The Nexus Youth Summit

Last week I was in New York City to attend the inaugural Nexus Youth Summit, a gathering of over 300 young wealth holders, philanthropists, and social entrepreneurs from around the world to discuss ideas and connect with peers in a safe space.  Part of the time was spent at the United Nations as part of the Year of Youth high-level meetings.  Here’s an excerpt from the inspirational speeches there:

Let us all find the common thread woven into the fabric of our diverse lives; the part of us that cringes when we hear these statistics read aloud; our inner conscience that wants us to become more than we can be, not for selfish gain, but so we can systematically and gradually reverse the direction of these statistics and eventually, once-and-for-all, eradicate them altogether.

Our community is in the best position to make a difference on each and every one of these issues. We are the next generation of leaders, investors and philanthropists.

As you can see, conceptually we can solve the world, but the question is: politically, financially, and actually will we?

It is with the utmost gratitude that I thank you all for making a deliberate choice to become a long-lasting part of history. And we are all familiar with the phrase, “actions speak louder than words.” And you have shown it by coming on your own dime, sacrificing your own time, not only in word, but in action.

We have all been tremendously blessed and now it is time for us to become the blessings ourselves; it is time for those who have the vision to give sight to those whose eyes are clouded with fear and pessimism, it is time for those who have the resources to provide for those who are starved of opportunity, it is time for those who have the experience to collaborate and come up with the best available processes to realize the vision within the resources we have.

I personally left very inspired.  At first I wasn’t sure what to expect – would this just be another conference full of talk, or would there be real inspiration and energy coming out of the conference? Here is a group of influential young people, aiming to do more than just talk about making a difference but to utilize the tremendous amounts of financial and relational capital to truly seek to change the world.  There was such diversity in the group – participants from around the world with success in many areas (technology, arts, politics, community organizing, etc), from varying sectors and backgrounds, but all with a common mindset of discovering how to be action-minded on ideas to make a difference.  I look forward to seeing how this group will continue its momentum and to build a broader movement in philanthropy and society.