Offentliggjort den 24. august 2022.
Good afternoon everyone,
I’m really pleased to be here today and have the opportunity to hear a little bit about the important work you are doing.
I can only imagine how you are feeling right now – but I guess you might be feeling a little excited, hopeful and perhaps a little nervous and tired.
Tomorrow is the big day, tomorrow you will be pitching your ideas. And I feel very lucky to be one of the first to hear some of your ideas … unfortunately, not all of them.
I have heard that you have taken on the given task with great enthusiasm and courage, and that the results are promising.
And why wouldn’t they be? From my experience, when you bring people together from different social and ethnic backgrounds, educational focus, attitudes and behaviours, fantastic things can happen. Diversity drives innovation. And as young people, you are not yet bound by ingrained habits and existing social and societal structures and norms. You are open, and you see possibilities instead of limitations.
And this is exactly what is needed in an innovation process like the one you have been through the last couple of days.
The potential of your work can be great. Your idea can evolve into a real project that can contribute to solving the enormous challenges the world is facing today. Maybe your idea will be as successful as the app that shortens the supply chain to sustainable fishermen, or a device that captures fog in the air, as a new source of water - both earlier UNLEASH ideas that are now part of the change, we need to see.
It may be that your idea solves only part of the problem you are focusing on – but this is also how change happens, especially when the problems are so complex. Somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle, as you put more and more of the individual pieces together, it becomes easier to see the full picture.
This is important to remember this week. Because the overall task you have been given is huge. You have been asked to help achieve the SDGs and to develop concrete solutions that address the global challenges of health, access to education and climate change and loss of biodiversity.
If we are to have any chance of overcoming these challenges — it will take creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, untraditional partnerships, compromise, great courage and a strong belief that we can succeed.
We often hear that the young generation is struggling. More young people than ever are experiencing loneliness and problems with their mental and social well-being. We need to address these issues, and we need to take them seriously.
But your generation is so much more. You are reflective, innovative and full of empathy. You are deeply involved and knowledgeable about the issues in our societies and globally.
We see young people from all corners of the globe who speak out and stand up for what they believe in, who take action in fighting for the climate, for human rights, for injustice and better living conditions for people most in need.
And you insist on taking your place at the table, of being part of the solution and decision makers. That you are here this week, reflects just that.
And that is exactly what our world needs. If we are to achieve the global goals; the involvement and leadership of young people in the implementation, monitoring and accountability of them is fundamental.
I’m sure you have heard it before, and you will no doubt hear it again: Tomorrow’s leaders are the youth of today. Youth has a central role to play. You have a duty to challenge the status quo and the strategies of today’s leaders. And there is no doubt that what you have to offer is needed.
Each of you represents an enormous potential, a potential that can contribute to meeting the challenges of today and creating new opportunities to the benefit of us all.
Finally, I would like to thank UNLEASH for inviting me to join you here in Greenland.
I have followed UNLEASH from the beginning, with excitement and hope.
I truly believe that bringing people together in new diverse partnerships and working together in radical new ways is perhaps one of the biggest contributors to our ability to achieving our common goals. No one can solve these problems alone.
Here at UNLEASH Innovation Lab, you have set up a framework for action, commitment, entrepreneurship and innovation by empowering, engaging and mobilising young people around the world.
You bring together the right skills, the right talents and the right resources.
And you contribute with concrete ideas and solutions for addressing some of the world’s most complex challenges, for achieving the SDGs … all based on the recognition that only together can we achieve meaningful change, for good.
Thank you for that.
I would like to leave you with an important thought, expressed by a young woman working at the Gates Foundation: The work is complicated, but why we do it, is not.
(Det talte ord gælder)