Dr. Howard Taylor, the Executive Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, spoke to students in the Global Citizenship cohort of the Interdisciplinary Concentrations Program (ICP) on Wednesday, October 13. In his inspiring talk, Dr. Taylor discussed his career journey, what it means to be a global citizen, and ways today’s students can make a difference in the world.
“For me, being a global citizen means being aware of the wider world and understanding it,” said Dr. Taylor. “From that awareness and understanding, you are then able to do something to make the world a better place.”
Dr. Taylor has lived in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States. He has led a global corporate foundation, established a creative social enterprise, built government teams, and led a UN-hosted global partnership — all to improve the lives of millions of people.
He said he first became inspired to make a difference thanks to his mother, who used to write letters as part of Amnesty International campaigns. “Between high school and college, I also had the privilege to travel to South India, where I saw extreme poverty,” he said. “I came back and wanted to learn more about it and understand it.”
At the University of London he focused his Ph.D. studies on child labor, and he informed the MBS students that there are still 160 million child laborers in the world today.
To help influence change, Dr. Taylor held senior roles across the UK government, including at the Department for International Development (DFID), Cabinet Office and Foreign Office. He was Chief of Staff for two Secretaries of State and led DFID’s largest country programs in India and Ethiopia. From there, he became Vice President and Managing Director of the Nike Foundation and was the driving force behind the successful Girl Effect campaign, a creative social enterprise that uses branded mass and social media, technology and data to tackle negative social norms and change behaviors.
For the past four years, Dr. Taylor has spearheaded the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children to achieve its vision: a world in which every child grows up safe and secure. The partnership offers an opportunity for groups of all kinds — from governments to international organizations to children themselves — to work together to prevent and respond to violence on an unprecedented level.
“It’s a huge problem that affects a billion children a year, but there are solutions,” said Dr. Taylor, whose organization is working on six game-changing actions:
· Ban all forms of violence against children by 2030
· Equip parents and caregivers to keep children safe
· Make the Internet safe for children
· Make schools safe, non-violent and inclusive
· Protect children from violence in humanitarian settings
· More investment, better spent
At the end of his presentation, Dr. Taylor brainstormed with the students about ways they can create positive change.
“There are all sorts of ways that you can make a difference,” he told the students. “Know what you believe is right and wrong and always be prepared to have some of your preconceptions challenged.”