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Youth Social Enterprise Forum in Community Development

I’m probably the oldest panel member . . . born in 1941 . . . before Pearl Harbor

The world has changed so much since then; I’m not in a good position to advise/guide youth

My interest in entrepreneurship began with a senior thesis I wrote in college about small business in India, and was reinforced during the two years I worked in India as a Peace Corps volunteer in the mid-1960s

My career, however, was narrowly focused on international finance; this is the only area where I can claim genuine expertise

By chance, 17 years ago, when I was at the Brookings Institution—a policy research institute, think tank—I did a policy study of the Peace Corps

This project mushroomed into a national campaign to support international volunteer service

This is how I met David Caprara, a prime mover in GPF

In 2017, I decided to undertake a study of “the global challenge of urban youth unemployment”

I didn’t get far into this subject due to some turmoil in my family in 2018 and 2019

In early 2020, however, I went to India to carry out some field research for this study

I was in Kolkata at the beginning of March when the pandemic was declared; I was lucky to be able to return to the USA without any complications

Because of the pandemic, this project seems no longer feasible, so I’m getting ready to launch a new project; perhaps in the area of climate change and immigration

Since last September, however, my top work priority is helping a startup liberal arts college in Myanmar/Burma; I’ve become a member of its Board of Trustees

I did reach one tentative conclusion in my study of youth unemployment: no combination of government policies and private sector initiatives will produce enough decent jobs for the women and men entering the labor force in the next 20-30 years

Therefore young men and women everywhere will have to create their own jobs

This is why, in my mind, Youth Social Enterprise is so important.

My study has also sparked an interest in Universal Basic Income

I will leave you with three thoughts:

1. My generation cannot stop global warming; your generation must stop it or the world your children will grow up in will be unbearable

2. When I was born, global population was around 2 billion; now it is approaching 8 billion, and the UN is forecasting a population of almost 10 billion by 2050

3. I wonder what young men and women everywhere in the world are thinking about family size now; it could be the most important decision of their lives, for the future of their children and the future of Planet Earth


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