Publiceret: 28.09.2017Af Anders Rostgaard Birkmann mail
If we are indeed able to capitalise on young talents’ good ideas for how to make the world a better place, there is reason to feel optimistic.
At DI’s Business Summit 2017 three young talents from Kenya, the Netherlands and Iraq spoke about their business ideas - and they range widely - new light sources, utilisation of condensation for drinking water and sustainable fertilisers.
In August, they were among the 1,000 talents who participated in the major UNLEASH event, aimed at developing business ideas to help achieve the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
See also: CEO Robert Mærsk Uggla on how to make useful business
Marion Moon from Kenya spoke about the unused potential in the African food industry. Six years ago she established her own agriculture company that works with environmentally friendly fertilisers.
“I play a role in helping to reap Africa’s enormous potential. Not only to feed my own population, but also you, you, you and all of your families,” she said, while pointing at the audience.
She urged that everyone – here in Denmark, too – realise that Africa’s young people are relevant partners in connection with finding solutions to the world’s major challenges.
“My main worry is that Africans will continue to be seen as a problem to be solved rather than a resource that can contribute - or as potential business partners.”
See also: Companies can make money off the UN's global goals
New light sources
Karlijn Arts from the Netherlands has joined the battle against climate change and is part of several projects that can become new businesses. One of them has to do with a lamp that creates light utilising the photosynthesis of plants.
“Nature has everything we need, and we must realise this and reap the potential,” she said.
She also described another project, which was, in fact, developed during the UNLEASH event in Denmark this past August. It utilises condensation formed in connection with household cooking and emissions from factories and converts it into drinking water.
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The UNLEASH event was a particularly groundbreaking event for Mohammed Omer from Iraq, who had never before travelled abroad.
“My priority is to change people’s lives. I refuse to use the phrase, ‘I want to change the world’. There’s nothing wrong with the world - but rather, something wrong with humanity. We create wars and chaos. We pollute the air. We are the reason for global warming. Apes don’t create weapons of mass destruction, fish and dolphins don’t throw plastic into the oceans. We do. There’s nothing wrong with the world,” he says.
His idea had to do with closing the gap between technology and education, but that was not what he spent the most time speaking about. Instead, he encouraged the audience at the Opera House to think about something other than profit.
“I urge all of you to look beyond money and fortune; instead, look at humanity. Put young people at the centre, invest in the future and reach out to people in the most conflict-ridden and distant regions. That is how we can create change,” he said.
See also: Ok for companies to profil from SDGs