Empowering the next generation to innovate and thrive

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In 1999, the United Nations passed a resolution to commemorate the cultural, legal and economic issues surrounding youth, marked each year on 12 August. This International Youth Day, we’re reflecting on why it’s particularly important for the energy sector to engage young people – and why equipping the next generation to tackle tomorrow’s climate challenges will make us all winners.

Changing of the guard

We’re living through a golden age for activism. It’s fitting that the theme for the 2020 International Youth Day is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’, as people of all ages seek to get their voices heard at a local, national and even global level. It’s also an ideal time for businesses to evaluate whether they’re doing enough to inspire and engage the next generation.

That’s as true for the energy sector as any other. As the workforce ages, it’s vital to invest in attracting and developing new talent. Making the energy sector a more appealing place for people of all ages to work will enable businesses to stay agile and hone their competitive edge.

Incubating innovation

Most importantly, welcoming new generations into the workforce will increase cognitive diversity and promote problem-solving innovation. These capabilities will be crucial as the energy sector powers toward the tough climate challenges ahead.

By 2030, the UN seeks to make its agenda of sustainable development a reality. One way that the energy industry can play its part is by providing opportunities for young people and contributing to economic growth – which corresponds to goal 8 of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (decent work and economic growth).

Fresh perspectives

There’s an old saying: ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. The drive and optimism of a new generation can help us do just that. By welcoming young people into our organizations, we can use those fresh perspectives to transform the way we work and deliver real value to all.

There’s no better time than International Youth Day to give young people the chance to participate in the energy sector and beyond – so join me in recognizing their potential!