AIESEC Global Leaders Summit

Submitted by admin on 24. February 2016 - 0:43

AIESEC Global Leaders Summit

Marrakech, Morocco, 13-17 February 2016

On 13-17 February, IEF President Arthur Dahl was invited by AIESEC, the world's largest student-run organization with about 43,000 members in 120 countries, to participate in their Global Leaders Summit 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. IEF's partner Baha'i-inspired organization, ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future, of which Arthur is also a board member, has collaborated with AIESEC for 20 years, and he has often spoken as a representative of ebbf at AIESEC conferences. There were two meetings as part of the summit, the International Presidents Meeting (IPM) and the Global YouthSpeak Forum which was dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals.

AIESEC International Presidents Meeting

The International Presidents Meeting brings together the presidents of each of the 120 national committees to elect the new International President of AIESEC. The organization is unique in that every position of responsibility rotates every year, so no one holds on to power, yet it has maintained its culture of working for peace and international understanding since 1948. Success comes from carrying out a leadership responsibility for one year, and then passing it on to a successor. It is possible to rise through the organization, say from a vice-president to president, and from a local committee to a national committee to the international team based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, but no one stays more than 5-6 years. AIESECers also go on exchanges around the world, so that the president, say, of the Mexican national committee becomes president in the Seychelles the next year to help build the organization there. Six of the candidates were vice-presidents in the international team. The organization builds leadership skills and an international perspective, and those that come to the International Presidents Meeting are a remarkable and diverse group of talented leaders. Arthur was asked to moderate a 90 minute panel of the seven candidates for International President to explore their knowledge of international issues and global priorities before the election.

Global YouthSpeak Forum

AIESEC has undertaken a global YouthSpeak Survey of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Millennials care about the most, and is reassessing its entire programme of activities and exchanges to ensure that they are coherent with and support the SDGs. It therefore organized a Global YouthSpeak Forum as part of its Global Leaders Summit on the topic: "Mobilizing Young People to Achieve the SDGs: Aligning AIESEC's Projects to the SDGs" for a day and a half in the middle of the summit.

YouthSpeak Forum . YouthSpeak Forum

After a video message from UN Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi, Arthur gave the opening keynote on "Mobilizing to Achieve the SDGs: A Challenge for AIESEC", in which he described the steps leading up to the SDGs, including the participation of IEF and ebbf in the UN processes, and underlined the opportunities that the SDGs represent for young people. He emphasized the importance of values in making career choices.

ebbf logo
ebbf was featured as a Global Partner in the conference

There were workshops on "Entrepreneurship & Innovation" by IE Business School, "Sustainable Cities & Environment" by UN Habitat, "Impact of Global & Local Media" by Al Jazeera Media Network, and "Education" by ebbf. After some other keynotes, further workshops considered case studies in project management, and participation in action spaces to design projects. The forum closed with the launching of "Youth 4 Global Goals" with the participation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), UN Habitat and PVBLIC Foundation.

There were many opportunities to discuss individually with participants, and a number came to Arthur for advice on their projects and their future careers. For AIESECers, it is always a challenge to find a continuing ethical motivation "after AIESEC" and over the years a number have joined ebbf.

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Last updated 23 February 2016