UN Highlights:
How to Lead the Next Generation of Innovation


At the 57th Commission on Social Development at United Nations headquarters...

At the 57th Commission on Social Development at United Nations headquarters, the United States Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) hosted a group of successful young entrepreneurs—including ChangeGen’s own creator, Kelly Lovell—for its panel, Addressing Inequalities through Youth Entrepreneurship. During the discussion, these young entrepreneurs shared their entrepreneurship story and advice to guide the next generation of innovators—like you.

Let your skills and interests guide you

“You don’t necessarily need to start a software company because you’re under 25 years old. You don’t need to create an app or build the next Facebook,” said Richard Lorenzen, founder and CEO of Fifth Avenue Brands. Lorenzen started his PR company at 15, which serves tech and finance firms.

“Look at where your skill set lies. Look at where your interests lie and look at where there is an opportunity in the market,” Lorenzen shared, who serves as a speaker and mentor assisting organizations in empowering more young entrepreneurs. “There are a lot of opportunities out there and it’s not so much choosing the right product or choosing the right trend to jump on as much as choosing something and sticking to it.”

"If you do choose something, you stick to it and you’re persistent with it, that’s what leads to success rather than riding a temporary trend in the market for whatever happens to be big at this moment."
–Richard Lorenzen

The industry will show itself

Kelly Lovell, who also serves as CEO of Lovell Corporation and founder of MyEffect, expanded on the idea of choosing the right entrepreneurial venture. “If I just add one thing to that… I would actually challenge you not to look at an industry. Tech, blockchain, AI, these things that we’re talking about, that is not the solution, they are tools to innovation. I challenge you and encourage you to find a problem you’re passionate about solving. The industry will show itself based on the tools that you need to solve that problem.”

“I started off as a non-tech founder but I went into tech because I needed to build the tools using that,” Lovell added, whose latest venture MyEffect is launching a platform this spring to track and measure the social impact of young people, using disruptive technology like blockchain to make it all happen.

“So instead of saying, ‘I want to start an app’, think about what are you trying to solve and then your industry will lay itself out.” –Kelly Lovell

Continuously learn and adapt

For Pietro Fochi, youth delegate of Italy to the UN, youth entrepreneurship is “a learning experience itself for all those working in such an environment. Decision-making is experienced on legal, economic and strategic issues of any kind every day.”

Fochi founded EDUACTIVE, a social enterprise managed by youth that provides tailored learning experiences at different levels with youth, for youth to build a better and more sustainable future for all. “The effort in building a brand new working structure—usually with a very limited initial investment—requires high levels of self-consciousness, adaptability and risk-taking abilities.”

About the Author

Kelly Lovell is the founder and CEO of ChangeGen. She is globally recognized for her expertise, particularly on engaging Millennials and Generation Z More