- The summit was anchored on the power of conversations and dialogue for positive change.
- The road to sustainable change begins with the young leaders.
- The 4 Cs call for new ideas and unique, innovative ways to push past problems and make new ways in the world.
In a world grappling with challenges ranging from environmental degradation to social inequality, the need for sustainable change has never been more urgent.
At the 4C Youth Civility Summit, held on April 15, 2023, young leaders from around the world came together to engage in dialogue and explore ways to positively impact their communities and beyond.
It leaned on The Road to Sustainable Change as its theme.
The Summit in perspective
Dr. Anana Phifer-Derilhomme, a Youth Civility Expert and World Civility Ambassador, explains that one of the driving forces behind the 4C Youth Civility Summit is the belief in the power of conversations and dialogue to bring about positive change.
She explained that the 4C Youth Civility Summit was established as a platform for young leaders to unite, share ideas, and develop strategies to create sustainable change and promote civility in their communities and beyond.
The dynamic leader and author of The 4 C’s Youth Civility book hosted authors of the book’s second edition to share their chapters and experiences bagged while co-authoring the book.
“We just released the second edition of The 4 C’s, and the first edition was Creating Change for Better Tomorrow. We allow the young people to take the lead and share their ideas, concepts and solutions in areas of Civility, Community, Climate change and Creativity, thus the 4 C’s,” she explained.
Dr. Phifer-Derilhomme noted that the 4 C’s was leading the conversation on youth civility by raising awareness of the issues, solutions and opportunities that we are facing in a post-pandemic world.
“4 C’s was birthed out during the pandemic as a way to support and assure the young people that we were considering some of their issues and traumatic experiences,” she expounded.
At the heart of the 4C Youth Civility Summit is the mission to educate and empower people to listen, learn, and live civility.
The summit featured a keynote address by Dr. Louisa Akaiso, a multi-award-winning Civility Expert and Women Empowerment Advocate.
She highlighted the importance of youth empowerment and outlined her vision for the freedom of young people.
Solutions for freedom
“The road to sustainable change begins with us as young leaders; it is our responsibility to step up and be part of the solution, rather than just pointing out the problems,” Dr. Akaiso emphasized in her address.
Dr. Akaiso, a renowned transformational leader, advocate for youth and women empowerment, and the ‘Oprah of Civility’, accentuated the vital role that young people play in shaping the future.
She noted that true freedom for young people could not be achieved in a dysfunctional or oppressive system.
Instead, she urged young people to step into a place of solution and take action to create positive change in their communities and beyond.
“If you cannot believe in your potential, borrow in the belief of those who have gone before you and succeeded. In a world of close to 8 billion people, there is always work to be done.
Therefore we cannot give excuses and the Jonah narrative of why we cannot work,” the women’s development coach advised.
Drawing on her deep spring of history and literature, Dr. Akaiso likened the month of April to the biblical story of the resurrection, where Jesus rose from the dead.
She explained that April can be a time of rebirth and renewal, a time when young people can rise up and take charge of their destinies, bringing positive change to their communities and the world at large.
“Not even death could strap Jesus to be stagnant. You have to let it go so as to grow,” she explained, alluding to the Bible.
As a practical guide to help young people achieve freedom and drive sustainable change, Dr. Akaiso shared her “6Cs” framework.
The 6Cs are: Civility, Compassion, Constructive Dominance, Consistency, Charisma, and Change-making Tactics.
She explained that these qualities are essential for young leaders to cultivate as they work towards creating a better world.
“Civility is the foundation of any successful society. It is about treating others with respect, even when we disagree, and fostering healthy and inclusive conversations,” the civility expert asserted.
She stressed the importance of listening and learning from diverse perspectives and finding common ground to build meaningful relationships and collaborations.
On Constructive Dominance, she clarified that it is not about exerting power over others but rather using our influence and skills to bring about positive change.
“Constructive Dominance is about leading with integrity and resilience and serving positively with purpose, even in the face of challenges,” she elucidated.
Dr. Akaiso encouraged the young people to lead with compassion and be charismatic and consistent change-makers in our generation.
“Be ready to go past systems, people, status quo and ensure that your container is in sync with your content,” she stated, insisting that practicing the 6 Cs is the only way the coming generation will be able to experience any kind of light of freedom.
Who is Dr. Akaiso?
Dr. Akaiso is a global icon who has all along distinguished herself as a civility trainer and leadership expert.
She holds degrees and certifications in Communications and Business from the Lagos State University, Nigeria, and a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Prescott College.
She states that she stands for everything women empowerment and civility, which has led her to author three books: Poetic Civility, The Civilized Leader and True Civility.
The certified keynote speaker is also the founder of the Women Who Win Africa (WWWA) and the first recipient of the Golden Rule Civility ‘Trailblazer Award’, awarded in Indiana, USA.
The summit saw dynamic discussions and engaging workshops on various topics related to sustainable change, ranging from climate action and social justice to mental health and education.
The super-packed event included young leaders from diverse backgrounds and cultures who shared their ideas in the second edition of the 4 C’s.
Such are Ayanna Slacum, whose C was Community; Nasset Darell on Civility; Nadia Alli, with her sheet on Climate change, and 16-year-old Simone Banks, who wrote a chapter on Creativity, among other thinkers.
Dr. Phifer-Derilhomme, a World Civility Ambassador, is the Founder of BlessedGirl Global, which has pioneered initiatives such as the Pads and Panties Initiative, whose goal is to bring an end to period poverty.
The initiative will drive a Pads and Panties campaign in Kenya in July this year.
BlessedGirl Global offers a wide range of services, ranging from youth stability leadership, speaking and life skills training, as well as outreach programs.
Road to sustainable change
The Second edition of the 4 C’s brings a dynamic aspect to many young adults on the power of choice.
Dr. Phifer-Derilhomme explains that the book aims to include young people as they have an insatiable appetite for solutions.
“Young people catch things that adults might overlook; therefore, we need to ask them questions as we look for solutions so that we can tap into their minds and find answers,” she insists on inclusion.
She added that the adults are too preoccupied with their own concerns to find solutions to development problems.
Simone Banks, a 16-year-old author who has a chapter on Creativity, says that the book has inspired her and leveled up her way of seeing life.
“No matter how much we think we know, there is always more if you entertain that thought; looking back it is amazing how many possibilities can be on your face because of a decision that you decided to make and act on,” says the young author.
Banks advises the young adults to put no limits when it comes to making decisions on matters civility.
“The 4 C’s call upon us as young people to come up with new ideas and find unique and innovative ways to push past problems and make new ways in the world,” she stated.
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Over time, the conversation on civility is taking root in Africa, speaking to all ears, appealing to all hearts and calling out any acts, approaches and mindsets of incivility.