Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Brief Evaluation on Youth-Friendly Transformation Management

Mr. Güner Ureya

Brief Evaluation on Youth-Friendly Transformation Management
Mr. Güner Ureya

The most important challenges we face today as humans are not only our relations with the environment, but also our internal relations as living beings. The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow made us hear the bells of danger again and wake up with one eye. Besides environmental challenges, we need to have a different perspective on human-to-human relations too. We need to have a different, more humane and pragmatic approach to issues such as migration, inequality and other issues related to human rights and demography.

The rapid transformation caused by industrialization in the last two centuries revealed many new actors and instruments. The rapid transformation has penetrated deep into our souls as humans. Likely, the main actors of the social and national evolutions in the future will be the youth who have intertwined and have almost “organic relations” with smart devices. Every day their influence is rising more and more. They are immensely affecting social and other different processes in the world. For that reason, countries in the future should focus more on concepts such as "youth-friendly transformation management", which I abbreviate as YOUTRAM.

Perhaps, we were predestined to live in such an interesting era. Those who prefer looking at life with nostalgia rather than daily realities are not fond of the current time and climate. Actually, albeit partially, in a way they are right. Our current situation is not very pleasant. As humanity, while we have made tremendous progress, unfortunately, we have also done a lot of damage to our globe. We as human beings while focusing more on productivity and competitiveness are usually closing eyes on environmental catastrophes caused by ourselves.

We live in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in which we are using high-tech in every sphere of our lives, including computerization of manufacturing. On the other side, we hear the footsteps of Industry 5.0, which will create interaction between humans and smart machines. However, despite the immense achievements, unfortunately, we cannot stop violating and damaging the environment and nature. Global warming, viruses, floods, sinkholes, and countless other negativities are the results of the excessive, unconscionable and unbalanced development of humanity.

Since we cannot give up on enrichment, at least we can stick to the goals of sustainable development.

In the last two centuries, human beings have created much more economic value for “their needs” than the previous millions of years. The accumulation of all these values brought along many problems as well. While we thought, "we stepped into a new age," in reality, we faced with a new pile of problems.

I would like to illustrate the last two centuries' industrial revolutions through my Kosovar family. My paternal great-grandfather Abdulmecid Hamid was born in the 1860s and he lived in a period between the first and second industrial eras. My grandfather Seyfullah was born in 1892 and he lived in a period between the second and third industrial eras. My father Adem was born in 1944 and he lived in a period between the third and fourth industrial eras. I was born in 1973 and I am living between the third, fourth, and probably I will experience the fifth industrial era partially. My twin daughters Asya and Reyya are part of the Generation Alpha and I'm trying to be very careful while sharing ideas with them because interestingly they often act as the fact-checking program. Astonishing developments are taking place in this world. In the past, when people were watching TV, they doubted that the persons who appeared on TV were watching them too. Comparing to our generation, new generations are seeing teleportation as a more realistic target. There is huge difference in the perceptions between the generations. Since we cannot stop the development process because of our needs, we must focus more on sustainable development, which is essential for the continuation of development trends. In addition, we must focus on how to deal with and oversee the new and unexpected challenges. Otherwise, we will have to go back to the beginning or we will end up ruining everything.

We define today's youth as Generation Z. After a decade, Generation Alpha will be at the core of the young category. Most of the Generation Z do not know which way to turn the old TV antennas (to get frequency of channel), but they know how to order from Amazon in a minute, the latest apps, the names and values of most of the cryptocurrencies, etc. Let's not forget that the Generation Z will guide the Generation Alpha. These new generations sometimes are not aware of what is going on in their neighbourhood but they follow the main developments in other parts of the world, including the movement of meteors or positions of asteroids. The main risk for them is the possibility of experiencing too much disconnection from the past. For that reason, policies regarding the YOUTRAM will be one of the main challenges of the governments. If we do not take this seriously, we will face masses of unhappy and psychologically disordered people.

In this era, access to information is very easy. Young generations in the terms of development of skills can find different tools besides formal education. Awareness, in general, has increased. Therefore, modern ethics began to replace traditional admonitions and advices. If we look at the new generation with the glasses of the old generations, we would be making a big mistake.

In general, the median age in the world is steadily increasing. On the other side, the influence of youth in every sphere of life is increasing as well. Youth are the assets of every society in the world. In 2021, median age of the world population is around 31. While in 1990, the median age was around 24 and in 2100 with ongoing demographic trends, the median age is expecting to be around 50. As the world population increases, the burden on the young population is also increasing. These figures show us that the young and educated new generations will determine the future of the countries and the world.

For a better future, besides government policies, private sectors can engage more in supporting youth through different instruments. On the other side, the creation of better organizational conditions for youth in each part of the globe is also very important. The modern state, as the sovereign power, works for the welfare of the society, for the economic development of the country, for the security, health, education, and cultural needs of its people. However, with its giant mechanisms, the modern State time-to-time may not be fast enough in responding to various needs of its citizens. Therefore, it is crucial that non-State actors also take action. Civil society in the modern state has a very important complementary task. Besides NGOs, also promoting youth entrepreneurship is very important.

While working on YOUTRAM policies it is important to take into consideration how youth can be partners on global challenges, including their role on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. The main challenge but also the virtue of youth will be how they share their knowledge and opportunities with others. In addition, there are virtues like “how they can give more to nature than they are taking from it, how they can contribute to a healthy environment, how they can support vulnerable people, etc.” One of the most important challenges of the new generation will be “how they treat others, regardless of age, race, gender, and beliefs”, but also “how they can take actions friendly to humans, animals, plants, and the entire ecosystem”. In short, “how they show their sacrifice by leaving a better world to the Alpha, Beta, and other new generations”. Because our world is at a turning point. If the countries do not focus on YOUTRAM policies, with pace of development, we will either fall into the abyss together or take measures to protect ourselves from the abyss.

Altogether, with elderly and young generations we must focus on constructive, cooperative, and peaceful agendas, which are vital for creating a better environment of life.  Cupidity and laziness are our biggest enemies, while benevolence increases love between us. Love is the main source of positive energy and motivation. Where there is more love for people and nature, feelings of patriotism are also high. Those who look at the world with the warmth of love will also contribute more to world peace and justice.

In this period as we approach the end of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is very important to wipe the dust of pessimism from ourselves and to look into the future with more optimism.


The author is the Ambassador of the

Republic of Kosovo to Bangladesh. The article has been compiled from his speech at a youth seminar in Dhaka.