HM The King's speech at a World Scout Foundation meeting
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
Some years ago I was strolling in the Swedish mountains, shooting snow grouse. I came to think of the new TV shows such as “Big Brother". Perhaps you have seen them? Bad manners and being rude to your friends is highlighted as a role model.
These guys get more media coverage than any hard working sportsman! This is not the way I want our society to look like.
That is one of the reasons why I wanted to do something concrete to highlight all the true young role models and heroes.
I am from a family with a very strong commitment to young people. My grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf was chairman of the Swedish Sports Association.
My father Prince Gustaf Adolf was Chief Scout in Sweden and my mother, Princess Sibylla served as Chief Girl Scout. My commitment to young people goes very deep.
By being a scout and living through scout values, I have seen young people assuming full responsibility far beyond any reasonable expectations. These youngsters are excellent role models. Such heroes should be more elevated and celebrated.
I wanted to take an initiative to spread the values of Scouting in the Swedish society through leadership education and through promotion of a value based leadership.
For my birthday in 2006 I received a foundation as a gift. The foundation was initiated by the Scouts of Sweden and it received strong support from the business sector. The aim of this foundation is to draw attention to outstanding young leaders showing a leadership based on good values, on scouting values, and to support leadership training for young people.
This is done first and foremost through two areas of activity. We organize seminars, just like this one, on value based leadership every year at the Royal Palace. Participants in the seminars are key people from the business and public sectors as well as volunteer organizations.
During the seminar three young leaders, one from the business, public and volunteer sectors, respectively, receive the Compass Rose Scholarship. The scholarship is a substantial amount of money, approximately 30 000 dollars, to be invested in personal leadership development. So far twelve laureates have been appointed; brilliant young people who all stand for a true good value based leadership, and who have the potential of having a great impact both on the organizations in which they work and on society as a whole.
The second area of work is an advanced training course in value based leadership run by Scouts for young leaders from a vast number of different volunteer organizations. The program focuses on leadership in an international, intercultural and global world. It is connected to business through a mentorship program where participants are linked up with senior officials from companies. We have so far educated over a hundred young leaders.
The connection to the Scout movement in Sweden is crucial for the Foundation. This because the Scouts are instrumental in executing the leadership training courses and spreading them within the Scout movement as well as to other organizations, and because of the network of young people the Scouts bring to the Foundation.
These initiatives have been very well received in the Swedish society. The issue of leadership based on good values, scouting values, is important to us all. I am very pleased that you too are willing to take on the task on spreading a good value based leadership. Certainly, it is as important in Switzerland as it is in Sweden.
The world will need more young leaders in the coming years and it is our responsibility to give them the role models and the training they need.
I hope that this seminar will inspire you to spread the concept of value based leadership, and to promote a good value based leadership among young people in your companies and organizations.