The youthful population of any region dictates the direction in which the country is heading and what its priorities will be, and that is a fact beyond doubt. UNFPA estimates that India will have (and will continue to have) the youngest population in the world until 2030. Young people in India have the capacity not only to change their own country, but also to change the world that surrounds them.
In this regard, Manav Subodh – Managing Director of the UN-accredited 1M1B (One Million for One Billion) Foundation – 1M1B mobilizes young people in the fields of climate change, environment, entrepreneurship, sustainability, health and wellness, future leadership, etc., shared his ideas for bringing about change among young people to be future leaders. Extracts
What do you think it means to be a young changemaker and influencer?
It means having a voice and a seat on the table of the programs that matter to young people and the future of young people. To build the future of young people, changemakers and influencers must play an active role in engaging and facilitating discussions that matter
Why is there an emphasis on youth leadership skills at such a young age?
It is imperative that we cultivate leadership skills in children from an early age. Adolescence might be a good time to start developing their leadership skills. This is a time when they start to form their own opinions and feel strongly about things. If properly guided and supported, young boys and girls can achieve incredible results and we have witnessed so many such successes at 1M1B. Young people are now at the forefront of climate action, pushing world leaders to change the way they govern. Young people around the world are demanding a seat at the table when it comes to making important decisions about their future. In this fast-paced world where everything changes rapidly, one thing remains constant: leadership will always remain human. Developing leadership skills from an early age is therefore a necessity today.
Why do you think there is a need for young changemakers in India?
It is an undisputed truth that the youth population in any region plays a vital role in dictating the direction their country takes and the priorities it promotes. According to UNFPA projections, India has (and will continue to have) the youngest population in the world until 2030. Not only does this imply that India’s youth can change our own country, but it also implies that our youth has the potential to change the whole world.
India faces a number of challenges that have existed for decades. We need to look at these challenges from a new perspective and this is where young changemakers come in. Young people can look to solving these challenges with new mindsets and new age tools. Gen Z can use their passion, zeal, creativity, and energy while leveraging emerging technologies like AI, AR-VR, blockchain, and data to find answers to age-old problems.
What are the main issues and areas that these students want to address?
If you speak with a student today, you’ll likely find that they’re brimming with ideas and changes they’d like to make in our country: whether it’s to combat the specter of climate change or to raise awareness of human rights at the equality of chances. This is a highly motivated generation that wants to drive change and take action. All they need is a framework and mentorship to turn their ideas into reality.
What exactly is 1M1B trying to accomplish?
1M1B’s mission is to activate 1 million young leaders who will impact 1 billion people for a sustainable planet. We believe that the key to a sustainable future lies in the actions taken by today’s youth to drive the future of our world. Nurturing human-centered leaders who care about the planet and people is the need of the hour and it’s our vision at 1M1B.
What 1M1B courses does it offer young people? What do students learn from these programs?
1M1B offers 2 main programs for young adults:
- Emerging Leaders Program – A program to develop promising high school youth into human-centered leaders. Through a proven, well-researched and intense mentoring process, these future leaders have access to high-impact opportunities and leadership coaching. The program is designed to help students develop their leadership and 4th Industrial Revolution skills by helping them find their passion and purpose through a framework to convert them into an actionable project aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) of the United Nations. Top students from the program have the opportunity to showcase their work at the 1M1B Youth Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. 6and The edition of the 1M1B summit at the UN is expected to take place in December 2022.
- The Purpose Academy – In collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley, the College of Engineering SCET and the Innovation Accelerator Group, the program aims to equip students with technology, ideas, creativity, resources and motivation to create disruptive solutions and create real impact. Real school problem solvers will work to develop AI solutions for farmers, to activate people living near forests and buffer zones in the fight against climate action, to provide clean water and health services to the marginalized and more. The third cohort starting this summer, June 2022, will work on these bold topics. Students will participate in a 5-day immersion in Silicon Valley and UC Berkeley in October 2022.
How do your courses help young people find jobs in the future?
Our programs help young people learn future skills that are very important for future jobs, such as AI, augmented reality/virtual reality, as well as creator skills and entrepreneurship. In addition to this, 1M1B at a broader level develops basic soft skills or 4th IR youth skills that are important for jobs, such as empathy, collaboration, teamwork, communication , resilience, cognitive flexibility, etc. 1M1B programs are based on frameworks that support young people’s learning. by getting immersive experiences, internships and projects. They become aware of their strength, their passion and their purpose. This approach helps young people choose the careers that matter most to them.