Friedrichshafen, 13 July 2012. What exactly does 'young leader' mean? The qualities that these young people share are a goal-oriented outlook, an open mindset and a readiness to take on responsibility for themselves and others. 125 young men and women of that caliber from all over Germany were invited to the third 'Youth Future Forum' in Friedrichshafen. The event was hosted for the third time by Tognum, the propulsion and power solutions specialist, and organized in conjunction with Young Leaders GmbH.
What does an internationally operating company like Tognum offer young people in terms of future strategies and opportunities for development? What are the challenges of the globalized world? The three-day forum centered on these key issues, as well as on meetings between young people and executives, an exciting tour of Tognum’s facilities, and a lively exchange of opinions and ideas. "Promoting the next generation of executives and experts is a must. We need young leaders because they are our future. They are also fired by enthusiasm and can move our company forward." That was the opinion firmly shared by Norbert Veser, head of development, and Regine Siemann, personnel marketing chief at Tognum.
Coming from as far away as Usedom in the north to Berchtesgaden in the south, the young aspirants between the ages of 15 and 22 who are about to start their careers also work on a voluntary basis, which means that they have become role models and knowledge multipliers at a very early age. 16-year old Velvet Sundari Haag for example, is a dedicated conflict mediator, member of the student council, and mentor for year-five pupils at the Albert Einstein grammar school in Ulm. Luise Böttcher from Heidenau near Dresden leads student work groups in environmental awareness and liaises with industry, while 17-year-old Philipp Emig from Neunkirchen near Heidelberg, is a school spokesman and youth leader in his local tennis club.
Professional production of web mags, TV-clips or PR-magazines was also on the agenda. Workshops with journalists from television, radio and the press dealt not only with theoretical aspects, but with the practical skills of the trade. And although Facebook accounts and Smartphones are standard gear nowadays, few of today‘s younger generation are aware that just a few decades ago, the now antiquated floppy disks and giant computers with disk drive capacities of just a few megabytes were a technological wonder. Terence Yong, head of Tognum IT-infrastructure, put it in a nutshell: "The world of work is changing just as rapidly as the world of technology."
The action-packed weekend was received well by participants. "It was fascinating to hear executives’ views, and to see their rhetorical skills in action," said Bernhard Thilo from Schweinfurt. Anne-Kathrin Ballhaus from Freiberg, who is considering management studies, found out a lot of valuable information to assist her choice. And Ann-Kathrin Bopp from Friedrichshafen enthused: "I learnt a lot about all the different kinds of expertise needed to run a company. It was a great event which I would highly recommend."