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Dear World

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Chris Eigeland at United NationsAs the 2016 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, Chris took the opportunity to speak about unlocking the potential of young people around the world. Some of the key points delivered by Chris include:

  • There is an opportunity in front of us to unlock the potential in young people all around the world—turning the “youth bulge” into a demographic dividend that delivers tangible economic and development progress.
  • Over the past six months I have travelled over 45,000 kilometres, meeting thousands of young Australians from all walks of life. And the overwhelming message is one of confidence, but at this crucial moment this confidence is tempered by fear. In particular, fear of economic disruption and inequality.
  • Globally, over 40% of the world’s youth are beneath the poverty line, whether they are employed or not. Even in OECD nations, a youth unemployment rate of over 15% persists. The unemployment rate is driven by faltering economies, labour market transitions, and underemployment that forces those with less experience out of contention.
  • More than 80% of young Australians believe that they have a duty to change the world for the better—not just a desire, a duty. And that duty is manifesting in self-created employment, enterprises and organisations.
  • The starting point always must be inclusive, relevant and quality education—a task that no longer is solely the realm of government thanks to shifting technology landscapes.
  • I met a team of young Australians that built a homemade tablet computer, and they are using it to provide affordable access to basic primary education in regional areas. The education development pathway can, and should, leap frog to the latest innovations to improve relevance and accessibility.
  • As much as the United Nations and national governments can do, and should do, ultimately it is on the shoulders of young people around the world.

As the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states, “it lies in the hands of today’s younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations”.

Chris Eigeland at United Nations

Watch now > Chris's Ted Talk - 'An Australian Edge - Building a Social Entrepreneur Culture' - at Tedx Noosa.

Watch now > Chris's Ted Talk - 'Vulnerability and entrepreneurs' - at Tedx Griffith University