Change Agents: Building a movement for change 

Date: 06 July 2023

Powerful. Inspiring. 

Those were just two of the words Change Agents used to describe the online programme on Thursday, 6 July. In their third online discussion since April, the YMCA leaders heard from an expert panel on creating change, including outlining goals, mobilising resources, taking action and fostering collaboration.

“It was inspiring to witness young people engaging in meaningful conversations about the pressing issues they care about while developing the skills needed to make a positive impact”, said World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee

During the 90-minute meeting, the Change Agents met in breakout rooms to discuss the one Pillar of Vision 2030 – Community Wellbeing, Meaningful Work, Sustainable Planet and Just World – that was most meaningful to them. In addition, Sandro Arnold of Sqiyo outlined how Change Agents will soon be using the platform to advance knowledge sharing. 

Inspiring change

During the main segment of the programme, a panel of five global experts (below) shared their experiences, enlightening Change Agents on how they can leverage this knowledge to foster personal growth and development. Highlights: 

  • Panel moderator Kevins Randiek of Brand K Integrated Marketing and Communications Ltd. said it could be challenging to go it alone. “Make sure you find a team that will support you”, he said. 
  • Gbontwi Anyetei is a writer, author and filmmaker from Ghana with two decades of work. “Remember to listen as much as you act or talk”, he said.
  • Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and chairman of Purpose, a public benefit corporation headquartered in New York, USA: “Never ignore the people that don’t agree with you. While it’s not everyone, there are some people you’ll be able to persuade. Focus on the people not yet in the tent that you could get there”.
  • Cynthia Simekha: “Limelight is only one type of light to seek. As we look at history, achievement is often anonymous. Some of the greatest things are done by people we will never know or see”. 
  • Sofia Canessa is an environmental activist from Uruguay who has worked with Fridays For Future International. She urged the Change Agents to find their voice and courage to speak up.  “Clarify your message or purpose”, she said. “Don’t be shy. Work on your confidence, and it will bring benefits”.  

This summer the Change Agents will continue meeting in their action teams. In addition, they’ll work with Sqiyo to build their personal brand as “knowledge givers and connectors.