Juan Verde Headlines Global Citizenship Day

Juan Verde Headlines Global Citizenship Day

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Christian Holm
October 13, 2015

More than 150 students from more than 30 countries shared their culture and tradition with The Washington Center community on Friday, Oct. 9 as students and staff celebrated Global Citizenship Day.


Marking the beginning of TWC’s global holiday was Juan Verde, president of the Advanced Leadership Foundation. Verde is a long time social entrepreneur whose ventures range from higher education, political advocacy and all things innovation. With a penchant for young leaders taking leadership roles, Verde stressed the importance of stepping onto the global stage.


“It’s no longer just an option to think as a global leader, it’s a necessity,” he said. “Innovation is the key to competitiveness and innovation doesn’t just happen by leading from behind.”


With many students eager to ask questions, Verde generously took part in a lengthy Q & A session with the diverse student audience.


Alan Medina (Institution: Gobierno del Estado de Guanajuato, Mexico; Internship: Embassy of Mexico) With so much corruption in some developing countries, how do we use innovation to overcome?


Verde: Obviously doing things the same way over and over will produce the same results and the cycle has to be broken. I am optimistic because there are a lot of young leaders that are sick of getting the same results and it’s only a matter of time before their voice is heard


Kevin Marquez Cabrera (Institution: University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez; Internship: Res. Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) I want to return to Puerto Rico and help resolve the economic crisis happening there. Do you have any advice?


Verde: Many great ideas were born out of times of crisis. Puerto won’t have the same amount of traditional opportunities, so it’s up to people like you to find way ways to help Puerto Rico compete again.


Melissa Christenson (Institution: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; Internship: Inscape Publico) You talk a lot about learning from your failures, what is one big failure you’ve had?


Verde: The biggest one was when I was at Harvard and I tried to start own cigar company. When the demand for cigars in the U.S dropped, I was stuck with a bunch of cigars that I couldn’t sell. So I took advantage of the opportunity and started a cigar club, which allowed me to make a lot of great connections that I still have today.


Click here to view photos from Global Citizenship Day

Click here to view photos from Global Festival

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