The following guest post is from Andy Chen, a Y20 Task Force member and one of Knovva Academy’s most distinguished alumni.
I was given the opportunity to attend the Knovva Academy Model G20 Taskforce in Japan from the 21st of May to the 1st of June. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say that it has been one of the best experiences of my life so far. There is no other opportunity like this taskforce: this is the only chance that high schoolers are able to make a distinctive impact on the world stage. Not only that, but I was also able to create friendships and lifelong connections with the 19 others that were alongside me on this trip.
During this trip, I was able to make a positive impact on this world and this will change the lives of our generation as teenagers. While not every single recommendation we made was presented in the Y20 Communique to the G20, there were clear elements of our proposals, ideas, and recommendations in the Communique. We started this program as 20 different people with varying backgrounds and perspectives and views, and I’ll freely admit there were moments of discord, but we were able to come together as one cohesive and passionate group to present our views to the Y20. Beyond all the work we were able to achieve in that short period, I especially enjoyed experiencing the different cultures and listening to ideas that others had, as well as understanding why they developed these views.
I learned so much from not just my friends at Knovva, but also from the Y20 and Girls20 delegates. The insights from Yasushi Maruyama (from Egon Zehnder) at the Y20 workshops, and his messages about leadership, success, and the future of jobs as well as others’ insights will stay with me through high school, university, and beyond.
Furthermore, each and every one of the delegates that I connected with had proposals that they were passionate about and that they genuinely believed could change the world. It was inspiring to see this when countries voted for and discussed policy recommendations. From ESG reporting requirements for countries to regulations and the recruiting and retention of women in the workplace, each recommendation was extremely well thought out and sought real change in the world. It was a privilege that we were able to be part of those discussions and to make our contributions heard and enable change around the world.
The immense feeling of sadness that I felt when we parted ways is a testament to how strong the friendships and the bonds among the group were. Each of us were driven, passionate, and had the yearning desire to make change, not to mention their wonderful personalities. I’d like to thank Knovva Academy and Giantbug Foundation for giving me this opportunity.