HALIFAX, Aug. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Over 150 of the world's top youth leaders gathered at St. Mary's University this week to learn what it takes to be successful in business and life at the 42nd annual Next Generation Leaders (NGL) Forum. Presented by Junior Achievement in conjunction with its Premier National Partner, Xerox Canada, this five-day event enriched young minds with valuable business wisdom, an unforgettable experience of friendship and teamwork, and a glimpse of what the real world of business is like.
"NGL is an amazing experience for students from all around the world to demonstrate leadership and practice business skills in a safe environment," said Sunjita Kapoor, a student with Junior Achievement Saskatchewan. "NGL allows youth the opportunity to impact the business community and truly become the leaders of tomorrow."
Over the week, youth delegates from 10 countries attended keynote presentations, skills workshops, and took part in the Ultimate Business Challenge, an opportunity for them to develop their own business models to tackle a real-world opportunity. The countries represented consisted of Canada, Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Norway, and the United States of America. The host sponsor of the NGL Forum, Saint Mary's University in Halifax, NS, set the stage for an international array of youth to be inspired in the business hub of Atlantic Canada.
The theme of this year's event was "innovation.insight.inspiration", which invited youth to use their innovative spirit and knowledge to solve real business challenges, to gain further insight on the world of business, and to be inspired by business and academic leaders.
Each day throughout the week, students took part in interactive workshops and engaging discussions presented by industry and academic experts. Topics of the discussions included Junior Achievement alumni perspectives, marketing, infrastructure, networking, digital marketing and many more.
Highlights of this year's event also included Sobeys Day, with senior executives from the company stopping by to share Sobeys' Canadian retailing success story and ideas for sustainable family businesses. On the fun side of the equation, the students participated in a scavenger hunt around the city of Halifax, enjoyed a BBQ lunch and a historical Harbour tour - all presented by Sobeys.
For the Ultimate Business Challenge, youth were divided into small teams to examine how they could create new business opportunities for one of the largest ship-building projects in Canada, the Irving Ship Yard Project. The winning team of the Ultimate Business Challenge will be announced at the closing ceremonies today. In addition, a report highlighting the winning business opportunity will be shared with the Province of Nova Scotia. This report will showcase the students' perspectives on how to encourage innovation and will provide new ideas for entrepreneurs and investors in the Province.
"Our Achievers have provided a 'vision of opportunity' and Junior Achievement looks forward to presenting this final report to the city of Halifax and Province of Nova Scotia," said Stephen Ashworth, President and CEO (Acting), Junior Achievement of Canada. "All of the students have created innovative, strategic plans that not only displayed their bright future potential, but also their personal development over the week at the NGL Forum."
"The young people who participate in Junior Achievement are the country's next generation of community, labour and business leaders," said Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter. "Nova Scotia is on the verge of some of the most significant economic opportunities in the province's history, including the federal shipbuilding contracts. I'm encouraged to see that Junior Achievers have focused on developing proposals to take advantage of the opportunities that will come from Irving Shipbuilding's big win, and I look forward to learning about their ideas."
"NGL has so far been the best and most meaningful conference I have ever attended. We have learned so much not only about business and entrepreneurship, but also about myself; teamwork; cooperation; communication and reaching for personal goals and opportunities in life," said Amina Resch a student from Junior Achievement Norway. "The speakers are incredibly inspiring and so are the fellow delegates. NGL has, without a doubt, been a great motivational factor towards becoming a great entrepreneur and business leader."
Junior Achievement was proud to have hosted such an incredible and diverse group of youth achievers and future global leaders. Their focus on inspiring youth continues through a range of educational programs, and planning for next year's NGL Forum. Junior Achievement wishes to thank all of the partner organizations that helped to make an impact on the 150 NGL students, including Xerox Canada, Saint Mary's University, Sobeys, The John and Judy Bragg Family Foundation and Money Mart. For a complete list of supporters, please visit http://www.imnext.org/sponsor.
About Junior Achievement of Canada
For more than 55 years, as the largest business education organization in Canada, Junior Achievement has inspired and prepared more than 3.9 million youth to succeed. Junior Achievement offers education programs in the areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, which are delivered to youth in elementary, middle and high schools by business mentors. Last year alone, more than 216,000 young Canadians experienced a Junior Achievement program from 13,029 committed business mentors. For more information, visit www.jacan.org.
For more information about NGL, please visit www.imnext.org.
SOURCE: Junior Achievement of Canada
For further information:
If you would like more information or you would like to participate in the closing ceremonies, please contact:
National director, communications and marketing
Junior Achievement of Canada
P: 416-622-4602, ext. 229
President and CEO
Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia