Albuquerque, NM • A change is making its arrival at the doorstep of the entire international community. This is evident as we embark upon upcoming elections, current oscillating markets, and the galvanization of unprecedented 21st Century social movements. The continuation and prosperity of humanity is predicated on the “emergence of now” to address humanity’s pressing challenges such as irradiating poverty, alleviating hunger, and expanding education to all people. However, until the unknown and anticipated arrival of change, the global community waits and attempts to permeate solutions to live in peace an prosperity.
Recently, all 193 member countries of the United Nations adopted the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. This is an ambitious agenda that seeks to create positive global social change and address inequalities such as creating a HIV/AIDS-free generation, preventing the insurgence of radical terrorist organizations, and reducing the disproportionality of youth unemployment in developing countries. An important activator to achieving these agenda items is number 17, “Partnerships for the Goals.” This was the lesson learned from the Ebola outbreak and the successful collaborative response from the European Union, the United States, and the African Union by creating public health networks to minimize the viral spread. Recent agreements to create more international partnerships seek to develop economic relationships through the recent renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Successful community partnerships in any community directly address community development through a holistic approach. Although institutions can come together in collaboration, millennials have demonstrated that “individual actors” (individual citizens such as you or I) are the ones to create attractive social change at a grassroots level through the platforms of social media and interest groups. Cultural diplomacy is how social movements employ social change because it requires the recognition of cultural differences, encourages intercultural dialogue, and identifies sustainable action plans.
Moreover, the most important ingredient to sustainable solutions and social change is youth. Already, millennial have created unparalleled infrastructure, technology, and world leading start-ups. However, some communities face challenges with leadership and the trade-off to new qualified leaders. Youth empowerment is critical for any community to thrive because it creates inclusivity and holistic community rejuvenation.
I am thankful to God for allowing me the opportunity to make an impact on a state, national and international level. This fall, I joined with young leaders from across the world at the United Nations during the General Assembly to discuss youth empowerment, cultural diplomacy, and sustainable development solutions. Through my interests of international trade and economic development, I was able to share my thoughts concerning entrepreneurship as a solution to global youth unemployment. This platform also allowed me to give my account of my recent visit to Zambia, Africa and how global partnerships can be created to support developing nations.
The time of opportunity for a brighter future is now, the “Brink of Change.” The potential of creating positive change for our communities is invested in each of us. Activating this potential and translating it into actions requires deep personal reflection for commitment, knowledge, and unity with those who share your vision.
With a Heart of Thanksgiving,
Devont’e Kurt Watson