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Turn to the Leader in the Mirror

“This moment in history demands that we stop waiting on others to solve the problems and right the wrongs of our times.”

At 66th AIESEC International Congress 2014 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Arianna Huffington addressed more than 700 young leaders from 124 countries and territories.

In her message to young people, she addressed the concept of “leading the change,” focused on empowering young people to create the change they wish to see in the world. Connected with the leadership development that AIESEC provides to young people, Arianna Huffington advises youth to tap into their creativity, leadership and wisdom – “Because wherever we look around the world, we see smart leaders in politics, in business, in media, making terrible decisions. What they are lacking is not IQ, but wisdom.”

Some of the most important issues today including diversity, climate change, education and the impact of technology require not just talk, but action. Arianna says:

“…don’t wait for leaders on a white horse to save us. Instead, turn to the leader in the mirror. Tap into your own leadership potential, because the world desperately needs you. And that means daring to take risks and to fail, as many times as it takes along the way to success and more important, to remaking the world and leading the change.”

How can we ensure that we are leading the change?

The Race to Improving the World Beyond 2015

Did you know there are only 500 days left until the end of the Millennium Development Goals?

As 2015 is slowly approaching, the world is closely watching to witness the accomplishments of the 8 MDGs, set by the United Nations back in the year 2000.

So where are we now? How much did we achieve?

“The world has reduced extreme poverty by half, efforts in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis have shown results, access to an improved drinking water source became a reality for 2.3 billion people”, etc. says The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014.

Let’s take a closer look at the goals and progress reports from this video:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, but 1 in 5 still live on less than 1.25 dollars per day in developing countries. And although the world has reduced extreme poverty in half, 842 million people around the world still suffer from chronic hunger.

2. Achieve universal primary education – The number of children with no access to primary school education decreased from 102 million in 2000 to 58 million in 2012. While the amount has significantly decreased, the number of out-of-school children is still alarming.

3. Reduce child mortalityUnder-5 mortality rate was reduced almost by 50%, but a lot more needs to be achieved if we want to achieve 2/3 reduction.

4. Improve maternal health – Maternal mortality ratio is down 45% since 1990. However, every day about 800 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

5. Ensure environmental sustainability – Since 2012, 2.3 billion more have access to improved drinking water, but 748 million still use water from an unimproved source.

For more statistics, take a look at:

 

While we ought to celebrate our achievements and recognize the progress we’ve made, we shouldn’t forget how far the world is from where we want it to be. Working on these issues is not priority only now or only until 2015, but every day.

How can we contribute to this?

On August 19th 2014, 700 young people from 124 countries and territories gathered at the Global Youth to Business Forum, an event bringing together top young leaders and experts, business and thought leaders, with the aim of generating new, actionable ideas that will impact the world and its future.

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They spent the whole day discussing the topics ranging from Diversity and Inclusion, Technology and Innovation to Climate Change, Sustainability and Changing Education. Together, they have come up with action steps that could help improve each of those areas and move the world forward. Stay tuned for our report to find out about the solutions youth and business co-created together!

Don’t forget that we have only 500 days left until MDGs. At the same time, let’s not forget that impact is a daily responsibility. This is why AIESEC offers volunteer internships that help tackle social topics such as cultural understanding, education and literacy, social entrepreneurship, environment, health and lifestyle and many others. For more information, please visit: http://globalcitizen.aiesec.org

This is how we contribute to making an impact every day and helping move this world forward. Share with us:

How will you contribute to bringing the world closer to the vision of 2015? 

 

Why we partner with AIESEC – and why it matters

2014 is a special year for Alcatel-Lucent: this year, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the partnership between our company and AIESEC. In those 10 years,  450 young people were directly impacted through the partnership and had the opportunity to develop their skills in a multi-cultural environment in more than 25 different countries.

10 years is also a good time to take a step back and think: what is the purpose of this partnership? What are we trying to achieve together? Is this purpose still relevant in today’s organizational context, both for Alcatel-Lucent and for AIESEC ?

Those might seem like simple questions but answering them can be harder than expected.

First of all, let me explain what Alcatel-Lucent does. We build the equipment that allows you to call your friends and family across the world,  to access your emails on your phone, to watch a video on your computer… and to do that in mere seconds. We’re not telephone operators or computer design companies but we are the ones that give them a reason to exist. We’re the “behind the scenes” guys, enabling you to get the most of this ever-changing interactive world we live in. Simply put, we aim to connect people around the world.

We also believe technology should be affordable, accessible and sustainable. As we are trying to realize the potential of a connected world, our innovations need  to reach out to the whole wide world for them to truly have an impact. This means that sustainability in our products, in our workforce or in our way of doing business is an imperative for us.

Simply imagine: what if every child around the world had access to the Internet and was able to receive primary education? Or what if mobile phones could help prevent HIV by providing up-to-date information and care for people in hard-to-reach parts of the world?

We don’t want to simply imagine this; we want to make it a reality.

In this ever-expanding  and complex digital universe, we want to seize the changes that are happening  and build on them to create the technologies of the future. To remain pioneers, we must shift and focus on our core strengths and innovation technologies.

And for this to happen, we need people who can think out of the box, challenge limits, be creative and bring results.  What better place to find these young talents than through AIESEC!

The value that  we see in the partnership is not just measured in terms of number of internship experiences; it’s also measured by the talent development we see in each and every one of these interns and in the dynamic they bring to the company. The internship experience provided by AIESEC allows young people to discover themselves, who they are and what they want from life. It gives them a sense of direction and strong self-awareness by challenging their lives. And this fast development is a key element for Alcatel-Lucent.

Breakthrough technological innovation: this is what we do at Alcatel-Lucent.

So when I’m asked “why does Alcatel-Lucent partner with AIESEC?”, the answer is simple. “Because we believe AIESEC brings us a unique connection with talented young people who want to help us change people’s lives”. Simple, yet powerful.

This is why we partner with AIESEC – and more importantly, why it matters.

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This post was brought to you from Laurence Dumont, the Global Coordinator of the Alcatel-Lucent partnership with AIESEC.   

If you are interested in applying to an AIESEC internship with Alcatel-Lucent or any of our other partners, please check out the opportunities available at here

AIESEC finds itself surrounded by brilliant leaders at the Social Good Summit

Happy Monday everyone!

This week I have been given the fantastic opportunity by our lovely UN representatives, Tami and Eliane, to attend Mashable’s Social Good Summit at the 92Y in New York City.

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The Social Good Summit is a three-day conference where big ideas meet new media to create innovative solutions. Held during UN Week from 22-24 September, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders to discuss a big idea: the power of innovative thinking and technology to solve our greatest challenges.

I started off the day in the Digital Media Lounge, where hundreds of journalists and bloggers gathered to watch the day’s events and surrounded themselves with camera equipment and gadgets. It really felt like the “blogger-sphere” for me. I have never seen anything like it!

The organisers at Mashable and the United Nations Foundation have really done a great job bringing the right profile of speakers – previous heads of state, current United Nations representatives, entrepreneurs, activists and celebrities – to speak about development, the world we live in and how we need to act to eradicate poverty.

I spent most of the day absorbing the knowledge in the room, meeting fantastic social entrepreneurs and even meeting some AIESEC alumni!

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You may recognise this amazing and approachable fellow – the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations – Jan Eliasson, whom is an AIESEC alum and supporter from AIESEC Sweden. I spoke to him after his keynote around the Human Right of Water and Sanitation for all. He remembers his AIESEC years with joy and sends his regards and support to AIESEC’s entire network.

One of the main themes of the day seemed to be around young people and development, and their push for a better world.  Some of the most high-profile speakers – from HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, to Ben Keesey of Invisible Children Inc. and Helen Clark, the administrator of the UNDP – spoke about this generations ability to speak up and act swiftly to create the change they want to see. They even brought people in who demonstrated these actions; one of the most impressive for me being Jessica O. Matthews of Unchartered Play, Inc. who created a soccer ball that when played with generates electricity.

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If there is a lesson I have learned from the first days of Social Good Summit, it’s that there are a lot of young people that are trying to take action and are doing some pretty cool things. There are also a lot of platforms – like Ryot.org and Change.org – that help young people to take action when they don’t know how. What we need to make sure happens, is that all groups – from youth and corporate to government and civil society – come together to put in all efforts for the last 900 days of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals so that whatever comes next does not seem so difficult.

Social Good Events are happening all over the world in conjunction with the Social Good Summit. AIESEC in Brazil has been supporting the creation and organization of Social Good Brazil Seminar on the 24th of September that will be available via livestream with English translation.

Check out their website for more information (www.socialgoodbrasil.org.br/2013/live) or follow the conversation on twitter by using @socialgoodbr, #socialgood and #2030NOW