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The Young Leaders Forum was about “social _________.”
a. inclusion
b. cohesion
c. innovation
d. collaboration
e. regeneration
f. entrepreneurship
g. responsibility
h. all of the above

In my first post I shared anxiety about being naive of policies and economics. However, after three days with talented and gracious participants, my anxiousness has subsided. It wasn’t due to receiving a crash course in economic theory, or a primer on Latin American policy (though some of the sessions came close). Rather, it was a realization that we had shared values expressed through a diverse set of skills, interests and experiences. This is a testament to the selection process of the folks at BMW Stiftung. They know how to throw a great party!*

During the forum I started jotting themes in no particular order:
- fair working conditions
- access to education
- access to healthcare
- eco-reciprocal development aka, sustainability
- empowerment and equality for women
- collaboration between sectors
- access to capital
- art and design as development
- clean water and food sources
- access to mobility
- inclusive business models
- entrepreneurship

I also began noting principles:
- access, not restrictions
- sufficiency, not poverty
- quality, not inferiority or cheapness
- options, not limits
- shared, not autonomous

To my more conservative friends, these might look like a call to socialism. But I attribute that to political rhetoric of our current events. Seeing inequities first-hand, and understanding the connectivity of the global marketplace, will broaden your perspective. In that spirit I’ve highlighted these concepts so that we can begin applying them to affect the aforementioned global themes. You might try them as filters or as springboards for new ideas.

On a final note, I’d like to emphasize the collaborative spirt of the Forum. I heard someone say, “this is not a battle between public sector and civil society,” and I might add to this “…nor commerce”.  The cooperation of these three bodies stands out to me as a key point of view. In the U.S. we are in a polarized gridlock because of a lack of partnership between these groups. The sentiment of the Forum makes the battle back home seem even more vulgar, but it also gives me hope and optimism as I reflect upon the inspiring work being done around the globe to improve this condition.

Thank you BMW Stiftung for the opportunity to share my thoughts during the Forum. It was a pleasure.

*BMW throws a great party too!

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