In the midst of one of the greatest crises the world has ever experienced, there are growing calls for the need for each other, that we are all in this together, and that we need a better world. These are not new, but what is unique about this time is that they are happening concurrently from around the world. And even as the divisive language gets stronger, so does the call for “a better world.” But, will it happen? For millennia, there have been calls for a better world, and if you look into the amount of effort that has gone into creating this better world, one would wonder why it hasn’t happened. To begin with, it has happened and one can draw inspiration from just how far humanity has come. We are progressing in many ways step by step, but why is it that we can’t make this progress in leaps and bounds, and more importantly why can’t all people move together. What is missing?

As we look back at much of the progress over the last 2-3 hundred years, we tend to define it in terms of technology and innovation. The breadth and depth of progress from this point of view are impressive and the advancements of late are coming faster and faster with the acceleration only picking up speed. Each “industrial” revolution brought with it advancements that would have been unfathomable generations before, and now with the 4th Industrial Revolution upon us, we are almost assured of a better future. Right? Maybe not so, and certainly not for all. When you consider what we have achieved, and will achieve in the coming decades it’s a wonder that anyone is suffering at all. And yet, suffering continues and the world is not getting better for all. Thus it is clear that science and technology alone will not get us there.

So we’ll need great leadership right? No doubt we have had many great leaders who have pushed us forward at some critical junctures, but there were very few that were motivated to truly create a better world for all people. The desire to make one’s own country or business great has been an overriding motivator since society came together, and that clearly continues today. Many people have benefited from this, but many don’t and the world community suffers. Perhaps what caused this was a disconnect amongst and between peoples of the world. A sense of “us vs them” has pervaded mankind’s thinking when in reality we are all “us” and/or we are all “them;” since there is only one thing that is called humanity. Interestingly, while technology has not solved all the world problems, it is through technology that our connectedness is becoming increasingly realized and experienced. Technology is bringing us together whether we want to or not, and I believe there is more “we want to’s” than not. Why? Because we do need each other, and we are in this together.

However, being in this together and needing each other will not make the world a better place unless we begin to consciously acknowledge and harness this tremendous blessing. Sounds complicated and overwhelming? Not really. In fact, the action of needing and caring about each other is one of the first and most basic instincts and needs we all have, and it is what has allowed us to overcome the greatest challenges we have faced. We fight, we argue, we hurt each other, but we overcome as if there is a quiet force holding us together and moving us through the most difficult of times; a force of friendship that bonds humanity. Imagine, if we began to harness that force. The deep care for each other that exists can be developed so that we lock arms around the world and move forward, like best friends in the midst of the most trying time. Friendship is the missing piece.

This generation of youth recognize our shared humanity more than any other, and they care about each other. We see the seeds of true global friendship growing within our young people today and believe this can be a catalyst for creating a better world for all.