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Talking not fighting - Youth bridging the gap

JOHANNESBURG, 27 August 2002 - This was one of the main conclusions of the dialogue event held today involving young delegates from NGOs, government, intergovernmental agencies, media and other young persons organizations.
This dialogue event - jointly organized by the Young Managers Team of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and AIESEC (International Student Association in Economics and Management) – provided an opportunity for 60 young people to exchange views on how business and society will look in 10 years.

Representatives from diverse backgrounds such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, multinational companies, UNESCO and the South African government participated in four discussion groups on the topics of globalization, corporate accountability, corporate social responsibility and capacity building.

Several common themes emerged during the final plenary session, including:

  • The importance of education on sustainable development issues – of consumers, business leaders, analysts and shareholders.
  • The need to embed sustainable development principles in education curricula for all young professionals.
  • Partnerships are recognized as a valuable mechanism for moving forward.
  • The importance of including young people in leadership roles.

Chris Barnes of the Young Managers Team commented: ”We believe this event has built bridges of common understanding and has generated many ideas which will be followed up after the Summit.” Andrea Avolio from Greenpeace Youth Delegation said “I am deeply inspired. If the people I have met today are the managers of tomorrow, I am greatly encouraged for our future.”