Dark clouds are appearing everywhere right now. Inflation and recession fears. Autocracy and Protracted War. Inequity and endemic Covid. Yet, in April, I sat in Gaborone, Botswana, for the first Africa Under 30 Summit, surrounded by something completely different: optimism. On a continent of 1.4 billion people, 70% of whom are under the age of 30, hundreds of leaders from 40 countries have understood that the greatest challenges present the greatest opportunities and that a way forward, the only realistic to create the tens of millions of jobs needed there — exists in entrepreneurship. For four days, this cohort learned, taught and, above all, engaged, with intention and hope.
Forbes we also saw it in March, when we transformed International Women’s Day from a hashtag into a community, bringing hundreds of extraordinary women to Abu Dhabi for four days of cross-generational mentorship. We saw it after Memorial Day, when we took the EMEA Under 30 Summit to Jerusalem, bringing together Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Arabs for a day to accelerate coexistence through prosperity collaborative. And you can see that capitalist purpose all through this issue, whether it’s the Collison brothers streamlining digital finance on the back of nine lines of code, the African immigrants who created a unicorn helping consumers on the continent transfer the much cheaper money or the Perth Tolle index fund that doubles as an engine for political freedom.
In a world that seems torn apart by division, entrepreneurship remains a universal language of progress. No matter how 2022 and beyond play out, we’ll keep saying it, confident that our best days are ahead of us, as long as we stick with it.