YOUNG CHANGE MAKERS: Sharing Their Voices at Davos.

  • For the first time, young delegates participated at the 50th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

  • They voiced their opinions on securing a better future for the planet.

  • This is a sign that more and more young people are finding their voices and are being heard.

The 50th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting occurred in Davos, Switzerland and included a variety of young delegates.


The young delegates included:

  • 13-year-old Naomi Wadler from USA,

  • 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden,

  • 17-year-old Salvador Gómez-Colón from Puerto Rico,

  • 18-year-old Natasha Mwansa from Zambia,

  • 19-year-old Mohamad Al Jounde from Syria,

  • 19-year-old Melati Wijsen from Bali,

  • 19-year-old Fionn Ferreira from Ireland, and

  • 24-year-old Gary Bencheghib from Bali.

Here are some of what these young delegates shared with the world leaders at the Davos conference.

Naomi Wadler, USA:

  • At 13 years old, she was the youngest delegate at Davos.

  • She is an activist on gun violence and discrimination against African American girls.

  • She promoted becoming involved with activism and learning diverse perspectives.

  • She felt if children only learn about one way to live, they will not respect other communities.

  • She stated that they can choose who they want to elect and they can be the ones running for office.

  • She emphasized that young activists needed to look after their mental health.

  • She wants to see more action and less talking.


Greta Thunberg, Sweden:

  • Greta demanded a halt to investments in fossil fuel subsidies, exploration, and extraction.

  • She stated that she knew this was asking for a lot.

  • But this is necessary to start the changes needed to fight climate change.

  • She told the delegates that her generation will not give up without a fight.


Salvador Gómez-Colón, Puerto Rico:

  • Salvador states that young activists aren’t only talking about the issues impacting their world. They are taking action.

  • He created the Light and Hope for Puerto Rico campaign.

  • They distribute solar-powered lamps and hand-powered washing machines in Puerto Rico.

  • They have done this since Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico in 2017.

  • They are not waiting. They are present. They are acting now.

  • They are the future of the world.


Natasha Mwansa, Zambia:

  • Mwansa compared the young activists to the older generation.

  • The older generation has lots of experience.

  • Youth have ideas, energy, and solutions for the problems.

  • She promoted collaboration between the generations.

  • Youth can ride on the power, foster their agenda, and partner with the older generation.

  • Youth want to be involved from the start to the end.


Mohamad Al Jounde, Syria:

  • Mohamad escaped from Syria to Lebanon in 2013 when he was 12.

  • Within six months, he worked with friends to set up a school for refugees.

  • This has lead to helping more than 7,000 pupils settle and integrate into their new country.

  • He urged not to focus on climate change only.

  • He emphasized that other issues like education, equality, and health need attention too.


Melati Wijsen, Bali:

  • Melati and her sister helped achieve a ban on plastic bags in Bali.

  • Melati stated that the 2020s has to be a decade of action.

  • Governments need to get out of their comfort zone and act according to the Paris Agreement.

  • There should be no loopholes for governments.

  • The private sector needs to dig deep into their pockets and budgets. They must wake up and do more than the standard operational procedures.

  • We aren’t doing enough.

  • We don’t need to wait for 2050.

  • We need stronger goals.


Fionn Ferreira, Ireland:

  • Fionn noticed the effects of microplastic pollution on the environment when kayaking around the coast.

  • He invented a new method of extracting microplastics from the water when he was in high school.

  • He felt that banning plastics can have some effect.

  • He stated that innovation can play a huge role.

  • A lot of change can come from innovators’ discoveries.

  • His invention was a side effect of having fun.

  • By playing and having fun, innovation comes naturally.

  • He recommended investing in younger people in science.

  • If we get people started younger and earlier, we can get them coming up with fresh ideas.


Gary Bencheghib, Bali:

  • Gary and his brother Sam grew up in Bali.

  • They have rowed kayaks made from plastic bottles, along some of the world’s most polluted rivers.

  • This is to raise awareness of the ocean’s plastic problem.

  • Gary stated that there are 500 times more pieces of plastic in our ocean than there are stars in our galaxy.

  • He felt that there has never been a more important time to act than now.


It is encouraging to see the younger generation being recognized for their ideas and actions.

They are promoting working together to solve our world’s problems.

They want more involvement in changing the current status quo.

Fighting climate change, improving education, equality and health care are some of their concerns.

You can find more information and see pictures and/or videos of the above youth change-makers at Davos at this link

This is an example of how people of all generations can work together.

We can assist our youth to gain the skills and find their voices.

This will enable more of them to become the leaders that our world needs.

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There is a guide available which assists parents and others working with youth.

The guide enables a person to be proactive in the success of a child’s future.

It contains activities to assist youth to gain critical soft skills.

They will become more resourceful and independent when they practice and gain these skills.

The guide is available from Our Future Leaders.

Request the Parent’s Guide here


What are you going to do to assist children to become our future leaders?

Fred Jones

Victoria, BC Canada

Fred Jones

Fred Jones

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One Comment

  1. Wonderful newsletter. Thank you for sharing what these young people are doing for us and our planet. It also makes me more aware of how we each can help by reducing what we use in the way of plastics. If we all do our part, refuse to purchase one use plastic items, etc., there will be less and less plastic tossed away. Hopefully, there will soon be laws that outlaw one serving plastic water bottles.

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