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The case for age diversity in business and life – Meet the Queens Young Leaders

by on July 22, 2015

We seem to be picking up on range of ‘age diversity’ stories of late. It actually isn’t the most common phrase that generates material in our alerts but perhaps things are changing. Or it’s summer. Or something.

Anyway, this piece by Oli Barrett on the Startups website (‘The UK’s No.1 service for starting a business’, apparently) makes the case for age diversity. He mentions the following recent experience: ‘I was surprised and disappointed this week to see that the board of a significant charity has a group of trustees whose average age is 64. On top of that, there is no-one in that group in their twenties, thirties or forties, nor anyone (with one exception), in their seventies, eighties or older‘ and then goes on to lament the absence of older people on company boards etc as well as in other settings as we miss out on their wisdom, ideas and advice. I wasn’t entirely clear exactly what he was proposing as a solution to this. The article continues by referencing a number of young political leaders.

So instead I followed a link in the article to the Queen’s Young Leaders website as I hadn’t heard about this initiative. It turns out to be a programme (which makes awards and grants) to discover, celebrate and support ‘exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth, leaving a lasting legacy’. Specifically it targets young people (18-29) who can demonstrate leadership and make a change in their communities. Reading some of the projects set up by the 2015 winners suggests that wisdom, ideas and advice are attributes not only located in older people – but then we knew that already, right?

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