Governments around the world should back the social economy as they look to lay the foundations for a strong, sustainable recovery. Global challenges such as the pandemic, climate change, and digitalisation are reshaping our world and demand novel solutions. The social economy is ready to step up and deliver.
Earlier this year, we marvelled as billionaire entrepreneurs Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos reached for the stars through trial launches of rockets developed by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. In many ways, their race represents popular perceptions of entrepreneurship – the expression of a drive that is ambitious, competitive, innovative, and…. male.
It needn’t be that way.
By working together – as civil society, governments and businesses – we can help young people face the challenges of work, gender equality, the green transition, and the future of business; and empower them to create and seize new opportunities.
Over the course of the pandemic, the bustling, busy city spaces of the world have – for long periods – lain empty as citizens retreated indoors to shelter from the virus. These empty spaces and closed doors have become a powerful, visible symbol of the impacts of the pandemic, which have been felt keenly by the UK’s eleven “Core Cities” of Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Many readers will be familiar with the game SimCity. You play an omnipotent mayor, laying roads, planning infrastructure, and zoning land to grow your city and attract “Sims”, the inhabitants of your marvel creation. With good planning, your city prospers, Sims are happy, and you earn “Simoleons” (SimCity’s currency) to develop your city further. That is, of course, barring the occasional zombie apocalypse.
C’est en mobilisant les acteurs et les talents de la société civile, aux côtés et en complémentarité des gouvernements et des collectivités publiques, que nous pourrons relever ensemble ces formidables défis que représentent aujourd’hui l’emploi et l’émancipation des jeunes, l’égalité femme-hommes, la transition écologique ou encore l’avenir de l’entreprise.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of young people everywhere. Many of the worst consequences of the pandemic – school closures, fewer employment opportunities, low wages – have forced our youth to alter their personal, professional, and educational plans. If left unaddressed, these sacrifices will reverberate for years to come and leave an entire generation – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – with bleak futures.
Integrating young people into the labour market is critical for the dynamism of our economies as well as the health of our businesses and society at large. Unfortunately, the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have been devastating for the young generation, disrupting their education, limiting their employment opportunities and creating mental health issues.
While the pandemic’s health impacts have fallen mainly on older generations, in many countries it is the young who have proved most vulnerable to its economic impacts. For the young, this has become a crisis not just of health but of opportunity. For more than a year, they have seen job prospects dry up and their learning interrupted.
After years of population decline, many rural communities now host schools with more teachers than students. Declining fertility rates, low rates of immigration and population ageing have put pressure on local services, pushing up costs per head in facilities with very few users and in some cases forcing closures. Can governments continue to provide services efficiently to people regardless of where they live?
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