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Who inspires the young?

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To mark International Youth Day, the Elders reflect on their youth and those who instilled in them the values that led them to where they are today.

International Youth Day is a day which celebrates the role of young people as partners in change and an opportunity to shine a light on the challenges which they face.

In the course of their work, The Elders have made it a priority to hear from young people and amplify their voices: they have discussed climate change with students, activists and young entrepreneurs in Paris, held a roundtable with youth in Dublin, debated creating an inclusive democracy with young Egyptians in Cairo, and hosted a series of intergenerational online dialogues in the lead up to the Rio+20 summit.

To mark this day, the Elders reflect on who inspired them when they were young, and how their influencers shaped the values they still hold dear. Ernesto Zedillo discusses the influence of his parents on his view that “education is a means to be a better person for others”; Gro Harlem Brundtland speaks about her parents’ vision of equality and its impact on her childhood; and Graça Machel reflects on family unity and how the responsibility assumed by her mother and sister for her upbringing led her to the view that “There’s not anything you achieve as individuals; you achieve within a context of building on strengths of other people around you”.

These videos form part of our Ethical Leadership video-series, in which the Elders discuss the universal values that unite and connect us. 

Tell us, who has been your biggest inspiration? How have they shaped your values?

Share your thoughts and inspirations in the comments below and tweet us using #EthicalLeadership.

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