Youth leaders on the cutting edge

Devon A. Mosley | 4/24/2014, 8:58 p.m.
Trading in their Saturday morning cartoons and recreational activities, youth participated in lectures and workshops that would expose them to ...
Candice Bledsoe

He went on to explain that there are two types of entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs aim to change the world for the better, whereas business entrepreneurs aim to make money. Both have four traits: vision, courage, ideas and creativity. Entrepreneurs do new things or do old things in a new way, Croomes said.

“It used to be that we competed against those in our classes,” Bledsoe said at the beginning of the summit. “Now there is a global competition going on, and we are competing against those in other countries.”

For this same reason, Croomes concluded his workshop by saying that an entrepreneur becomes aware of a need, creates a business enterprise to fulfill that need, must be able to spot gaps in the market, and, lastly, must think globally.

On that last note, Croomes transitioned into the last part of his workshop, which was about global knowledge economy; GKE is the world economy’s primary use of ideas – rather than physical abilities – and application technology, as opposed to the transformation of raw cheap labor. He goes on to say that five results of GKE is that knowledge is being developed and applied in new ways, product cycles are shorter, innovation is in great demand, trade is expanding worldwide, and producers are facing increasing competitive demand.

“The world in which we used to go about business is fading away,” Croomes said, alluding to GKE and how the traditional company is evolving. “You can run your business in another country in your pajamas in your bed.”

After showing a visual example of this, he concluded his workshop with the 10 skill sets that are required in a global economy: intuition, creativity, productivity, patience, charisma, persistence, innovation, frugality, friendliness and fearlessness.

In keeping with the CEYS’s theme, Creating Global Youth Leaders, students also attended workshops called Leading by Example: Student Leadership and The Importance of Being a Global Scholar.

Frankie Wilson Jr led the workshop on Student Leadership, in which he conveyed to young students the importance of leading by example. He took the group through interactive exercises that helped them understand how to become effective leaders and showed them how they might already be leaders. One exercise involved students writing down the animals that best portrays them. One female student wrote down monkey because she is very active and impatient.

“I’m right there with you,” Wilson said with a smile on his face, telling the young girl that he is also active and impatient. “Some might see [my impatience] as a bad thing, but I think it’s a good thing because that means I get things done.”

Another female student wrote down lioness, describing herself as quiet, protective, graceful, brave, beautiful and majestic.

“I’m brave and protective because I’m very protective of my little sisters, I take care of them a lot, and I watch over them [like a lioness],” the female participant said firmly, slowly and with conviction.

“How many of you all here believe everything she just said?” Wilson asked the group of students.