Subject: #BridgingTheGap Highlights: Investing in the Future of Youth & Women

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June Round-Up
Aloha!

I am writing this message having just returned from beautiful Hawai’i, where I met with Heads of State from the Asia-Pacific and engaged in enriching conversation with executive leaders on how to bridge the gap for women leaders of the present and future.

How did this happen? What were the highlights on these discussions?
More on this in a bit.

First, why are you receiving this letter and what can you expect moving forward?

Whether you signed up to receive updates from one of my sites or you have engaged with me on a project, you likely haven’t heard much from me in a while.

The majority of the last few years I have been living in some ways under a rock. While I have spoken at key events and maintained an online presence, for the most part I have been head down working tirelessly on turning out some big projects.


One of these projects is The Power of YOUth book. After 1.5 years of scouting the globe for the world’s most passionate young ChangeLeaders and editing their stories, this global education resource involving youth in 59 countries is finally ready to be distributed and inspire more youth to discover their power to lead change.

Quote of the Month 
"Greatness takes time.” - Kelly Lovell
The ambitions you have for tomorrow may not be a reality today, but with hard work and PATIENCE, things can and WILL come together. The key is staying determined enough to continue pushing through until you reach this point.
Having been at this for a while now I want to share my experiences with the hopes that it may serve you, your colleagues or even those that you mentor on your own journeys.

Moving forward I will be sending out a monthly round-up email that shares key highlights from my engagements, lessons learned, wisdom gained and daily inspiration I have picked up along the way.

June Highlights 
1) I started the month off in Europe where I headed to Berlin, Germany for the first time. 

Here I represented the voice of young entrepreneurs as part of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance summit. As a G20 YEA delegate I met with entrepreneur influencers across the G20 delegations and engaged in high level discussions with world leaders to build policy recommendations for the G20 governments that focused on entrepreneurial education, job creation and youth unemployment. At the end of the summit we signed a communique of the top 3 recommendations which are being reviewed by Heads of State at the G20 meeting as we speak. These recommendations included: an entrepreneur visa, smart taxation schemes and better education. 
2) Following the G20 YEA summit I headed to London, England to speak about the Future of Business at Rethink HR Tech. Here, I met with key HR leaders from Europe and North American markets such as the VP of Workforce Development at Facebook and Youtube, to discuss how digitalization is affecting the workplace and Millennial employee expectations. 

Key insight from Matthias Horx, European Futurist: “For every trend there is a counter-trend.” As digitalization dominates business we must not forget the importance of analogue experiences - connections with people. We see this as head offices such as Facebook transform themselves into mega-homes with amenities that support your daily living needs.

There is more on this topic in my G20 YEA magazine whitepaper: 
3) After the UN I embarked on a 13 hour journey to Hawai’i on what was the highlight of my month. I was invited to Hawai’i to attend the Women Fast Forward: Asia-Pacific Consultation for W20 input for the G20 Meeting. 

Here my role was the represent the voice of young women and discuss the importance of digital inclusion in bridging the gender gap and advance SDG5. I had the deep honour of spending the next few days with inspiring women leaders including H.E. President Hilda Heine (President of the Marshall Islands and the first woman ever to lead a Pacific Island Nation), Rt. Hon. Dame Jenny Shipley (the first woman Prime Minister of New Zealand), Laura Liswood (Secretary-General, Council of Women World Leaders, USA) and many more. 

Reflection

                                               I know this sounds simple, but this is one of the hardest lessons I have learned (and am still working on). On my last day in Hawai’i I had a free morning before my flight home.
That morning I had a choice: I could work in the hotel lounge on my laptop and catch up on communications OR for $1, yes that is correct for only $1 I could step outside of my comfort zone - which at this point is anything beyond my computer and email - and hike up Diamond Head Mountain. I took a leap of faith and chose the latter. It was a breath of fresh air literally and figuratively. During that hike I not only got to experience the beauty of our earth - something I had disconnected from for a while - but new ideas and creative solutions to many of challenges started to flow. I came down from the mountain refreshed, revived and ready to take on the obstacles that had before stunted my growth.
Takeaway

Life moves fast, particularly if you are immersed in bringing a project to life. Working 16-18 hour days, I can easily go days without leaving the office or home, speaking to another human, and seeing the sunrise or sunset. I used to think that the longer I worked, the more I would get done. What I experienced instead was burnout.
Quantity does not equate quality. Taking time to breathe and appreciate the life around you builds your mind’s capacity to cope and work through your challenges. 
So, my advice of the month is this
“Take time to breathe and experience life. Don’t be a bystander. As much as you want to shape the future, remember to be present and contribute to the wonders of today.”

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