Nadine Khaouli was driving from her Lebanese village into the city centre in August 2020 when she realized the blast was one hundredth the power of an atomic bomb, which she could feel several miles away. Khaouli was nevertheless determined to help every individual in Lebanon. By the end of 2020, Kafe be Kafak had provided crisis triage, supplies, and accommodation to 10,412 people.
Benjamin Braun, Samsung's Chief Marketing Officer (Europe), was impressed by Anne Frank's courage, the creativity of Mozart and Einstein, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg's strong conviction in doing the right thing. Thus, the Generation17 Young Leaders programme was born.
Generation17, a UNDP-led initiative founded in 2019, has boosted the voices of young change-makers like Khaouli, who are aiming to fulfill the UN's 17 Global Goals by 2030. Kristian Kampmann is a 2022 Young Leader who runs the UNLEASH global platform that supports young entrepreneurs seeking social and environmental challenges. Every young person can be an entrepreneur if given the right support, he says.
Tafara Mazaka, the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Fixa, a platform that aims to connect corporations with pre-vetted, trustworthy young workers across Africa, took part in this year's cohort. This inspired me to investigate how people with no higher education were able to secure stable employment.
Three Generation17 Young Leaders offer advice to prospective leaders, highlight the importance of using technology to bring about positive change, and discuss what they hope to accomplish in the future.
Kristian: Youth unemployment. Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years old. However, youth must acquire the necessary skills and opportunities to thrive.
Nadine: Our biggest challenges today are the ongoing economic crisis, growing basic needs costs, and threats to security.
Tafara: All people need access to decent and sustainable employment. Africa is the last economic frontier. The median age is 25, and by 2050, 25% of the world's population will be African. To keep up with demand, we must create the continent's future of work.
Kristian: I hope UNLEASH will become the world's most impactful platform for social and environmental youth-led solutions. On a micro-scale, its all about supporting our alumni. On a macro-scale, its about having a real and tangible impact on the Global Goals by launching solutions that matter.
Nadine: I want to have more partners and young volunteers joining Kafe be Kafak. These individuals should not only be from Lebanon, but from across the world. I want to have a large network of supporters and volunteers from the Lebanese diaspora.
Tafara: I want to create a world in which youth can have reliable employment opportunities while also caring for their loved ones. I have created Fixa in the hope that we will provide 100 million jobs to Africa's youth, [and] create a world in which you do not need higher education for employment.
Kristian: In 2019, I met Muhammad Yunus. I admire him for his efforts to provide micro-credit to the poor in the developing world. Viggo Kampmann, who I am very vaguely related to, was Denmark's Prime Minister from 1960 to 1962. He was one of the true great architects of Denmarks current welfare state.
Malala, of course. Her story is so inspiring, and what she is doing in Pakistan to improve girls' education is amazing.
Tafara: I admire and admire Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer and inventor who questioned existing scientific knowledge. I follow his example in my everyday life, requiring myself to consider the reasons for the problems I am solving.
Kristian: We are constantly using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect with individuals and communities we would otherwise not reach. An example is the application campaign for our next project in India that reached millions of people and received almost 20,000 applications from across the world.
Nadine: Because of technology, I was able to begin my work, reach people across the world, strengthen my voice, and strengthen my country's pride. We started Kafe be Kafak on Facebook and Instagram because, in the Arab region and Lebanon, these platforms are used more than any other.
Tafara: We utilize simple technology such as SMS and Mobile Money to share job offers and pay workers online. Platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn allow me to share my thoughts on key issues and to keep up to date with current affairs, opportunities, and my wider network.
Kristian: Be unrelenting, unreliable, and unreliable, and seek out guidance from peers and mentors. One of the biggest challenges for young leaders is a lack of confidence. Look for mentors who can support you and validate your ideas.
Nadine: Never be afraid to take the first step toward real change. The world needs youth like us to help us achieve a better, more equitable, and long-term future.
Tafara: Be fearless. Describe what you think and do what you say. Educate yourself about a problem you care about, join a cause, or come up with an idea you believe is a part of the solution.