Looking Ahead with Livingston James – Louise Macdonald OBE, Chief Executive of Young Scot

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Livingston James Group, over the course of 2020 we will be sharing insight from our friends and colleagues on the challenges of the last decade, and their predictions for the next.

This instalment features Louise Macdonald OBE, Chief Executive of Young Scot; President of the European Youth Card Association and Chair of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls. Winner of the IoD UK Third Sector Director of the Year in 2016, and CEO of Young Scot for over 10 years, Louise is a true champion of young people in Scotland and beyond. Here she shares her challenges and predictions.


Challenges of the Last Decade

The past decade has seen huge political change. In the current political and social climate, it’s the responsibility of all third sector leaders, who believe in social justice, to do what they can to challenge intolerant political ideologies and the crippling social inequalities they often fuel.

A key challenge of the charitable sector has been how to effectively raise our voices against the social injustices and inequalities that exist within society – or threats to the values that underpin our work. We’ve had to work hard to ensure our voices are heard, and listened to, beyond the echo chamber of the third sector. Whilst progress has been made addressing this challenge, we still have a long way to go to effect the changes we want to see.

Predictions for the Next Decade

In the 2020s, the third sector will reap the benefits of Gen Z entering the workforce – they are the generation we have been waiting for.

Born into an increasingly unpredictable and ever-shrinking world, Gen Z has an intrinsic understanding of the importance of equality, and tolerance is entrenched in their minds.

Gen Z mind-sets and values will ensure they’re the most passionate and motivated group we’ve ever welcomed into the workforce. Millennial values have already begun to reshape the world of work, with increased focus on flexibility, purpose, and values. The third sector must continue to adapt our style of working and practices to ensure we make the most of the potential of Gen Z.


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