By Amy Mander, Head of Global Social Leaders
After 10 months of raising a tiny human I am now back on the good ship at Future Foundations. Upon my return I was presented with a Captain’s Hat and a new role as Head of Global Social Leaders. I cannot tell you how excited I am as we sail over new horizons into new, unchartered waters!
In 2019 GSL ran its largest ever World Summit, sending coaches to South Africa, Mozambique, China and India to ignite the passion of young people to address local issues through social action. I am pleased to say that our Global Goals competition is growing in its reach and we are now active in 105 countries. As the world calls for action on climate change, poverty and social injustice these young people are answering it with innovative solutions. Clearly, this was a big year for GSL.
It was a big year for me too: in March I gave birth to my first child! This has simultaneously been one of my greatest achievements and one of the greatest challenges I have yet faced. Ada has taught me much about the value of community, the importance of building interpersonal connections, and the need to nourish and care for myself before seeking to do the same in the world at large.
Watching her grow and flourish has made me even more passionate about the work we do at Future Foundations. Whilst she has the capacity to make a lot of noise, I tell her rather that she has a strong voice, and not that she is loud; often little girls’ traits are seen as negative when they are wilful, whereas the same traits as expressed in boys are portrayed unambiguously positively. We often hear girls described as ‘bossy’ and boys as ‘natural leaders’. My daughter is a natural leader with an exceptionally strong voice! I am proud of such qualities in her, and will not teach her to apologise for them.
It is a true joy to return to work for a progressive, supportive organisation that empathises with working parents and champions women’s rights and dignity, and which has been well ahead of the curve in empowering young people to be global changemakers. We now have over 103 countries active in our GSL Global Goals competition and are planning our 8th GSL Annual World Summit; moreover we are proud to announce that after a successful pilot of a Junior World Summit in 2019, we will be launching a Junior Stream and welcoming even younger students to Wellington College this summer.
With the chaos and uncertainty that has been facing vast swathes of the world at the start of 2020, the work that we do has never been more relevant. Part of my new role is exploring new collaborations and partnerships to further the impact that these innovative young people are making on the world. As much as the future is characterised by uncertainty, I rest in the hope that thanks to the actions that are being taken today, there will be a better world for Ada and her generation.