Here’s a question for you: how does one inspire the youth? Well, one way is by gathering successful young people and getting them to talk about what they do. That’s what Nestlé Philippines did to celebrate United Nations International Youth Day 2018. At their Makati administrative office, they hosted NesTalk, a forum for young employees and trainees. The celebration was part of a continuing international initiative dubbed #NestleNeedsYOUth, which seeks to help young people across the world develop skills and become more competitive in the workplace.
For the talks, Nestlé enlisted a lineup of four youth influencers and leaders to provide inspiration and advice for attendees. The speakers were sculpture and installation artist Francis Sollano, volleyball player and reporter Gretchen Ho, YouTuber Janina Vela and Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray.
I got youth: NesTalk speakers Francis Sollano, Gretchen Ho, Janina Vela, and Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray.
Each speaker had a different and enlightening topic that was close to his or her heart. Francis talked about his pioneering work in creating “trashion” — combining trash and fashion — which he mounted in a show featuring wearable art during New York Fashion Week. Gretchen Ho, on the other hand, shared her experiences of learning commitment, resiliency, adaptability, teamwork and humility as a star volleyball athlete. One of her main points was that one’s real goal should be to grow: “It takes courage to want to change,” she said.
Janina Vela, on the subject of digital spaces, spoke about the value of being “present,” and how it makes an impact on other people. “Social media has the power to affect someone else’s day,” she said, and this can be related to both inspiring people and dealing with haters. Last but not the least, Catriona Gray talked about her advocacy and volunteer work with children in Tondo, as part of the process of humanizing the world around us.
To close the forum, Nestlé Philippines HR director and SVP Mitzie Antonio said that enhancing the lives of other people must start with respect, and that starts with us: “Respect must start with ourselves, respecting others, respecting diversity, and respecting the future.”