During the first half of 2022, YEIP has refined its mission to focus on empowerment of young professionals in the infrastructure segment of the Canadian energy industry.
During the second half of 2022, YEIP volunteers were engaged through a series of workshop to refine the organization’s strategy for achieving its mission, which put forward two pillars: (1) listen to the young professionals and (2) disseminate what we heard to influence the future.
Today, as part of the listening pillar of the strategy, we are excited to launch our YEIP Listens initiative, which consists of a series of podcast episodes, followed by other forms of additional listening engagements.
3 Takeaways: The Importance of Empowering and Listening to Young Professionals
Through the first episode of YEIP Listens podcast, we sat down with our current President, Ian Sug, to hear more about this initiative and the importance of empowering and listening to young professionals in designing a sustainable future, which was elaborated by three key points:
- First, from definition perspective, the internationally understood definition of sustainable development puts young people as a critical stakeholder group. As defined by Brundtland Commission through the United Nations, sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Therefore, the “future generation” (the young people) must be a critical stakeholder group when the senior leaders and industries talk about “sustainability”.
- Second, from representation perspective young professionals are early in their career and are often at the bottom of the decision-making hierarchy in organizations. Therefore, despite the criticality of young people as a stakeholder group, there is an inherent gap in representation and inclusion of young people in decision-making today. There needs to be mechanisms to increase their representation and empower their voice, and YEIP Listens seeks to achieve that for its industry segment.
- Third, from future stake perspective, young people must have a say in today’s decisions because they have a greater stake in the future. The senior leaders and decision makers today (CEOs, EVPs, and other senior leaders) will be retired in that future, and it is the young people who will have to live in that future and the consequences of today’s decisions. Therefore, since the future we are talking about today is young people’s future, it is important for them to have a say in today’s decisions.
For the above-mentioned reasons, it is imperative that we listen to the voice of young people and empower them to partake in today’s decision-making that will have an impact on tomorrow.
Moving forward, there will be a series of podcast episodes released on the most pressing topics that are affecting the future of young energy infrastructure professionals. These podcasts will be followed up by additional listening efforts, such as online engagements, workshops, and opinion papers across our member base, to collect input and construct the overall perspectives of YEIP.
This is an important step towards achieving our mission to empower young professionals; we will provide a platform to listen to the YEIP members, and we will learn from them to shape a sustainable future.