Unos 75 millones de jóvenes en todo el mundo están actualmente buscando trabajo, sin sumar a los muchos de ellos que no son contabilizados por trabajar en la informalidad. En términos de desempleo juvenil, la OIT ha advertido una generación “marcada” de los trabajadores jóvenes que se enfrentan a una peligrosa mezcla de alto desempleo, aumento de la inactividad y trabajo precario en los países desarrollados.
“¿Cómo resolver la crisis del desempleo?” Es una pregunta que todos tratan de responder: Desde los manifestantes de la Primavera Árabe y las protestas frente al Parlamento griego, hasta organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro como la AARP, Enterprise Generation y los Enternships en el Reino Unido así como los líderes empresariales, iniciativas como “Cincuenta y sin empleo”, jóvenes y adultos de todo el mundo.
Un hombre está cerca de la respuesta, es el austriaco-estadounidense estudioso y empresario Peter Vogel, autor del libro “¿Generación sin empleo?” En él, explora las causas y consecuencias de la actual crisis de empleo juvenil y exhibe más de 100 soluciones concretas de todo el mundo que han demostrado su eficacia en la lucha contra el desempleo juvenil.
De los muchos enfoques introducidos en el libro, una vía particularmente prometedora es la del espíritu empresarial. ¿Por qué? Debido a que desde un punto de vista demográfico, tenemos que crear un medio adicional de mil millones de puestos de trabajo para el 2030 en función de mantenernos al día con el crecimiento previsto de la población mundial en edad de trabajar. El espíritu empresarial es el motor de creación de empleo más poderosa que tiene nuestra economía.
Este punto de vista es confirmado por Grégoire Sentilhes, Presidente de NextStage y Co-fundador de la Alianza de Jóvenes Empresarios del G20.
“Los empleos que necesitamos para crear no vendrán ni de las grandes corporaciones ni del gobierno, vendrá principalmente de empresarios que representan el 66% de la creación de empleo dentro de la OCDE y el 85% dentro de la UE.”
Como escribe Vogel, “el espíritu empresarial es cada vez más aceptado como medio alternativo fundamental para la generación de ingresos entre los jóvenes y un mecanismo para dar rienda suelta a su potencial económico.”
Razones por las que debemos fomentar el espíritu empresarial de los jóvenes
El emprendimiento crea oportunidades de empleo para los que empiezan empresas, así como los que se emplean, sobre todo porque los jóvenes empresarios son más propensos a contratar a otros jóvenes.
El espíritu empresarial ayuda a desarrollar nuevas habilidades y experiencia profesional que, a su vez, pueden mejorar la empleabilidad en general.
El emprendimiento revitaliza las comunidades locales a través de nuevos productos y servicios y mantiene ocupado a los jóvenes, evitando que se sientan inútiles y sin esperanza.
Podemos aseverar que el espíritu empresarial ofrece una potente solución para la falta de trabajo en ambos extremos del espectro de edad laboral. Basta con sustituir la palabra “joven” con “mayor” en el párrafo anterior y releerlo. Así que si el espíritu empresarial es la solución ideal para los millones de personas que buscan empleo en todo el mundo, ¿qué es lo que podemos hacer para fomentar más de lo mismo?
En principio, las autoridades deben impulsar políticas activas del mercado laboral (PAML) que ayudan a la transición sin empleo al autoempleo. O bien, crear programas de promoción de iniciativa empresarial de mayor escala para los aspirantes a empresarios. Facilitar incentivos fiscales y microcréditos financiados por el gobierno. Si usted es un educador, considere volver a diseñar el plan de estudios de su escuela para educar al estudiante sobre la puesta en marcha de un negocio. Si eres parte de una corporación, establece iniciativas de tutorías sobre el emprendimiento. Si eres miembro de una familia o amigo de un buscador de empleo, apoya, premia y estimula el pensamiento empresarial.
Si queremos evitar el desempleo de las generaciones futuras tenemos que actuar con rapidez y poner en práctica soluciones a corto plazo y a largo plazo para evitar la repetición de lo que estamos viendo hoy. Es sólo a través de un esfuerzo concertado que podemos darle la vuelta a la crisis con agentes de cambio, o “creadores de empleo.”
75 million youth worldwide are currently looking for work, with many more not being accounted for as they live and work in informality. In terms of youth unemployment, the ILO has warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work in developed countries, as well as persistently high working poverty in the developing world.
“How do we solve the unemployment crisis?” is a question everyone seeks to answer: From the protesters of the Arab Spring or those in front of the Greek parliament to non-profit organizations like the AARP, Generation Enterprise and the UK-based Enternships to policymakers, business leaders, to media initiatives like “Over Fifty and Out of Work”, to young and old people across the globe.
One man close to the answer is the Austrian-American scholar and entrepreneur Peter Vogel, author of the newly published book “Generation Jobless?” In it, he explores the drivers and consequences of the current youth unemployment crisis and showcases over 100 concrete grass-roots solutions from around the world that have proven successful at tackling youth unemployment.
From the many approaches introduced in the book, one particularly promising avenue is entrepreneurship. Why? Because from a demographic perspective, we need to create an additional half billion jobs by 2030 to keep up with the predicted growth of the world’s working age population. Entrepreneurship is the single most powerful job creation engine our economy has. In fact, the average net employment growth rate in the US between 1980 and 2005 would have been negative, if not for the jobs created by new ventures.
This view is confirmed by Grégoire Sentilhes, President of NextStage and Co-founder of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, who said:
“The jobs we need to create will come neither from the big corporations nor from government, but they will come mainly from entrepreneurs who represent 66% of job creation within the OECD and 85% within the EU.”
As Vogel writes, “entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly accepted as a suitable means and critical alternative for income generation among young people and a mechanism to unleash their economic potential.”
Why we should foster youth entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship creates employment opportunities for those that start the businesses as well as those that they employ, particularly because young entrepreneurs are more prone to hiring other young people.
Entrepreneurship helps develop new skills and professional experience that, in turn, can enhance general employability.
Entrepreneurship revitalizes local communities through new products and services and keeps otherwise young and idle people occupied, which is always better than not having anything to do, leaving them feeling useless and without hope.
It’s safe to say that entrepreneurship provides a powerful solution to joblessness at both ends of the working age spectrum. Just replace the word “young” with “senior” in the paragraph above and reread it. So if entrepreneurship is as close as we get to a golden bullet for the millions of job seekers around the world, what is it that we can do to foster more of it?
Vogel calls for effective entrepreneurial ecosystems nurtured by a well-coordinated multi-stakeholder approach. Policymakers should push for Active Labor Market Policies (ALMPs) that help unemployed transition to self-employment. Or, create larger scale entrepreneurship promotion programs for aspiring entrepreneurs. Tax breaks and government-funded microloans help, too. If you’re an educator, consider redesigning the curriculum at your school and introducing student-specific funding support for starting up a business. As a corporation, a worthwhile step could be to invest in entrepreneurship mentoring initiatives. Or – perhaps even more impactful for employers and employees alike – nurturing intrapreneurship within the organization. If you’re a family member or a friend of a job seeker, be supportive, reward every step forward and encourage entrepreneurial thinking.
I share the hopeful outlook that’s put forward in “Generation Jobless?“: Unemployment – at any age – does not have to end in a catastrophe. But if we want to avoid joblessness across generations we need to act quickly and implement both short-term solutions for today’s unemployed and long-term solutions to avoid repeating what we are seeing today. It is only through a concerted effort that we can help turn the victim’s of the crisis into agents of change, or as Peter Vogel said “job seekers into job creators.”
What is altruism? Put simply, it’s the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life.
Compelling evidence shows exercise improves memory and cognition. For example, a 2010 study on primates revealed that regular exercise helped the monkeys learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys, and researchers believe this might hold true for people as well.
How Exercise Protects and Improves Brain Function
Previous research has demonstrated that exercise promotes brain health by releasing hormones like brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) from the muscles, which encourage the growth of new brain cells. This process is known as neurogenesis or neuroplasticity. Also, physical activity can slow brain aging by as much as 10 years.
Your brain’s memory center (hippocampus) is particularly adaptable and capable of growing new cells throughout your entire lifetime, even into your 90s, provided your lifestyle supports it.
Similarly, a year-long human study found that adults who exercised regularly enlarged their brain’s memory centre by 1 to 2 percent per year, where typically the hippocampus tends to shrink with age.
Exercise Also Promotes Psychological Health and Good Mood
Memory and cognition are not the only benefits associated with physical fitness. Exercise is also known to dispel depression — in many cases more effectively than antidepressants. One of the ways exercise promotes mental health is by normalizing insulin resistance and boosting natural “feel good” hormones and neurotransmitters associated with mood control, including endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and GABA.
One research has also found clear links between inactivity and depression. Women who sat for more than seven hours a day were found to have a 47 percent higher risk of depression than women who sat for four hours or less per day.
Those who didn’t participate in any physical activity at all had a 99 percent higher risk of developing depression than women who exercised. Creativity also gets a boost from physical activity. According to Stanford University researchers, a brisk walk can increase creativity by up to 60 percent.
Keep Up Your Physical Activity
Once you’re in your 60s and above, physical movement becomes really paramount, so this is not the time to fall prey to the couch. Plenty of research confirms that even if you start exercising at this time, you stand to gain a great deal. It’s really never too late to begin. But perhaps even more important than maintaining an exercise program is to simply move around a lot and avoid sitting as much as possible.
In one study, seniors between the ages of 60 and 80 who were the most physically active showed higher levels of brain oxygenation and healthier patterns of brain activity, particularly in the hippocampus and in connecting different brain regions together.
Such patterns are associated with improved cognitive function. These seniors were not athletes. They didn’t even exercise formally, but rather got their activity in the form of walking, gardening, and simply moving about each day — and those who moved the most had significant brain advantages compared to their more sedentary peers.
Based on the evidence, non-exercise movement may in fact be one of the most important keys to a long healthy life, because studies have shown that you simply cannot counteract the ill effects of multiple hours of sitting by exercising vigorously for an hour here or there during the week.
We strongly suggest walking at least 7,000 steps a day or more each day. Other ways to rack up movement points is to park further away from the entrance; take the stairs instead of the elevator; or take a Gratitude Walk. The options are endless.
While it’s never too late to start exercising, the earlier you begin and the more consistent you are, the greater your long-term rewards. Having an active lifestyle is really an investment in your future well-being, both physically and mentally.
The science is really clear on this point: memory loss and cognitive decline really depends on your lifestyle. Your brain has the capacity to regenerate and grow throughout your entire life, from cradle to grave, and movement is a major key for all of these brain-boosting processes to occur.
Every morning, before you leave for work, there are a few habits and rituals you should try to follow that will help you kick off your days with your best foot forward. Even if you can’t get to them all, try to incorporate at least one or two of these to set the day in a healthy, positive motion.
Get Your Workout in Early
Whether you are doing pull-ups, going for a run, or stretching out with yoga or gratitude walks, exercising helps warm up your joints and sets a positive tone for the rest of your busy day ahead. It’s the one health rule- you should always try to stick to.
By exercising early in the morning you’ll start your day in an awesome mood. Even if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, a morning workout will boost your endorphins for extra smiles the rest of the day. Also, you’ll give your metabolism a big boost! You burn more calories throughout the day when you do a morning workout than you would if you did an evening workout at a similar intensity.
Stretching helps you prevent an injury, release tension, and alleviate any back pain you may have. While these aches and pains can develop at any time throughout the day, they often occur in the morning – after the body has been at rest for a long period. Stretching is a great way to improve blood flow, circulation and lower blood pressures, helping your body to de-stress and relaxes as you head out the door.
Yoga Poses You Can Do at Your Work Desk
Many people, especially those who sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time, develop poor posture as a result of overstretched back muscles and tight chest muscles. Implementing a morning routine of stretches that focus on opening these muscles can be effective for loosening them up. As these muscles become more and more flexible, changes in stance and posture will become evident.
Hydrate With Lemon Water
Six to eight hours of restorative sleep can dehydrate the body so you have to treat yourself to a glass of warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It takes just seconds to prepare and gives you a nice little vitamin C and immune boost to start your day.
Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Many studies have linked eating breakfast for good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.
Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for the morning rush. Mix Greek yogurt parfait with fresh berries and oats that’s packed with protein, vitamins, and a serving of whole grains. If you are pressed for time, you will wash leafy greens and prepare the ingredients the night before for a fiber-rich green drink or vitamin cocktail smoothie so you can blend up your breakfast in mere minutes the next day.