08 Nov Aim for Mars, but be patient and grateful as well
During the eleventh edition of LEADERS MEETING PARIS, the network event not only wants about the next generation, but also with the next generation. That’s why Isabel Albers talked to three young brilliant minds about the future. Damya Laoui, Research Professor Cellular and Molecular Immunology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Sébastien Deletaille, CEO of Medispring and Stijn Baert, Professor in empirical labour economics at Ghent University, gave their views about the next generation.
The panel members agreed: the next generation is happy, but according to Sébastien Deletaille and Damya Laoui also impatient. “PhD students in my lab often expect that everything will work out right away and that they will be able to present the craziest results immediately,” Laoui says, “But research takes time of course. Only investigating stuff piece by piece, we can achieve results. Failure is part of that process.”
The next generation is also impatient when it comes to experience. The panel members therefore noticed that the younger generation is looking for “experience” in various areas as much as possible. On the one hand because they want to, on the other hand because it is also expected of them. “The time that a diploma is enough for an employer is over,” says Stijn Baert, “The next generation must be able to distinguish itself. Competencies are becoming more and more important than pure knowledge. That’s why volunteering doesn’t look bad on your CV.”
Finally, the three young minds also shared their visions for the future generation. Sébastien Deletaille was clear: “Aim for Mars”. According to him, young people should dare to be ambitious and dare to undertake their ideas. Damya Laoui wants to advise the youngsters to take it easy. “It’s okay to sit down and think about what you do and what you want to do. Patience pays off.” Finally, Stijn Baert wants to advise young people to make a hard disk in their memory of all the people who give them opportunities. “You should never forget where you come from and who you meet along the way.
Interesting thoughts from and for the next generation.