AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

Written by Gordon Ching, Global Vice-President and Chief Digital Officer of AIESEC International

Gordon Ching AIESEC

Gordon Ching is Global Vice-President and Chief Digital Officer of AIESEC International

Young people across Europe are facing extreme difficulties in securing high quality employment, leaving many parts of Europe with a lost generation that is does not live up to its potential. While major EU initiatives have given young people a priority, there is a desperate need to awaken a more entrepreneurial Europe that can compete globally. Through AIESEC, I’ve worked directly with many of the world’s largest employers on attracting and developing young talents, and I am also managing one of the world’s largest youth insights surveys called YouthSpeak. I believe that I’ve found some answers for some of Europe’s greatest challenges around youth unemployment, lack of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Europe 2020 strategy has a major focus to improving the education to employment journey, considering that youth unemployment rates are as high as 40-50% in European countries like Greece, Spain, Croatia, Italy and a collective 23% youth unemployment rate within the EU that is double the 9% of adult unemployment. Europe is also risk-averse; 45% have never thought about starting a business; 18% of Europeans have thought about starting a company but gave up on the idea. Europeans need high quality jobs, and awakening its entrepreneurs.

With 30,000 millennials respondents across 50+ economies and growing, the global YouthSpeak survey focuses on understanding what it will take to activate youth potential across the education to employment journey and provides decision makers with a comprehensive understanding of youth opinion.

One category focused on entrepreneurship and found that 61.4% of millennials have plans to become an entrepreneur, 8.7% already are, and within 5 years 31.3% of millennials have plans to become an entrepreneur, 7.9% within 10 years, and 22.5% within 20 years. This leaves us with a gap of 26.9% who have no plans to become an entrepreneur. Millennials around the world in majority, entrepreneurs, and Europe will need to urgently support its future entrepreneurs.

I am advocating for the widening of the educational experience to include the development of core competencies for a more entrepreneurial Europe–including the development of core leadership competencies that enable individuals to thrive in their lifetime, not just survive.

I’ve directly seen the challenges that European youth face across their journey from education to employment. Whether it was a Maria, a Spanish recent graduate who could not find a job or understand what she wanted to do in life; Max, a German student who wanted to become an entrepreneur, but was too afraid to trade stability for opportunity; or Kasia a young professional from Poland who could not effectively speak in public because she had no previous experiences doing so in school–these are just three short examples, but I’ve seen hundreds more.

I believe that young people in Europe through their educational years will need to develop four key leadership elements and this includes:

Self-awareness: In order for Maria to avoid the traps of going in the wrong direction or not being able to understand her life direction, we must enable people like her to better discover their values and understand what they care about. Young people must be exposed to a variety of life experiences in Europe and beyond, experiences such as living independently, volunteering abroad and working in a different culture—these are all challenging experiences that help a young person realize who they are and what they’re good at.

Solution-driven: To empower a culture of innovation, we first need to enable young people to build resilience and the capability to thrive in the face of challenges. Like Max, his great idea will never be born because his fears. We need to empower more people like Max with a greater support system for taking risks and reduce complacency.

Ability to empower others: If Kasia is unable to communicate her vision or ideas to others, then she is fundamentally at a disadvantage. Every young person must learn how to work in a teams and develop their people skills. It requires greater emotional intelligence and an understanding how to work with different types of people and cultures.

World Citizenship: Humanity is faced with significant challenges that extend far beyond local borders, and this has also created great opportunities for those who can navigate the global economy. A global-mindset is needed to see opportunity beyond European borders and connect with the world. European youth must not be to live and work with other cultures, and most importantly to improve European relevance in the world.

How did I arrive at these four? These four leadership elements were designed with extensive research, consultancy and reviews of how we at AIESEC have developed over a million alumni and high-potential leaders across business, politics and civil society. Personally, these are four elements I can strongly advocate for as I started as a volunteer with AIESEC at the age of 18, and had no clue what I wanted to do in life—presently I am 22, and have had dynamic and challenging experiences that have enabled me to realize who I am, and what I can do.

I have hope for a more innovative Europe that truly awakens its potential by first developing the power of an individual’s leadership capabilities. These are competencies that activate an individual to achieve regardless of where and what they want to do. Let’s go Europe!

About the author

Gordon Ching is Chief Digital Officer of AIESEC International, one of the world’s largest youth-led organizations developing the leadership potential of young people worldwide. Managing global digital strategy, he is leading digital transformation and marketing initiatives, and working together with organizations ranging from Fortune 500 to the United Nations on youth engagement and development. A strong advocate for youth, he is managing YouthSpeak, a global youth movement and insight survey that identifies the challenges and hopes for activating the potential of millennials worldwide. At 22, Gordon was nicknamed the world’s youngest Chief Digital Officer by the CDO Club in 2014, and is a Chinese-Canadian from Vancouver, Canada. 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Five years down the drain

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Changing the Face of Europe

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

Chinese “BeiDou” GPS goes to market

Volkswagen getting away with it in Europe

IMF v Germany: Eurogroup keeps the fight under control

How will the NATO-EU competition evolve in the post Brexit era?

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

The UK referendum has already damaged Europe: even a ‘remain’ result is not without cost to Britain and the EU

EU Commission expects consumer spending to unlock growth

EU responds to terror fallout by eroding borderless Europe and molesting the refugees

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

The EU and North Korea: A Story of Underestimation

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

Capital transaction tax on Ecofin table

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

Galileo funding: A ‘small’ difference of €700 million

Merry Christmas from Erdogan, Putin, Mogherini and the Polish firefighter

Except Poland, can climate change also wait until 2021 for the EU Market Stability Reserve to be launched?

Early signs of growth in Eurozone?

China Unlimited Special Report: The trip to China

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

NEC @ MWC14: “Smart cities” hold the key to enhancing citizens’ lives and cutting costs

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

The EU Commission predicts a decimated growth in the next years

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

EU decides “in absentia” of civil society

European Youth Forum welcomes establishment of new Youth Intergroup in the European Parliament

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

On youth unemployment: unemployment is even bleaker for youth with disabilities

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Businesses succeed internationally

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

Eurozone: The cycle of deficits, debts and austerity revisited

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s