Being a member of a board is not something that is associated with young people nor is it really a point of discussion amongst young professionals. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that this is due to a widely held perception of having to be a wiser, more experienced, older individual. This, though, I have discovered is far from the mark.
9 months ago, a fellow young person and I were kindly invited to join the board of Solutions for the Planet. As an enthusiast of the program, and a former volunteer, S4TP often leave me amazed and lost for words with its platform, their values, and the impact they have on young people. It was not only an exciting opportunity but an honour to take on a leadership position within the organisation.
Initially, being voted onto the board had me thinking did I deserve to sit in front of these highly educated professionals; but the welcome and openness assured me; it was an indication that I was in a supportive environment where the challenge was welcomed and of its members’ confidence in me. That brought confidence in myself and my youth: I brought new insight, a fresh perspective and inquisitiveness that may sometimes be overlooked. I also brought knowledge – everyone around the table was an expert in some field and I was no exception. When the board needed advice on something pertaining to my background, I saw it as a platform to demonstrate my worth.
Serving on the board has really given me a front-row seat to the highest level of operations, providing exposure to everything from board governance to project management, budgeting, and engagement operations. I have witnessed first-hand how joining an active and engaged board can benefit you as an individual and the enterprise alike, and when that enterprise is one that is changing the world for the better, what could be more impactful.
It has been an invaluable experience thus far, and one that has allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and confidence in the sector. As a bonus, I also get to build relationships with amazing fellow board members who share my passion for the cause. Ultimately, a good idea doesn’t have to come from someone who has come of a special age. A good idea is a good idea, regardless of where it came from. It’s inspiring to be a part of an organisation whose commitment to providing a platform for young people has been demonstrated – welcoming not one but two young people onto their board, S4TP has done just that and it’s an example to other businesses and enterprises alike.
NED, Solutions for the Planet
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd