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We the Future 2017: A Rallying Cry for Global Youth

Feature Article | April 10, 2017 by Eric Annino

Within a decade, millennials will constitute 75 percent of the global workforce. They’ll fuel economies, drive innovation, and exert influence at the highest levels of business and government. But what kind of world will they inherit?

That’s a question for millennials themselves.

As the next-generation workforce, today’s youth must contend with some less-than-inspiring statistics. Civic engagement among 18 to 25 year olds is below 50 percent; youth unemployment around the world is hovering around 13 percent, or 71 million; and the global skills gap is growing daily, meaning companies with open jobs aren’t finding the young, educated talent they need to fill them.

Join SAP’s next We the Future Summit to share the world you want to live in

Efforts to counteract these trends — “get out the vote” campaigns, expansive corporate internship and co-op programs, skills-based learning initiatives, and the like — have met with some success, but ultimately, it’s up to millennials to overcome these challenges and create the world they want to live in. And there’s every reason to believe they will do just that.

Today’s youth have a lot going for them. They have an incredible entrepreneurial spirit, unlike any other generation. They’re digital natives who leverage technology to simplify processes and maximize impact. They care about social issues around the globe and act to initiate change.

Societies around the globe need to tap into these unique assets of younger generations. One way to do so is with creative forms of political activism. Social media has opened the door for intimate engagement between politicians and their constituents, and tech-savvy youth are poised to reap the greatest benefit.

Last July SAP held the first We the Future Summit in Philadelphia. The goal of the event was to engage younger audiences in a direct dialogue with prominent, but still young, politicians. Questions were posed by a live audience, as well as virtual attendees from around the world. What unfolded was what Kal Penn, actor, former White House staffer, and moderator for the event, called “the most authentic conversation from politicians” he’d ever heard. When change-makers can interact directly with the individuals who stand to be effected most by change, it’s a powerful scene.

Younger generations are poised to create the world they want to live in, if we will only speak up and realize our tremendous potential.

One way to do this is at the next We the Future Summit in Berlin on May 11, 2017. Join in person or on Facebook Live, but most importantly, join! And share your vision for a world we all want to live in.

Register here for We the Future 2017 in Berlin.

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