What motivates us?

Looking at what UN Youth achieves and how much it has grown in the last few years, I’ve often wondered this myself.  It certainly isn’t money – none of our officeholders are paid, and if anything it costs being an officeholder in terms of the time, and the income that you could have otherwise earned in that time.

I don’t think it’s CV-filling in pursuit of that glorified graduate position at a corporate law firm either – there are lots of other, more relevant extra-curricular activities out there like mooting/debating, or working part time for a law firm or something. (same argument for whatever your chosen field is – I just happen to be a law student that’s all).

You know when you’ve always suspected something, then somebody explains it to you and you were exactly right?  Watching this animated talk was like that for me.  Essentially, Dan Pink is saying that for any work which requires brain-power, people aren’t motivated by financial incentives – they are motivated by autonomy, mastery and making a contribution.  And underlying these immediate incentives is the knowledge that all of the work is going towards a “transcendent purpose”.  Ya know what – let the video do the talking:

So how is UN Youth able to muster the manpower required to operate 30 events around the country, 2 international study tours and all of the constant administrative which goes in behind those events?

As a high school student attending the events I really liked the other people who participated – they were open-minded, engaging and generally interested in the wider world.  I also liked the events that UN Youth (formerly UNYANZ) ran, I liked what they were about and what they strove to achieve.  So the reason why I became an officeholder was for an opportunity to contribute, and to be a part of the team that strives towards achieving the goal of inspiring global citizens.

What motivates YOU? (comment below)


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