Multigenerational challenges require intergenerational solutions

Richard Branson sits with The B Team, young leaders, Karl Lokko, Halla Tomasdottir, Mary Robinson and others in New York
Joe Short
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 26 September 2022

I was recently in New York for a series of inspiring Climate Week events, as well as The B Team’s Annual General Meeting.

This year’s meeting had a particular focus on intergenerational leadership. We discussed how The B Team will commit to both fostering and deploying intergenerational alliances to help us deliver on our agenda of shared prosperity for all, on a healthy and thriving planet.

Halla Tomasdottir and The B Team speaking in New York
Joe Short

I co-founded The B Team in 2013 with Jochen Zeitz and since then this global collective of business and civil society leaders has inspired and challenged us, as we work together to create a better way of doing business that serves humanity and the planet.

With the myriad of global challenges facing humanity in 2022, The B Team recognise that multigenerational challenges require intergenerational solutions. Our meeting this year comprised not only of B Team Leaders, but also next-gen leaders from The NewNow, Ingka Young Leaders Forum, and other partners.

I was particularly delighted to see two of my dear friends, and ever-inspiring leaders from The NewNow, Roya Mahboob and Abdalaziz Alhamza. The NewNow is a non-profit organisation, incubated by Virgin Unite and made up of passionate rising leaders, all with a joint mission to use their voices and activism to tackle the world’s toughest challenges. Both Roya and Aziz have committed their lives to fighting for human rights in their home countries of Afghanistan and Syria. Both are working tirelessly to ensure that their generation, and generations to come, can live safely, freely, and prosperously.

Richard Branson with Roya Mahboob and Abdalaziz Alhamza in New York
Joe Short

Whether it’s a meeting of business leaders in New York, or a visit to businesses out in the field,  it is vital that the voices of leaders across generations are brought into the conversation. The challenges we all face are too big to face alone. From a just transition to clean energy, to global plans for nature, the work this planet desperately needs doing requires action and long-term commitment from all of us: young, old, and everywhere in between.

As always when I’m with Halla Tomasdottir, CEO of The B Team, I walked away feeling inspired and energised about the work that needs to be done. Halla reflected on the fact that as a B Team, we are on the cusp of our 10 year anniversary. A decade ago this collective of business and civil society leaders was an unlikely collaboration, but today we are family and well versed in working together.

Richard Branson and Halla Tomasdottir talking together in New York
Joe Short

Yet we must continue to collaborate with new friends and invest in the next generation of leaders so that together we can change course for good. As Halla said: “All of us on this earth right now need to make space to hear from, and work with, those who will inherit this planet - to ensure their perspective and voice is embedded in all that we do.”

If you’re interested in joining us as we work to build a new leadership model that places humanity at its heart, please check out The Catalyst from The B Team.