70 young people from 17 countries and 4 continents participated in the meeting. They came from Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, India, Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo, Spain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Nigeria, Russia, and Lebanon. For five days, they shared their work at the local level, their reflections and interviews on the theme of leadership in inclusion dialogue. Due to the linguistic variety of the participants, their lively and interactive round tables had to include simultaneous translation in at least three languages.
After their initial presentations, by country, the participants met by linguistic groups to reflect on the meaning of dialogue, exclusion, inclusion, and the profile of a young leader who may carry out a project like this.
On February 10, Maite Uribe, President of the Teresian Association, inaugurated Pedro Poveda School of Social Leadership, which has been taking shape through young people who are part of “Young people for Dialogue” project.
Addressing the young people as dreamers and doers, she told them: "We build a new world every time we invest in generosity, we search for inclusion and dialogue and defend those who are more fragile, more vulnerable. This new world needs to be build and as Poveda would say who can do it but the young."
She also mentioned some challenges for the type of leader they look up to: "The challenge of a leadership that inspires, serves and creates the space where others can grow, the challenge to link strength and gentleness, the challenge to think and build with others new roads for a society where all people are given the dignity and rights inherent to them, the challenge of letting actions speak louder than words while the words are creative and transparent, generating hope, joy and meaning to live, the challenge of believing in others, in the power of love and in education in its transforming capacity..."
At the end of her presentation, Maite established a dialogue with the participants.
On the third day, they began the second part: Dialogue for participation. Although there will be reflection and action at various levels of participation in the second part of the seminar, the working mode of the United Nations was introduced, since EDIW participates as a consultative member in a UN platform. Thus, the young people worked in groups following the format of a debate in this international organization. The topic for discussion was the narratives made by the media about immigration and refugees and how data are presented. After an intense and interesting debate, the spokesperson of each group presented to the large group in three minutes the declaration of each group on the topic. A synthesis with the best ideas of the group will be presented in New York on February 23 in an oral or written contribution.
The seminar culminated with a visit and an interesting interaction in the Department of Volunteering and Participation of the City of Madrid, and a subsequent visit to NGO InteRed, thus showing ways of participation of civil society for social transformation.
The young people returned to their countries, but they continue to work on the second phase of the project through a platform prepared for this purpose at the University of Deusto, one of three universities participating in the project.
This second stage will close next summer with two seminars followed by immersion experiences in Bolivia and India.
Maite Uribe's words: “You are dreamers and doers”
Good morning future leaders of dialogue in the School of Social Leadership Pedro Poveda we are officially opening today… You are the Dreamers and Doers as you introduced yourselves in your statement read at the United Nations from the Teresian Association on your behalf on the global Impact for safe and orderly migration. The whole Teresian Association and I, particularly, are very proud of you and what you have accomplished.
To all, welcome to Los Negrales, the place where Poveda’s presence touches everyone who comes here, year after year from the four continents of the Teresian world as many of you have done for this encounter. A number of you are coming from the first time filled with hope and expectations on why you have been brought here. Many have known this place at least once and could share with the rest the transforming effect Poveda’s presence has in this place for each one. It is the strength of what you have lived and will live that will be the energy that binds you together in the experience you will undertake these days.
May I see the hands of those who are here for the first time and identify the countries you are coming from. Let’s go by continents: From Africa : ____; From the Americas: -----; From Asia …; from Europe : …. Thank you.
To each of you a very warm welcome to this place which is yours as well. Poveda must be so pleased to see you here … dreamers of a new world you want to build and for which you are here together. A new world we are building every time we invest in generosity, we search for inclusion and dialogue and defend those who are more fragile, more vulnerable. This new world needs to be build and as Poveda would say who can do it but the young. I believe last summer you wanted to develop a School of Social Leadership after reflecting on leaders in history and the needs of a new type of leadership for a new type of society, you wanted a new style of leadership and this you found it in Poveda. Let me congratulate you on your perception. But if you want to be this type of leader you will have to take up a number of challenges:
The challenge of a leadership that inspires, serves and creates the space where others can grow, the challenge to link strength and gentleness, the challenge to think and build with others new roads for a society where all people are given the dignity and rights inherent to them, the challenge of letting actions speak louder than words while the words are creative and transparent, generating hope, joy and meaning to live, the challenge of believing in others, in the power of love and in education in its transforming capacity, many challenges but I believe you have already identify many of them.
Poveda learned this leadership in prayer, looking at the greatest Leader, Dreamer and Doer of all times and ages: Jesus. Poveda also found its inspiration by studying, reading books and engaging with people, many of them were young people
I just came from attending the United Nations 56th Commission for Social Development on Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to attain sustainable development for all. (I believe and the Teresian Association also believes, that youth has a definite role in this eradication of poverty and your generation has to be given the due role in this task)
It also coincided with the meeting of youth coming from all parts of the world. And as they express their hopes and their dreams, I remembered you and Poveda’s vision for young people. “What can you do” … he reminds us … “Youth, you can change the world , no more no less.” Contrary to some analysis of the millennials as indifferent and perhaps self focused generation, I think that you, the young people gathered here …You are looking for new unexplored paths. You are indispensable actors for changing the world with your ideals, your questions, and your courage to risk for newness, your generosity to be involved and to give. I see before me young people searching for what is true, what is beautiful, what is good, betting for a world where through dialogue and solidarity, walls are tumbled and bridges are built. You are here in a project of young leaders for dialogue where you are projected as bridge-builders, reaching out to include those around us who find themselves in the margins of our societies. This is a dream that I hope you realize. Count on the Teresian Association’s support to make this happen in whatever way we can.
Now you are involved as leaders in inviting youth all over the world to be dreamers and doers as well in the style of Poveda. May I have two or three volunteers to share with us what you understand by leadership Poveda´s style?
Thank you. I am sure that after this week you would be even more inspired to carry out this dream. Enjoy these privilege days you spend with each other, be companions to each other in pursuing the dream you have for the world, think of those people you left behind waiting for your actions, and remember that it is not violence, power, or wealth, not even intelligence that transforms people but gentleness, transparency, and the ability to give and to love. And with these we consider the School of Social Leadership Pedro Poveda opened.
President of the Teresian Association
Los Negrales, February 10th, 2018
Video of Maite Uribe's words and dialogue with participants, in English