AIESEC: Activating World Youth Leadership by Embracing Diversity

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AIESEC has been empowering young leaders by encouraging cross-cultural collaboration through volunteer projects and internships.[edit]

September 12th, 2016

Hannah Sarfati, CD News

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Founded in 1948, AIESEC is a platform by students for students across the globe dedicated to ‘’expanding the understanding of nations amongst each other by activating the leadership potential of their youth’’.

As an international, non-governmental and non-profit organization, AIESEC aims to empower young people’s leadership potential through cross-cultural internships and volunteer exchanges across the globe. AIESEC has approximately 70,000 members in 126 countries, making it the world’s largest youth-led network. In sixty-six years, it has delivered over 450,000 successful shared global experiences.

Established in the aftermath of the Second World War, AIESEC sought to create a platform through which nations could understand each other and collaborate together. By providing young people with practical, global experiences, AIESEC strives to bring people from all cultural backgrounds to take a positive role in shaping the future. To activate young people’s leadership, AIESEC proposes corporate internships and volunteering programs. From year-long internships in corporations such as Microsoft, Tata and PWC to numerous community-based projects in agriculture, education and even human rights advocacy, AIESEC provides young people with challenging opportunities for their personal development and to enable them to make a difference.

Whether individuals want to jump-start their career or volunteer for a cause they hold to heart, AIESEC provides young people with exciting and challenging opportunities to push them out of their comfort zone. For companies and NGOs, AIESEC makes cross-border recruitment appealing and thus enables these organizations to acquire dynamic and diverse talents from across the world. AIESEC also collaborates with various intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Department of Public Information and the UN’s Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

Through its work, AIESEC truly embraces diversity. Its voluntary projects and internships bring together people from various cultures and backgrounds to learn from each other and work towards a common goal. At a time when relations between various cultures, religions and peoples are suffering the strain of international politics and security issues, the pressure to strengthen partnerships, (re)build trust and focus on common objectives rather than differences; AIESEC’s mission is all the more crucial. To connect individuals and organisations from different countries to exchange expertise and develop a realistic understanding of each other still resonates today, as it did over sixty years ago, after the Second World War.