Minhaz Abedin: The most impressive 22 year old Global Impact Leader I have ever met

Minhaz Abedin, my friend and ally in creating a more sustainable world is quite frankly the most impressive 22 year old I have ever met. He is indeed a Global Impact Leader.

I am proud to announce Minhaz as one of Global Impact Network’s Ambassadors. It is an honour to share his story. During the ambassador application process I asked all applicants the following…“Share your story: how have you created an impact in your community, school, company or country?

This is what Minhaz answered:

“I began my journey aged 11 because I could not stand and watch my community decay due to the lack of funding for Youth Services. I grew up in an impoverished neighbourhood, yet I found the power to stand up…

Aged 11, I lobbied parliament because my dad was made redundant during the Youth Service cuts.
Aged 13, I decided to stand in the Youth Parliament because not enough was being done.
Aged 15, I spoke at the Dispatch Box in the House of Commons for the first time.
Aged 18, I represented 20 million young people from the UK in the United Nations as the UK’s Youth Delegate.
Aged 19, I became the youngest trustee board member of any global charity in the world.
Aged 20, I founded a marketing agency to help amplify meaningful conversations and stories across the globe.
Aged 21, we reached half a billion people, organically, on topics from gender equality to sustainable communities.

As I write this today, at 22, I am the CEO of a royal charity, supporting young musicians from low-income backgrounds with HRH The Duchess of Kent. However, my thirst for impact does not stem from the roles I have had the honour of fulfilling. Rather, that small community of young people in Leeds, the place I called home, is why I began this journey. Through time, my home became bigger. Now, my home is every single young person in our world that needs our help to fulfil their destinies.”

If that did not give you shivvers to your bones, this next answer is bound to fill your heart with a warm fuzzy feeling. I asked Minhaz “What is the most memorable moment you’ve had in regards to the Global Goals?” His answer:

“I have discussed the Global Goals over dinner with Ban Ki-moon, stood on stage with Amal Clooney to promote the Goals, and spoken in front of the General Assembly for why the Goals are the answer for our world to heal…

Yet, my most memorable moment was with my Ma, at home, over tea. Simply put, my Ma is my heart. My passion for creating impact comes from there. I will always remember that moment when I told her about the Global Goals in 2015 and the exciting journey I was about to embark on with World Merit in New York, tackling the SDGs with the United Nations…She turned to me and said: ‘Bapu, you could spend your entire life helping one community. You could also spend your entire life making money. However, if you spend your life empowering communities everywhere to stand up, you will create an army of people like you in every corner of our beautiful world’. And that’s when I realised the core of my passion for the Global Goals, a truth that has stayed with me every step of my journey: We can only do this together.

Check out Minhaz deliver the Closing Speech to the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons at the Dispatch box on 13th November 2015.

I was privileged to first meet Minhaz in 2016 through a Non-Governmental Organisation called World Merit while preparing to pitch an action plan on SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions at the United Nations headquarters in New York. We immediately struck a bond. We share a common mission. Later in 2018, Minhaz introduced me on stage at CNJ in Portgal to talk about SDG 4: Quality Education in Zimbabwe.

Here’s a video if you’re keen to give it a watch.

What SDGs do you care about the most?
“GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality, GOAL 1: No Poverty, GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions, GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal, GOAL 13: Climate Action, GOAL 4: Quality Education”

Why do you care about these SDGs?
“While all the Goals combined are important, Goals 1, 4, 10, 13, 16 & 17 are close to my heart and the actionable work I passionately do every single day. Our world is riddled with issues, most of which can be tackled if we elevated the ‘silenced generation’:

1) Eradicating poverty would allow for families to rise to an equal platform;
4) Improving education would give communities the tools to bridge beyond their ‘assumed destinies’;
10) Reducing inequalities will allow for everyone to thrive with equal opportunities;
13) Climate action would heal our world before it is too late
16) Peace and justice would end the unnecessary hurt so many face;
17) Meaningful partnerships would create the necessary bonds between our communities to make this all happenWhy do I care? Because I cannot rest until each one of these steps are completed, so that our world can rise to its fullest potential. Together, we are stronger. Together, we are one.”

Could you give us daily examples of sustainable / positive actions you make?
“Every day, I wake up with one mantra:
‘There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living’ That life is only worth living if every step I take is sustainable and positive:

() Every conversation I have at my charity is fuelled on the principle of localised impact with a global reach.
() It would be hypocritical to preach a walk and then not take the journey myself, so I live as close to a zero-plastic life as I humanly can.
() I only eat meat and fish that is locally sourced, from sustainable producers.
() I spend every morning calling 1–3 families that we deliver support to, to simply ask them: how are you and what more can we do for you.
() I have banned paper from our offices around the world, moving every conversation electronically : from event programmes to letters for donors.Hopefully, that’s enough. Tough question, I rarely reflect on the instinctive, sustainable actions I take!”

Why are you well suited to become one of 100 of the world’s first Global Impact Citizens?
“I care most about impact.
However, that desire for impact derives from my daily pursuit to share impactful conversations that can create global action. For me, Global Impact defines this. Becoming one of the world’s first Global Impact Citizens would grant me a platform to continue this daily desire for impact, in the way I shared above. I will always share and start conversations that create impact, but with Global Impact, those conversations can be louder and more impactful. That excites me. A lot.”

Minhaz is truly one of the most incredible agents of change I have ever met. It is an absolute honor to have him as our Ambassador. Join him and I by creating a positive impact, globally.

For more information contact info@globalimpact.world

Join the movement and sign up on https://www.globalimpact.world

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Sharing Sustainable Stories · Measuring Global Impact Progress · Empowering Positive Impact Actions

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Tatiana Sharpe

Author & Entrepreneur. Currently on a mission to build bridges between technology innovation and sustainable development.