Obama’s speech to UK youth – “Seek out people who don’t agree with you”

Image: 2009 Joshua Nathanson

During his recent visit to the UK, President Obama spoke to an invited audience of young people, and urged them to share his optimistic outlook on politics.

He called on them to

“reject pessimism, cynicism and know that progress is possible”.

Obama argued that out of all historical ages, the 21st century would be the best time to be born into the world, especially taking into account improvements in the rights of women and minorities.

His advice to the young audience was to

“seek out people who don’t agree with you, and it will also help you to compromise.”

Wilton Park specialises in bringing together divergent perspectives to foster dialogue and compromise around some of the most challenging international issues.

We are proud of our work in bringing young people together which aim to engage young leaders in a multitude of formats. The British German Forum 2016: What does the EU mean to us in Britain and Germany now?, in its 31st iteration, will see young British and German leaders aged 25-35 discuss the future relationship of the UK and Germany with the EU.

Our two events focusing on the Caribbean 2030: new thinking for a new generation convened young leaders in the region to discuss future economic, security and political challenges for the Caribbean.

Wilton Park also supports the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s International Leaders Programme, which brings young leaders from around the world to the UK to engage with a broad set of UK public policy themes and intercultural dialogue.

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