On the Emergence of New, Young, Global and Ethnic Leadership

By Ramin Herath, 2019 Luce 24 Under 24 Award Recipient

Through my personal experience, young leadership is
extremely crucial in fighting the many issues we still face as a
global community today. For example,the education gap between
developed countries and developing countries is staggering,
especially when viewed from the gender perspective.

Long Island, N.Y. In basically every lifeform, there is always some sort of leadership role involved, whether it be the leader of a hunting group or a leader in the habitat, leadership coincides with life.

With the advent of civilization, these leadership roles became more and more present and apparent. As society developed from the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, society has become increasingly complex with new hierarchies and leadership roles that are necessary in order for society to continue functioning.

reception-of-a-victorious-general-in-mesopotamiaReception of a victorious general in Mesopotamia.

Today’s world has become more complex than it ever has before. As we develop new technologies and capabilities by the day, unforeseen consequences arise and with new solutions having to be engineered. With these new problems come new leadership roles and in the present time, more leaders are emerging than ever. More than ever, leadership is critical to being able to manage the complex world. With the introduction of new young leadership, the world can reach its full potential and achieve unprecedented success.

Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group, in this case, people. Leaders are what make groups productive and able to work, otherwise, these groups would just be chaos with no order or direction. Leaders take a variety of forms as there are an infinite amount of ways you can characterize groups, whether it be a president ruling over a nation or a captain of a football team, successful groups require leaders.

The ability to lead a group for some is a natural talent that they possess, for others, it’s something that they learn over time, whether it be experience from watching one, or maturing as a person. However, there is no limitation on who can lead. That is especially true for today’s world, where leadership roles are becoming more diverse than ever.

Minorities of ethnicities, women, and non-cis individuals have now all obtained some form of political leadership, whether it be national/federal or at the local town and city level. For example, in the 116th Congress of the United States is now more than 20% women for the first time in American history.

800px-Female_senatorsThe 16 female senators in the 110th U.S. Congress, 2007.

While this is far from equal representation for women in Congress, it demonstrates that America, one of the slower countries to accommodate for equal representation of women, are making progress. Elsewhere around the world in developed nations, women are nearing that 50% representation which represents both opinions equally such as Norway (41%) and France (48%).

A major reason for this: the emergence of new young leadership. In today’s educational curriculums, gender roles are no longer discussed as the present but rather an antique of the past where we examine all of its faults and apply it to the world we know today.

With more countries becoming more complex in their ethnic characteristics due to the availability and ease of transportation, the leadership based on ethnicity is changing as well, as minorities such as African Americans in the United States has allowed many more minority political officials that accommodate the needs of the often overlooked minority.

_Black_Lives_Matter__(31691268963)Black Lives Matter. Photo: Wiki Commons/James McNellis, Washington, D.C.

This is once again the result of young, new leadership that has seen protests against discriminatory acts whether it be ethnic, orientation or gender-based with movements such as the Black Lives Movement, the Pride Parade taken place recently in New York City as well as the Women’s Marches through Washington D.C. in 2018.

New values imposed on our youth of acceptance and equality for all regardless of labels, should be guaranteed for every single person. Acceptance of what was previously unacceptable such as gay marriage in the span of a few decades has been in large part to the new, young leadership that has risen and sought to change traditional norms in the name for everyone to exist as themselves and nothing short of that. 

Through my personal experience, young leadership is extremely crucial in fighting the many issues we still face as a global community today. For example, the education gap between developed countries and developing countries is staggering, especially when viewed from the gender perspective. According to UNICEF, more than 150 million children are engaged in child labor, forcing to compromise or flat out deny their own education in order to make ends meet for their family. Only 15% of children who are engaged in 43 or more hours of labor per week, end up going to school in the first place.

In the rural countryside of Sri Lanka where my father grew up, most children opted to work instead of going to school as they had nothing else to feed their families. My father instead went to school, not fully realizing how transformative this would be for his life as it allowed him to be able to pursue his dream to go to college and eventually led him to emigrate to the U.S. with my mother and start a new life.

I have the privilege of running a charity called Coins for a Cause where initially, my family would donate our loose change to a small bucket to bring to Sri Lanka. Today, we use this money to provide young adults with educational opportunities in the form of scholarships that help invigorate these individuals’ interest in education and encourages them to go to school.

Education is the most important factor to those in poverty as without education, there can be no advancement of ideas and no skilled opportunities, which are more needed every day with the automation of the workforce taking place in unskilled labor.

Sri_Lanka's_Best_Pictures_From_Eclipse_@_Nalanda_Grounds_by_NCAS_(3243731466) Eclipse at Nalanda College Colombo, Sri Lanka conducted by Nalanda
College Astronomical Society and Old Nalandians Astronomical Society.

These educational opportunities allow these impoverished children to have a greater chance at landing a real blue or white collar job which they can then use to not only support their families but raise the stature of their family and open more doors for them as well.

I am just a very small portion of our great, young global leaders we have today who are changing the world whether it be able helping foster a sustainable future such as Greta Thunberg, those who fight for the equality of women in every aspect around the world such as Malala Yousafzai and so many others are more motivated than ever to make our societies the most sustainable, productive and morally righteous as possible in order to leave our children and future generations with a world they can be proud of. 

Ramin Herath
Ramin, 13 at the time, was one of our 2016 Luce Leadership Awards youngest nominees. Now in his high school years, Ramin believes that young leadership is extremely crucial in fighting the many issues we still face as a global community. Today he is looking to set up a fund in his native country of Sri Lanka to help families that have been left behind from industrialization. His foundation which he started as a child, Coins for a Cause, have granted young adults from Sri Lanka with scholarships as Ramin believes strongly that education is essential to lifting the impoverished up through the societal ladder.

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About The J. Luce Foundation
The Mission of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation, Inc. (www.LuceFoundation.org) is to support young global leadership impacting positive social change, particularly in the fields of the Arts, Education and Orphan Care. Related charities include Orphans International Worldwide (OIW) and The New York Global Leaders Lions Club, both founded by Jim Luce, born July 24, 1959. 

 July 24th, J. Luce Foundations 20th Annual Summer Soirée (7/19)
‘Luce 24 Under 24’ Summer Soirée Set for July 24 at the China Institute (6/19)
J. Luce Foundation Announces First ‘Luce 24 Under 24’ Awards (5/19)
J. Luce Leadership Team Lauded by Forbes, Gates, Ford Foundation (9/18) 

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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