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Domenika Lynch: "optimism is a requisite for change; there is no substitution for it"

Domenika Lynch is head of the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program and recently was in conversation with McKinsey’s Bernardo Sicheland and Kweilin Ellingrud.

Kweilin Ellingrud asked, "Domenika, in your interactions with young Latino leaders, are you seeing progress—a change in culture or the optimism you were mentioning before?"

Domenika Lynch said, "I’m optimistic. The one piece I worry about is a little bit of getting frustrated and discouraged. There are some hard challenges, from climate change to even as we tackle structural racism and discrimination. Change isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take intentionality from all of us. And optimism is a requisite for change; there is no substitution for it. That’s what makes me both excited and a little nervous about when we all get too frustrated in our silos because cynicism is really what we have to guard against. But overall, I’m very optimistic."

Kweilin asked, "What makes you optimistic that we can achieve sustainable and inclusive growth?"

Domenika Lynch said, : Local and national leaders. The work of the Aspen Institute, convening thoughtful people that care so much about human progress—our collective, shared humanity and good life experience. It’s a short life. To bring people together, to roll our sleeves up and to say, “We can change this” is important. I think that as long as we can see it at the local level and then bridge that with national leaders, real change will happen. That’s what makes me optimistic, particularly in where I am, where I sit, at the Aspen Institute."

Kweilin Ellingrud asked Bernardo Sicheland, "What makes you optimistic that we can achieve sustainable and inclusive growth?"

Bernardo Sichel said: "I would say two things from my side. The first one is the resilience I have seen from Latinos during COVID-19. The other is awareness, despite the political rhetoric, that inclusivity is an absolute must to achieve our common goals in the future. I would say those two things give me hope that we are heading in the right direction."

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