To set the stage for the 2019 Concordia Annual Summit, Concordia Co-Founders Nicholas Logothetis and Matthew Swift will moderate an opening plenary panel with top students from NYU Abu Dhabi representing diverse geographical backgrounds. They'll answer the question, “Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?”, and will share views on civil engagement, democracy, economic potential, and their outlook on the future as the next generation of leaders. Before the Summit, they name the greatest challenges facing their home countries, how youth are responding, and what excites them most about attending #Concordia19. Read their brief bios below for a teaser.
Political division, mass illegal immigration, and organized crime are the greatest challenges that Colombia is facing right now, but the new generation of Colombians is tackling this issue with a renewed political agenda that wants to be the center of the polarized political arena in the country.
Being able to interact with distinguished heads of state, entrepreneurs, and businessmen makes me feel that youth have a voice at the Concordia Summit: we are not the future, we are the present.
Keeping a straight, European value-driven narrative when navigating the path between the West and the big brown bear to the East is the greatest challenge facing Latvia right now. However, the freedoms and opportunities that are accessible to Latvian and European youth continue raising generations of young people with open minds and inner drive, contributing to innovation and increasing levels of civic activism.
I am most excited and equally honored to start stimulating conversations about important global issues with leaders from around the world.
The challenges of poverty alleviation, unemployment, and climate change will probably be the most significant challenges for India in the near future. Yet, an aware and enterprising youth in India is moving in the right direction through entrepreneurship and increased participation in the political discourse.
The breadth of experience the speakers bring to the table at #Concordia19 is outstanding, and will drive some very interesting conversations.
Decline in democracy as a result of violations in people’s right to information and academic freedom through censorship and political vilification is one of the greatest challenges being faced by Turkey today. Our generation has learned to censor ourselves and not speak up against these challenges because of the fear of being labelled, but I believe that our youth are becoming more and more aware of this situation, and coming up with creative ways to address the issues without being singled out.
The opportunity to share my experience as a Turkish student studying abroad with people from all kinds of different backgrounds excites me the most about the 2019 Concordia Summit.
The greatest challenge facing Morocco is a weak educational system. This is because of the increasing privatization and inadequacy of the curriculum compared to the job market. Youth are increasingly losing trust in government institutions and prefer to make a difference through the non-profit sector.
At #Concordia19, I am excited to meet with decision-makers, who can take people’s concerns seriously and act upon them.
As the nature of work changes with automation, thousands of people in Slovenia may have to switch occupations or could lose jobs. Slovenia and its education system is still not adapted to suit the realities of the 21st Century, and the retraining of workers might prove a difficult challenge. Over the last few years, it seems that youth in Slovenia is increasingly interested in getting involved in politics and resolving some of these challenges by joining civil society groups and protesting through means available (social dialogue with government and other economic partners in the country).
At #Concordia19, I am excited that youth have finally been given a chance to express our views and concerns on how we want to shape our future to people who are actually shaping our future.