SPAIN – SANTANDER – If I had to search for a word to define the main characteristic of the world in this early 2017, I consider that the most indicated would be: change. We live in complex moments where the uncertainty and dizziness of change are conditioning the whole aspects of our political, economic and social coexistence.
The XXI Century comes across with a globalization process that, joined to the exponential technological development, modified the norms that ruled our coexistence forever. Change is the fundamental factor that characterizes our existence with a high dose of uncertainty that blears our future perspectives.
For this reason, I consider fundamental that the international community should understand the need to rethink the main issues of coexistence and governance in order to respond to the complex citizens demands that we face. We must work together to implement a model of development based on international cooperation and the equal development of our nations (with the logical differences and specificities) if we want to generate the framework of coexistence and development that our citizens demand.
After the global financial collapse that shocked the world in 2008 and made us suffer the worst economic crisis since the crack in 1929, we all understood that the challenges we would face from that moment, would be global and the answers extremely complex.
Many issues have been called it in to question or threatened. Issues like the expansion of the globalization process, the risks that the democratic systems are facing, climate change, technological development or young´s people role in a hyper-competitive society that many times is not able to give response to their demands.
That´s why, and with the conviction of answering the complex challenges that will face in the coming years, the Global Youth Leadership Forum (GYLF) started, a forum to debate and discuss where young leaders, under 40´s, with important responsibilities in their countries, could debate with global personalities from a number of about key challenges that our societies will have to deal with in the next few years and try to anticipate the answers.
Issues like the exponential impact that new techs have in our lives, the political uncertainty that rules the world, the framework of economic relations between states, the unstoppable migratory flow, the threat of global warming or the future of a generation (more than 350 million young people all over the world who are unemployed) will determine the political, economic and social model, that will reign the world in the coming decades in a definitive way.
2016 can be considered a clear example of the uncertainty climate and political polarization in the planet: the electoral outcome in the United States, the referendums in Colombia and the United Kingdom (Brexit), or the growing upsurge of populism and nationalism in the EU gives a good example of this.
This 2017, the EU will face several challenges that will be decisive for the reconfiguration of the common political union.
The political response to the Brexit (traumatic and still to be defined), the electoral outcomes in several member states (where radical and anti-European options strongly emerging), the economic recovery process , the relations framework with the United States after Republican candidates Donald Trump´s victory, the response to the threat to international security made by Islamic jihadist terrorism or the definition of a new common defense policy (an abandoned issue for years) will be key to consolidate the strong and cohesive European Union that we all wish.
Apart from that, The United States it´s in a critical moment of its history, after Republican candidate Donald Trump´s victory, in the most polarized election ever remembered, the political climate has been strained to levels hard to understand in one of the countries with the most established democratic system of our planet.
The tough messages send out during the campaign affected all sectors and areas of American life. Geopolitics, economics, migration, climate change or security were called into question by the next White House tenant who promised to reconfigure Washington’s traditional policies on many of those issues. However, I trust in the moderation of government’s action, and the influence that the traditional system of weights and counterweights that rules US policy, works to generate a stable, moderate political framework, following the principle of cooperation and mutual benefit objective as the inalienable objective of the top political and economic power of our world.
That´s why it’s essential to promote young leaders, prepared and responsible, aware of a peaceful and equitable development of our planet, whom understand the complexity of the historical moment that we are living and seek for cooperation, understanding and mutual benefit as a way to generate the best development model for our nations.
We have the biggest and most prepared young generation of our history and we need them to become global change actors. Their knowledge and living experiences are essential to promote in an effective way the answers to the challenges that our planet has.
It will be essential that in this transcendental task cooperates with other more experienced actors to strengthen the bases of that planet that we are wishing and take advantage of a whole universe of opportunities that opens in front of us.
This is the philosophy of the Global Youth Leadership Forum and I am convinced that we all will succeed.