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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Empowering Youth: Reskilling for Climate Action and Sustainable Future


Empowering Youth: Reskilling for Climate Action and Sustainable Future
Green Rising’s core mission is to channel energy and concern into effective, informed action. As we grapple with the fact that “eco-anxiety” impacts 57% of young people worldwide, we recognize that empowerment stems from equipping these young individuals with the tools to transform their anxieties into knowledge and their fears into a catalyst for positive change.

By promoting understanding of climate issues and cultivating green abilities, we’re not merely producing activists; we’re cultivating future leaders, problem solvers, and innovators who will contribute to a sustainable world in fields such as biodiversity, air quality, water conservation, and waste management.

I’m privileged to witness the tangible impact of our commitment to reskilling. We’re setting a definitive path by launching and nurturing initiatives that significantly enhance the employability and entrepreneurial skills of young people.

For example, through readily available online platforms like open.sap.com, learning.sap.com, and partnerships with our peers from SAP University Alliances, we’re equipping individuals with the essential knowledge to make a positive impact on climate action. Our efforts are worldwide. In collaboration with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited, we’ve equipped over 7.6 million young individuals in India, Turkey, and Vietnam with crucial digital and life skills.

Looking forward, the Youth Agency Marketplace (YOMA), a collaborative creation with young individuals from the continent, aims to reach 1 million youths in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and the Philippines by 2025, providing opportunities for learning and reskilling. Moreover, the SAP Educate to Employ initiative is molding future careers, annually training 100 young talents in each pilot country, with 25 transitioning into internships or roles within the SAP ecosystem.

These are strides towards fostering a generation prepared to spearhead sustainability and innovation.

In my experiences attending conferences, I’ve frequently observed a critical missing component: the direct involvement of the young individuals we’re discussing. It’s one thing to educate and upskill them with essential knowledge, but it’s another to genuinely empower them to be part of the dialogue. It’s about transcending mere training and offering youth real platforms to apply their new skills and innovative ideas to the global climate discussion.

This philosophy underpins our approach to representation, with long-standing partners and organizations such as We Are Family Foundation and ChangemakerXChange in programs like Youth To The Table.
I firmly believe that the real catalyst for change is something quite straightforward yet frequently neglected: the authentic inclusion of young people in discussions and decision-making that will shape their future.

This strategy is embodied in the saying “Nothing about us without us.” It’s about changing the narrative, transitioning from merely talking about climate issues concerning young people to actively engaging with them. They are not mere observers, but active participants in the decision-making process.

For example, we are inviting 50 young leaders from around the world to the COP28 conference to hear their innovative thoughts and learn from their solutions. We have done this in the past and will continue to do so at global forums like the World Economic Forum and the United Nations General Assembly. Observing young leaders confidently influencing global discussions serves as a potent reminder of our mission — it’s about enabling them to shape the world they will inhabit.

Currently, only 0.76% of grants from major climate foundations support youth-led climate initiatives. This indicates that while mobilizing, reskilling, and giving them a voice is essential, it is insufficient. To tackle climate change, we must direct more resources towards projects and innovations led by youth, particularly in the most impacted communities. This involves not just discussing, but investing in their ideas through project grants, mentorship programs like Climate Hacks, and corporate pro-bono consulting programs that link experts with social and climate enterprises to enhance their impact and transform youthful enthusiasm and innovation into concrete, world-altering solutions.

Upon reflection, I’m reminded of the distinct and impactful role corporations can play in promoting long-term social change. Leading these initiatives at SAP has been both a responsibility and a privilege, providing a firsthand view of the transformative power of education.

Witnessing young individuals brimming with potential and a desire to make a difference serves as a constant reminder of the importance of our work. Every digital challenge we initiate, every skill we impart, and every voice we amplify is more than just a corporate obligation. It’s about illuminating a path for these young leaders who will eventually assume responsibility for creating a sustainable and fair world.

The discussions I engage in, the stories I listen to, and the apparent enthusiasm and determination among the youth leave a profound impact on me. They remind me that our dedication to empowering young people extends beyond corporate boardrooms and conferences. It serves as a reminder of the potential for corporations to make a significant contribution to a sustainable, equitable, and bright future for everyone. It’s about fostering a future that we all have a stake in.