Published September 2017

You all know that it’s great to ‘like’ things on social media, but that it’s more important to look up from our phones, to get out into our communities, and to take real action; to stand up for what you believe in.

The Duke of Sussex

Hello WE day!

I’m here in Toronto supporting the Invictus Games. This year there are 550 competitors from 17 countries taking part. They are proving to the world, that great challenges can be confronted with resilience and determination, when you live by the values of service, duty and respect. They are proving that we are stronger when we work together. We are happier when we work in the service of others. We succeed when we have purpose in our lives.

In today’s world too many people feel cynical and apathetic. I get that the challenges we face sometimes seem complex and even scary, especially when we don’t know who to turn to for answers. I know that while this generation of young people wants to make our world a better place, you often struggle to get your voices heard. I know that you, more than any previous generation, care deeply about the health and sustainability of the planet you're going to inherit.

And I see that you’re frustrated - that entrenched mindsets - are not keeping pace with the urgency - of the threats to our environment. But today you are all saying no to pessimism and cynicism. Here in Toronto - with both WE day and the Invictus Games - we are saying yes to optimism, yes to hope, and yes to belief. And we are putting service and giving back at the heart of everything that we do.

The thousands of you gathered here are proof that today’s generation of young people is the most connected, most energised, and most confident the planet has ever known. You know that differences of opinion, of circumstance, of race and religion - are to be respected and celebrated. You know that in a clickbait culture, we cannot waste time sharing and drawing attention to things that make us angry, or that we know to be false.

You all know that it’s great to ‘like’ things on social media, but that it’s more important to look up from our phones, to get out into our communities, and to take real action; to stand up for what you believe in.

So before I close, I want to make a deal with you. The hundreds of service men and women that have gathered here for the Invictus Games, they share your enthusiasm for service and duty. I want you to listen to their stories. If you see them around town, introduce yourselves, make some new friends, hear what they and their families have been through. Hear how they have overcome incredible challenges, and let yourselves be inspired. If you do that, I promise you, that I will work to do everything I can to support you; to create a platform where your voices can be heard and your ideas taken seriously.  

Sadly, I’m now part of a slightly older generation! But in the years to come I want to work with you to help encourage, identify and support the new generation of leadership,  both local and global leaders. Today at WE day, you’re not surrounded by negativity. You’re not fighting on your own. You are working together. You are supporting each other.

And together, you are going to change the world.

Thank you.