IREX announces new strategy to build a more just, prosperous, inclusive world
Dear friends of IREX:
I am writing to share with you IREX 2025 (in English and Spanish), our strategy to address cascading global challenges and to contribute, along with our many capable partners, to a better future for us all.
Societies globally are grappling with a spectrum of complex dynamics, all in the context of the still unfolding COVID-19 pandemic and its many economic, social, and political consequences.
- The largest youth population in human history faces an escalating education and employment crisis, with one in six young people out of work since the onset of the pandemic and 1.5 billion students forced out of school.
- Rampant misinformation and disinformation are undermining governance, social cohesion, trust in institutions, and public health.
- There is a swelling demand for effective and ethical leadership at all levels, with citizens in many countries looking for solutions-driven and public-serving leaders across government, business, and the nonprofit sector.
- Authoritarian governments are taking advantage of the crisis to further encroach on individual freedoms, independent media, and pluralistic governance.
- Too many societies are failing to extend access to quality education and economic opportunities and prepare their populations for 21st century economies.
These challenges are set against a backdrop of still other powerful trends: climate change and extreme weather, systemic racism, the persistence and spread of violent conflict, demographic shifts, a massive movement of people within and across borders, and spreading populism and citizen unrest, which are all stressing societies globally.
These forces demand transformative solutions that help people and institutions not only adapt to change, but also overcome divisions and address problems proactively and cooperatively.
There are positive trends, too, that must be amplified. Young people globally are poised to drive positive change and assume new leadership roles. Technological innovations offer unprecedented opportunities for education, employment, connection, and enrichment. People are speaking out and pulling together to support positive change. Institutions are evolving. There is rising awareness and determination to confront inequity and expand access to opportunity.
To reap the full rewards of these trends, and prevent their worst repercussions, people need the skills, knowledge, empathy, and resilience not only to adapt but also to drive changes in ways that benefit humanity. Institutions need to harness the power of technology to serve the public good and defend against harm. Societies need to ensure that innovation accelerates the journey to both economic prosperity and social justice.
How will IREX and our partners contribute?
First, we will continue to invest in people and institutions by focusing our work around four pillars:
- Engaging and empowering youth
- Cultivating leaders at all levels of society
- Strengthening education, civic, and governing institutions
- Extending access to quality education and information
Within each of these pillars, we have established concrete goals as well as a learning agenda.
Second, we will embrace four cross-cutting priorities to enhance the impact of everything we do:
- Elevating data and evidence to learn, iterate, and improve program outcomes;
- Building cutting-edge expertise that enables us to add distinctive value;
- Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization and our work;
- Accelerating local solutions and supporting those best positioned to drive and sustain positive change.
We hope you will review IREX 2025 and share your candid reactions with us. We value your partnership and look forward to working together to promote more just, prosperous, and inclusive societies around the world.
Kristin M. Lord
President and CEO