“Let’s hold onto the idea that our youth deserve all our effort because they are the guarantors of Andorra’s future. We must neither forget nor neglect them!”
As we have highlighted in previous articles, the possibility that Andorra might one day become part of the European Single Market opens up a range of possibilities, especially for our youth, students, and entrepreneurs, which are enormously advantageous for those who know how to identify and seize them.
We have discussed European programs and seen the budget dedicated by countries similar to ours, such as Liechtenstein, particularly in those programs dedicated to students and their studies beyond their country of origin. We have also seen specific European programs aimed at promoting new technologies at all levels, such as in the field of Blockchain, programs with budgets that impress with their magnitude and which one day could benefit Andorran companies that are already working in this and other technological areas, should we choose to do so.
We have long discussed the topic of “education” in Andorra and the opportunity that the development of professional and university education, both offline and in-person, might represent, including the future interaction and exchange with students, teachers, and researchers within this new European space where Andorra has decided to carve out a niche for itself, if ultimately, we Andorrans decide to do so.
All these opportunities are within our reach, but they require a lot of work to achieve practical and optimal results for our society and our economy. We must set objectives, with vision and strong conviction in the goals we set ourselves, and above all, we must be open to everything that is happening in the world and how it affects us, both negatively and positively, particularly in the field of education and the networks it generates.
It is undoubted that opening ourselves to the world, starting with Europe, will give us that visibility that we still lack and that justifies our continued discussion of the Andorra Brand and its projection, a visibility that needs much more work than has been done so far, provided that we have first defined the country model we want to have and explain to the world.
In this sense, and speaking of models, allow me to imagine, thinking about the future of my beloved country, a Principality of Andorra in 10 or 20 years as a hub of professional and university education, chosen as a destination by thousands of international students who select us for the quality and diversity of the studies offered and for the cleanliness, sustainability, and security of the environment in which they interact. Today, however, the reality is what it is, and we are far from the model I have just described.
But what about our youth, those who are currently studying and who in a few years will have to choose a path to continue their education? What future awaits them? Indeed, what are the external factors that can determine their choice? It is clear that they must be mentored and helped to decide based on their aptitudes, but what about those uncontrollable elements that may end up being decisive?
A few days ago, someone was telling me that a young student of just under 15 years old, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, answered “YouTuber”, and it is not an isolated case. In fact, it is a trend among a significant group of young people abroad but also in our country. Today, our youth are clearly influenced by the new models projected by successful figures in the digital world, whose notoriety on the networks prematurely provides them with an economic status that generates admiration among those tender souls who idolize them.
In our country, we have recently attracted a number of these successful streamers, and our country has even become a reference as a “refuge” for this novel type of “successful professionals”, some of whom have no problem walking our streets flaunting everything their significant earnings have allowed them to acquire, nor do they have any difficulty speaking through their usual media about how much they save in taxes and how good life is in our country.
Indeed, the country has benefited from the perspective of what they spend and consume in Andorra and also from the many taxes they pay, although much less than in their country of origin, but allow me a reflection on this matter. Not all these streamers exhibit the best virtues of the human being, far from it. In fact, many of them have not even had the material time to mature as adults and it is difficult to ask them for more than they show us. Therefore, from the perspective of being an example for our children, I would rather say no, on the contrary, perhaps it is necessary to do the appropriate pedagogy to neutralize this natural tendency to admire the model they project without stopping to assess the negative consequences, which also exist.
For those who value all the good that they have brought to the country, especially in terms of spending and paying taxes, apart from indirect advertising, I don’t know if good or bad for the country, I would like to say that there is an infinitely superior good to protect which is none other than the integrity of our citizens, young and not so young, and we must avoid making excessive praise of these streamers to the point of putting them ahead of our people, especially if their “influence” can cause them irreparable damage in terms of their education or simply provoke the violation of the norms of coexistence required in a society like ours.
Not everything is valid, no matter how much money they generate! And why not, perhaps what would be worthwhile would be for them to truly learn to be an example for our society, contributing alongside our political and educational authorities to do the appropriate pedagogy to properly guide our youth.
Obviously, beyond the influence of the digital world and streamers, there is a universe of educational possibilities for our youth, both within and outside the country. Europe presents us with new horizons for many of them, but at the same time, Andorra must decide whether to definitively bet on positioning itself as an educational hub with international projection.
Surely, in upcoming articles, we will have the opportunity to talk about Europe, education and training, future options for our country, and the need to make key decisions that will mark our future. Meanwhile, let’s hold onto the idea that our youth deserve all our effort because they are the guarantors of the future of Andorra. We must neither forget nor neglect them!
By Pere Augé, CEO and Founding Partner of Augé Holding Group
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