In a world where sustainability is increasingly becoming a pressing concern, events like Leaders 2050 (promoted by KPMG) play a pivotal role in fostering dialogue, innovation, and action towards a greener future.

Recently, FRS had the privilege to participate in the Leaders 2050 event held in Dublin, which served as a platform for young professionals and aspiring leaders to delve into discussions and innovative solutions. Those in attendance - more than 20 different organisations from public, private and Not-for profit background - eagerly embraced the opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals and industry experts. With a commitment to sustainability and a keen interest in exploring innovative practices, FRS actively contributed to the vibrant atmosphere of the event.


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Don't let your age restrict you

Presentation by Sarah-Marie Rust, CEO & Founder of EVE (Electric Vehicle Ecosystem Limited)

As well as discussions in Sustainability, de-carbonisation and energy transition, a great deal of focus was placed on youth innovation.

All the speakers at the Leaders 2050 event agreed that different walks of life all have something to contribute, however, the youth is dealing with the biggest challenge of inserting themselves in the market while not yet offering the amount of practical years’ experience required on job descriptions.

When Sarah-Marie Rust mentioned “Don’t let your age restrict you”, she described a time when she had the challenging task of making CEO’s buy the need to embrace sustainability within their organisational strategy. She explained how confident in herself and determined she had to be in order to encourage these Senior Leaders to change the way they were doing things.

She also recommended that if you want to influence Senior Leaders, we must make Sustainability approachable by focusing on the benefits of operational efficiency and profit/cost to the business. By doing so, you will get the buy in and eventually these professionals with stop overestimating you and trusting your advice.


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The GAP between Senior and Junior leaders.

Throughout the event, participants consistently highlighted an educational concern. While there's been a significant increase in applications to third-level courses related to climate change and sustainability in Ireland, there remains a substantial unmet demand. CAO data indicates a 35% rise in environment-related courses in 2022 compared to the previous year, reflecting a growing interest. However, the challenge lies in the experience gap between senior leaders working in sustainability worldwide and the younger generation struggling to navigate the rapidly changing market.

If young people focus solely on studying, this gap widens. Many young professionals see today's environmental issues as theirs to solve, as Simon Leonard pointed out. However, FRS Recruitment believes that the more experienced generation also has a crucial role to play. They can provide valuable guidance to the youth as innovation progresses.

With companies favouring experience over youth, it's vital to emphasize climate awareness and educational opportunities through meetups and workshops. This empowers tomorrow's leaders to explore innovative business ventures for climate solutions. Additionally, there's a continuous need for organizations to develop a robust sustainability strategy. This not only attracts new and innovative talent but also positions the organization competitively.


Conclusion and main takeaways

Events like Leaders 2050 hold immense significance, particularly in the context of encouraging sustainable development across all industries. These meetups serve as catalysts for meaningful conversations, allowing participants to exchange ideas, share best practices, and collaborate on initiatives that can drive tangible change. By facilitating dialogue and knowledge sharing, Leaders 2050 provided a forum to explore innovative solutions and strategies aimed at achieving a Net Zero future by 2050.

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