Global Challenges – Individual Capacities
Today, the world community faces momentous challenges. 2015 marks the year of the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals, and a glance at the ambitious goals set 15 years ago makes clear that much remains to be done. We have not completely accomplished many facets of development goals we had hoped, wished, planned to make reality by the end of this year. Despite substantive progress, the need for continued efforts to promote fast and sustainable development is crystal clear.
As the world leaders are mobilizing efforts, again, to assemble a Post-2015 Development Agenda that can, again, change the face of the world to the better, it is easy to lose sight of who is mobilizing these efforts, and investing into positive change. Is it the UN, is it individual nations? Ultimately, every group of actors of change – from the UN to the local fair trade shop – is comprised of individual actors. The UN itself is not one acting unity, but it is made of individuals who act unitedly. Just as the fair trade shop around the corner does not operate on its own accord, but is run by a group of dedicated individuals who take action for development. A crucial step in fostering positive change is recognizing the role of individual actors.
Individual actors play a key role in driving positive change, a productive Post-2015 Development Agenda and a bright future of humankind. As long as many of us prefer to remain ignorant of the challenges we face collectively, as long as many of us prefer to remain inactive in enacting the changes we need to make collectively, and as long as many of us prefer to leave the driver’s seat for fostering positive change in our communities empty, the quest for ending world hunger, environmentally unsustainable practices, and developmental challenges at large is a futile endeavor. But how do you get individual actors to realize their key role in driving positive change, and enable them to take on a leading role in enacting it?
As different as individual actors are, as many different approaches are needed to get them aboard an agenda for positive change. I am active in one of them: I co-founded a non-profit organization – be.boosted – with the vision to equip youth with a toolbox of skills for taking action and responsibility for global challenges. Our vehicle for getting individual actors into the driver’s seat of change is Model UN – a simulation of the UN where young people slip into the role of diplomats.
Model UN is more than a dry run for rousing interest in current affairs, and for raising awareness for the big questions of our time. Youth learn to uncover opportunities for taking action to answer these questions. With be.boosted, we use this simulation as a tool for learning the skills it takes to be able to take responsibility for driving positive change. After all, the best development agenda first needs to be negotiated, and communicated to gather support from those who are needed to make it reality. It takes skilled individual actors to get the best resolution into action. By stepping into the shoes of the leaders of today, we help future global leaders develop the skills and aspiration they need to become the true leaders of tomorrow – in their neighborhood, their own fair trade shop, or in international businesses, communities or organizations. Keep your eyes open for opportunities where you can see young leaders grow, and you will see our chances for achieving the next goals for development grow. Give youth a boost in growing as young leaders, and you actively boost our chances for facing global challenges, too.
This article is part of IFAIR’s cooperation with the Diplomatisches Magazin and was published there first in the edition 7/2015..