John Denton joins board of Generation Unlimited and scales youth engagement

  • 30 September 2019
ICC intergenerational dialogues with UNICEF

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO has joined the Board of Generation Unlimited (GenU) – a major global initiative to empower young people worldwide through education, skills training, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Generation Unlimited is co-chaired by Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame, and President of Trinidad and Tobago Paula Mae Weekes. The board comprises a growing list of over 60 partners from government, the private sector, multilateral organisations, civil society and young leaders from around the world. They include Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, Ambassador Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President of Strategic Growth at Mastercard, Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Kristalina Georgieva, incoming Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

The meeting – co-chaired by Henrietta Fore and Ilwad Elman, Director of the Elman Peace Centre and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee – featured significant announcements from over 30 board members, including Michael Froman, Vice-Chairman and President of Strategic Growth at Mastercard. Each announcement represented a major mobilisation of resources towards solving the youth education crisis – both through local initiatives in countries such as Rwanda and Indonesia and through the creation of new digital platforms by Microsoft and I Learn Jordan.

As a new member of the Global Board, Mr Denton will contribute expertise, strategic direction, resources and leadership to the partnership, in line with ICC’s purpose to enable business worldwide to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.

Speaking at GenU’s board meeting which took place shortly ahead of the opening of the 2019 Climate Action Summit at United Nation’s Headquarters in New York, Mr Denton acknowledged the significant financial, technological and strategic support provided by other board members. Highlighting the dynamism of ICC, Mr Denton announced that, as the institutional representative of 45 million companies worldwide, ICC was working with businesses to shift human capital to empower young people and solve issues relating to youth employment.

In line with commitments to support the engagement of young people in the private sector, ICC convened its first Intergenerational Dialogue with UNICEF on Saturday 21 September. Chaired by ICC’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations Andrew Wilson, the meeting featured over 30 CEOs and Senior Executives of all ages for a frank discussion on the business response to climate change. Participants included Christian Deseglise, Global Co-Head of Central Banks and Co-Sponsor of Sustainable Finance at HSBC, Jakob Trollback, CEO of Trollback and Company, and Madelle Kangha, Founder and CEO of Jumpstart Academy Africa.

ICC will continue to contribute to the GenU movement in a number of ways and will continue to host intergenerational dialogues with UNICEF on the margins of major global events. These include the Santiago Climate Change Conference (COP 25), the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. At the local level, a network of over 12,000 chambers of commerce and/or industry will support initiatives in their cities, countries and regions. ICC will also seconde a staff member to the GenU Global Team and support seconding staff to local programmes through its global network.