“The power of youth is the one that will help us drive to the future we want.”
I have never felt such confidence in the power of youth before this trip. In September 2017, I had the opportunity to visit New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I took the opportunity to go, and feel for the first time the experience of being in such important meetings.
At the meetings, I was able to listen to amazing initiatives to fight for Sustainable Development around the globe and see the worldwide opportunities of this cause (like institutional cooperation, financial support, and opportunities to be at high-level events). I always thought that is kind of places were only for adults who already have a university degree, stable job and a large experience over their work.
I was wrong. On Friday, last day of the week, I remember very clearly the Leadership Council meeting. It was one of the last sessions, and most definitely one of my most memorable ones; our Global Coordinator was giving a full report of SDSN Youth activities in 2017. With his presentation, I realized the potential of youth had in changing the game. We are not 100% professionals/experts compared to the established industry, and we may not have the all the experience in the field but we have something some of these people may lack: passion in fighting for a better world.
I listened to the history of SDSN Youth, from only three years ago until now. I listened to all the networks created, outreach and events run. Anybody could see the energy and passion in the young leaders that invested in these initiatives. At that moment I realized the huge impact on sustainable development that could be achieved by young people who bring new ideas, passions, and innovative resources in order to reach the Global Goals.
It was not just me who came to realize this, but also the rest of the Council as well. This experience inspired me to keep working hard on this global issue: to create a sustainable world for us to live in. I could see the opportunities of being part of SDSN Youth and also the hard work all the team have set up to mobilize the right resources for empowering youth people on this topic. From that date, my responsibility of canalizing opportunities for young people in Sustainable Development topics have grown and nowadays I keep working on getting the right resources for Andean region youth initiatives.
Today I trust the youth passionate work for a better world. I believe that unleashing the youth potential in achieving the Goals will help us reach the 2030 Agenda all over the world.
Nicolás Serrano Palacio is a student of Information Technologies Engineering at Yachay Tech University. During his student life, his work on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been significant, from reducing poverty (SDG 1) by building houses in vulnerable communities to develop a recycling plastic machine as a research project in his university. He has also organized multiple raise awareness events like Yachay Trail (a SDGs thematic trail running race) or Hult Prize at Campus (projects competition focused on helping out refugees). Nicolas is nowadays coordinating the SDSN Youth initiatives in the Andean Region and looking for local funding organizations for Sustainable Development projects.