A significant milestone – the CYF
The course of our life is filled with different milestones: important ones like the first kiss, the first job, when you graduate, when you get married, and many more. The GiLE foundation that Craig Johnson and I dremt up about two years ago is now also celebrating a momentous milestone – the opening of the first Changemakers Youth Forum (CYF). This is a heartfelt message from Dr. Judit Beke, Co-Creator of the GiLE Foundation, to all young people.
I respect young people. On a personal level, this is one of the reasons why I became the co-creator of the GiLE foundation. I have always been happy to work with young people. Their professional and personal development has always been important to me; moreover, working with them is challenging, engaging, and incredibly rewarding as we
Photo taken at the CYF signing ceremony, 2021
I have been a university professor and educator for three decades, and during this long period of time, I have had the opportunity to support countless students in and outside of the classroom. I’m a mother of two Millennials and a granny of Gen Z and Generation Alpha kids, so we can say that young people give my life meaning in many ways. I am also a changemaker. A changemaker is someone who can implement positive change, who can inspire others, and can make changes that improve people’s lives. Changemakers can effectively use their skills and the skills of those around them to make the world a better place. I firmly believe that we, educators and parents, are key agents of change.
I respect young people since as an educator, a mum and a granny I know all too well that young people must navigate through a complex and disorderly life, and I’m proud of them because they are doing an excellent job. Every generation has its own struggles, however, young people today must cope successfully in a rapidly changing world that is full of uncertainties and instability, loads of information, stress, and anxiety. Moreover, young people study and acquire skills to prepare for a future that looks unpredictable – indeed sometimes it can feel as though they are being made to prepare for jobs that are no longer needed due to advancing technology. The demand for some skills has been in decline, whereas other skills must be developed, so young people must prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet or that will shortly require entirely new skill sets.
According to the OECD, 46% of jobs are at risk of being fully or partially automated in OECD countries. Statistics from the ILO meanwhile show that over 73 million young people across the world are unemployed, a sobering fact which surely ought to force young people to think again about what and how they learn and what skills and competences they should develop. International research also highlights that Millennials and Centennials lived through turbulent times and events such as the 2008 financial crisis or the Covid crisis. However, being young brings with infinite prospects and opportunities:
Young people have never-ending learning possibilities, but only they can turn them into realities,
no-one else can do it for them.
We all know that young people can be impatient and very critical, but this mindset is what moves the world forward and forces the world to review traditional, outdated ways of thinking and habits. They are Changemakers. There are several positive, encouraging, inspiring developments in our world; for example, advancing technology, cross-cultural interactions, international cooperation, successful crisis management. Young people, the makers of tomorrow, will play a crucial role in promoting further development, and this is especially true of those who possess the necessary skills or who are willing to acquire them.
I am sure we can agree that young people need every bit of support they can get, and we are pleased that GiLE is able to contribute to supporting today’s young people.
Image taken at the CYF 2021 Signing Ceremony
I particularly respect the young people who were sincerely committed to organising such a transformational Changemakers Youth Forum. I am really heartened by and proud of what they accomplished.
Heartfelt, special thanks go to Craig Johnson and his friends for all their efforts and hard work. My sincere thanks also go to the whole GiLE team, the co-creators’ and partners’ teams, the speakers, the trainers, the supporters, the volunteers, and everyone else who contributed to the success of this event. They are all Changemakers.
I know I speak for everyone when I say that the Changemakers Youth Forum was a unique opportunity for fruitful, constructive, and open exchanges. Young people have an important role to play in promoting dialogue and understanding.
GiLE will continue to support today’s young people as they progress in this attempt, and whatever life has in store for us, we will continue on this journey. Unquestionably, certain days mark significant moments in our lives.
The 15th – 16th of October 2021 marks a real accomplishment in the history of GiLE.
On behalf of the “older generation”, thank you,
and I am looking forward to supporting you all in the next Changemakers Youth Forum.
Dr. Judit Beke
20th October 2021
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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.