“You are not Followers, you are not Future Leaders… You are TODAY’s Leaders!”

These were the words of Yenqing Li, President of Global Young Leaders Academy, during the International Young Leaders Assembly held at the World Bank.

During this Summit, I had the chance to meet and interact with over 100 global leaders. Who, each one of them had a distinctive confidence in his power and ability to make a positive impact and be involved in the heart of change and development.

During the first session, we were assigned to gather in groups and find practical solutions to this social challenge “How can we include young people in the decision-making process in national politics”

In the middle of our discussion my group members and I realized that despite our different origins, cultures and even languages, we found our own reflections in each other listening to the common social issues our communities suffer from. Tunisia, South Korea, Columbia, China and Kenya, 5 young people from 5 different countries, 5 different backgrounds, and still, it was like we knew each other through the same challenges we faced living back home.

The best part of our discussion was how all of us wanted to put all the knowledge and experience we had into finding the best solutions to this social challenge and then passionately talked about it, shared perspectives and attentively listened to each other. Some of us talked about education and civic engagement initiatives, others talked about empowerment exchange programs and creating a platform between politicians and young people…etc. And just like this! A community was born!

My takeout from this experience has to be this; despite our differences, we certainly are all interconnected and we all share the same desire to make and create a positive impact in our communities. Unlike the previous generations, we are gifted with these exchange opportunities and by this digital age that makes us closer to each other and more knowledgeable about what is really happening all over the world.

Being aware that it is our responsibility to make an impact, advocating for our rights as global citizens, believing and acting to see a difference, all of these ingredients make the recipe of a “TODAY’s leader”!