Keynote with Aiesec

What an honour to be chosen as the Keynote speaker for the Aiesec “Connecting the Coast” annual conference!
My first thought when asked to do this presentation was why me? What do I have in common with Aiesecers? This great organization was established in 1948 with the dream of building cross-cultural understandings in youth. Smart youth! They are looking for the leaders of tomorrow and giving them great mentorship with some of the most successful people on earth.

From my loose understanding of Aiesec (part of my hesitation on doing the Keynote) these are all young, top achievers scholastically, but they also stand out in their communities. Now, I was never great scholastically, I did not lead youth movements or my community for that matter. There was one key thing that binds me to them – and this connection was the centerpoint of the talk.

Once they leave Aiesec and stand on their own feet in the world, once they push forward and begin to build their lives, their careers, their impact. We’re equal. You see, preparation and good intentions alone don’t change the world. They help for sure, but it is your actions, your commitment to a cause, and persistence to actually build something that sets you apart.