networks. What is our take on making an impact in the world? For us at International Connector, the importance is on making an impact through youth. Our vision is shared by President Obama, who just last week at the UN General Assembly called on every leader to invest in our young people today for a better tomorrow: "I have met youth on every continent, and they can lead the way, if we give them the tools they need."
There are many overwhelming problems, challenges, issues that exist globally. At International Connector, we want to solve them all. We want to see change in our lifetime. We want to see every cause transformed by a new idea, new partnership or a new solution. But where do we start? How do we make that happen?
As travelers, we have spent a lot of time in various countries around the world soaking up the local atmosphere and culture. We have learned about and seen first-hand the issues that people are facing. But more than any of that, we discovered and witnessed how much genuine talent there is in the world. Sadly, in most cases, that talent will remain hidden and forgotten, never being able to achieve its potential, or even surpass infancy.
International Connector is a social enterprise and we started with a mission to open up opportunities for talent around the world. Our belief is that we cannot solve the world's issues without all of our talented minds at the table. Just because someone was born in a certain neighborhood or circumstance without resources or a network, doesn’t mean they can be left out of the discussion. Their ideas can change the world. They can be the catalyst of that change.
We offer one simple solution: invite everyone to the conversation. From the organization perspective, we create safe and neutral dialogues with Millennials that are proving to have substantial impact. Not only are teams rethinking the way they approach their job, their values, their place in the world, but they are opening up to diverse set of ideas and perspectives that are coming in globally. Their language and attitude change and their brand, product, mission transforms. They are building businesses now that are aligned with this next generation values. For the youth involved, we tell youth that their ideas matter, that they have a voice, and what we’ve discovered is a ricochet effect. Our youth are using their new peer networks and skills and applying them in their home communities: - Sudha (Nepal) set up a youth leadership program in Nepal combining a curriculum for both locals and internationals - Charles (Uganda) set up a new initiative to plant fruit trees in urban areas, won the UN Youth Climate Change and is giving the keynote speech at the UN-FAO's XIV World Forestry Congress -Marcelo (Brazil) travels to Universities throughout Brazil teaching young students about entrepreneurship, which had been previously underexposed - Mark (Philippines) was granted seed money and set up a business rewarding people who recycle - Mahdi (Tunisia) is acting as a public figure inspiring youth in his country where they suffer from the high rate of depression due to lack of opportunity. - Toby (New Zealand) is working on economic policy representing his country on the global stage at events like Y20 and several Australasia relations - Karyssa (USA) has been Awarded scholarship programs in Agriculture and the welfare of the workers in Haiti and Washington DC The list goes on and on. These youth who were given a platform from which to launch are becoming the missing role models catalyzing further change all over the globe. To us, this investment in dialogue will continue to create remarkable impact worldwide. Will you join us?