Young Leaders in an Era of Global Transformation. Cooperation for Sustainable Development
The role of cities and civil society in global economic development is becoming more important
“The key role will belong to cities. <…> The issues of global governance will become pivotal. Smart city is a notion that should not be forgotten, when it comes to near future,” Roman Chukov, Chairman of the Board, Russian Center for Promotion of International Initiatives; Assistant to Youth Policy Director, Roscongress Foundation.
“The role of cities as economic development actors is only growing. The government will continue to play a key role in developing state strategies; however, I am confident that those who implement them at the bottom level will enjoy a new approach. Local initiatives start playing an essential role,” Reis Rodrigo, Founder, Executive Director, Instituto Global Attitude.
Emphasis on public interest is a must-have quality for a leader
“If you want to change the world, I can tell you that you need to start with yourself. Ask yourself: what are you doing for your own country and what are you doing for other people? If you strive to be a young leader, you need to be a citizen of the world, as globalization is like a river: you cannot stop it – you will have to step into it,” Teresa Astolfi, Head of the International Directorate, People’s Party in the Congress of Deputies of the Kingdom of Spain.
A rapid technology development requires a new approach to governance
“The next ten years will bring a more powerful technological change, which will exceed that of the whole previous century. <…> We need to get ready for a technological gap that can be perceived as a threat or as an opportunity. In order to optimize the benefits it brings, we need to work closely with politicians, business and the civil society,” Teresa Astolfi, Head of the International Directorate, People’s Party in the Congress of Deputies of the Kingdom of Spain.
Involving people in governance and development
“We’ve created and started an initiative called ‘Civil Diplomacy’. We believe the government should share the role of the key player and participant of global cooperation. Moreover, it should not be just the government – it should be representatives of the civil society as well, because they can do a much better job expressing hopes, wants, needs and priorities of a certain society or a certain nation," Reis Rodrigo, Founder, Executive Director, Instituto Global Attitude.
“We decided to create a mass information platform, where members of various communities and people from various localities can present their initiatives for building a better future. There are special projects to reduce waste, for example, or to shift towards a more sustainable consumption and production,” David Okpatuma, Executive Director, Friends Pro Earth.
“We are developing the concept of micro entrepreneurship in Brazil. It is a cornerstone concept and the founding level for entrepreneurship. We are ramping up the potential of the most vulnerable social groups – people who do not work or study. Under this process, we are creating a method that would give those people a potential or an ability within 30 hours. We give them basic jobs – for example, cooking or selling food. It is simple, but that is how their micro entrepreneurship starts,” Reis Rodrigo, Founder, Executive Director, Instituto Global Attitude.
Investing in innovation
“We (the Roscongress Foundation – Ed.) frequently ask for investment or take part in acceleration programmes, but we would like to invest money and effort in truly successful projects,” Roman Chukov, Chairman of the Board, Russian Center for Promotion of International Initiatives; Assistant to Youth Policy Director, Roscongress Foundation.
“Yesterday, we started the ‘Smart cities’ programme. It focuses on the ASEAN region, on the start-ups that implement solutions for ASEAN countries in those regions and would like to expand their projects. We are not looking into capitals; we are focused on regional cities. And the main objective of those projects should be improving the level of life, as well as creating and developing infrastructure,” Amra Naidoo, Co-Founder, Accelerating Asia.
“In our company we use nanotechnologies to improve the quality of pesticides application in agriculture around the world and to reduce harm caused by their use,” Matias Badano, Founder, NANOTICA Agro.
Spreading best practices
“Our objective is to spread regional projects around the country and to bring them to the global level. This will help small and underdeveloped towns turn into true leaders," Amra Naidoo, Co-Founder, Accelerating Asia.