“What will you be when you grow up” is a quite irrelevant question at the WCY as everyone agreed that we all can be leaders right now. And we are. When you are a journalist you can approach people with silly questions. So I picked this one, only changing “grow up” to “ten years.” Meet the WCY youth – reality check and ambitions in one story.
“Oh boy, I don’t think so far,” – replied Chernor, youth advocate and a formal refugee from Sierra Leone. In ten years he will be doing what he is doing now – simply educating world citizens.
John from UK has own business and has never studied. In ten years he will definitely be somewhere, but his “thinking hasn’t decided where.”
Vanessa is studying psychology, Buddhism and Poli in Sri Lanka. In 10 years she will be back to Brazil “living with crazy people” and working in a mental health hospice, which are at the moment prohibited in her country.
Her friend Luiz also from Brazil took a year off from psychology studies to “do something great” and moved to Sri Lanka. In 10 years he will be teaching, “doesn’t matter what”.
Damien is president of Amnesty International group in his university in Dublin, and in ten years wants to work with the EU and UN on development and youth policies, researching how religion overlaps with law. “So worst case scenario – just a diplomat.”
Philipp from Danemark is also a president, but of one of the student unions. In ten years he’d like to be Simba from the ‘Lion King’ – “good looking and a king!”
Jerry from Netherlands is a board member of the European Youth Forum. In ten years he will probably be still there, although “fully educated and fully employed.”
Meanwhile Joan is already full time unemployed volunteer” at the Spanish Youth Council and in ten years he will be the Spanish negotiator for the #Post2040.
Inder studies economics in the U.S. and works in a think tank. In 10 years he will be saving the world in a UN agency, “throwing money on developing countries and [turning to Joan sitting next to him] being ignorant to the European Youth Council.”
Stephanie from Malta is working in the EU Council in Brussels. In 10 years she will be influencing decision-making on social issues, manipulating leaders of her own country to make world a better place.
“Mayor of the capital and ambassador to the world!” said Doru from Moldova, who is now president-volunteer of the National Youth Council, entrepreneur and a teacher.
Ahmad is a “semi-doctor,” studying medicine in Egypt. In ten years he will hopefully be a doctor earning enough money to get into aviations, “and become a public health advocate, and a pilot, and an ironman.”
“Do you know the Pogo cartoon?” asked me David from Sweeden. I didn’t, so I “googled” and found some environmental picture that made sense. In ten years David will be Pogo, wise and with big ears “living in a changed world”. As for now he represents focal point for Major Group of Children and Youth on sustainable consumption and production and is “frustrated over the crazy state of the world with dual unsustainability”.
Lydia is the UN Youth delegate for Austria, but in ten years she will “talk a bit less and change a bit more.” The former UN Youth delegate for Austria Aleks is now Youth delegate of Vienna and in ten years expects to be “active, still ambitious and still positive.”