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  • In a time of high uncertainty, the need for scalable, coordinated and collective action is more urgent than ever.
  • Members of the Forum of Young Global Leaders are disrupting the status quo with big ideas to drive systemic change in times of crisis.
  • Learn more about the impact of Young Global Leaders around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing inequity, injustice and vulnerability across the world. To date, many individuals, communities and organizations continue to navigate this health crisis while trying to manage its unmeasurable socio-economic consequences.

In addition to the pandemic disruption, the many technological advancements and fast-paced change is challenging humankind to learn and evolve at speeds never experienced before. Furthermore, more than any other previous generation, today’s leaders have a much better understanding of how their actions will impact our collective future.

This has presented us with a unique opportunity to rethink the way we do things and challenge the status quo. It is time for leaders to respond and pave the way for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

Every year since 2005, the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL) selects a diverse cohort of promising leaders to accelerate their impact and shape a more inclusive and sustainable future.

During the 2021 YGL Annual Summit, global leaders from different sectors, backgrounds and locations pitched their “Big Ideas” to tackle existing issues and called on their peers to scale their impact and create lasting change. As we work to build back better, these leaders identified “out of the box” priorities to ensure effective post-pandemic recovery plans and secure a better future for current and future generations.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating automation are intensifying the need for the promotion of “good work”. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), highlighting renewed pressure on governments to put decent work at the centre of actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first.

The rise of remote work has created more flexibility for many people. Some 83% of companies say that they will offer more opportunities to work remotely because of COVID-19. But work-life boundaries have blurred and there has been growing concern about the impact of new ways of working on physical and mental health.

Automation requires greater efforts on reskilling and upskilling—on average, companies estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less. The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women and minorities demands new efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Meanwhile, non-standard forms of employment continue to expand, notably in the platform economy, and raise concerns about predictability and security.

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As organizations transition from the COVID-19 crisis into the post-pandemic future of work, there is the potential for considerations around well-being, purpose and new ways of working to come together to create a “new deal” for workers.

A number of leading multinational companies are paving the way through bold commitments in specific areas. These include offering hybrid work arrangements with increased flexibility, large-scale reskilling and upskilling programmes for all employees, comprehensive support for workplace mental health, pushing for their supplies to pay living wages, setting strong targets for gender balance and providing generous parental leave.

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