Hamad bin Majed Alowaishiq’s Authentic Spirit Is Empowering Saudi Youth for a Global Future

Hamad bin Majed Alowaishiq is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, who spent his formative years between the United Kingdom, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Nanjing & Shanghai, China.

Hamad has been educated at institutions such as Harvard University, King Saud University, Cornell Law School, with publications between the intersection of law and business, and has trained at a leading venture capital firm that operates through a major global financial centre.

He is recognized as a patron of youth and culture, having established Saudi Youth Society on January 31, 2020, with the vision “To become THE representative of youth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Youth Society has the mandate “To empower emerging generations, foster a society of leaders, connect and bridge cultures, cultivate creative communities, and inspire purposeful action.”

Today, Saudi Youth Society has executed numerous projects through its focus areas of creativity, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, which have impacted the lives of thousands of individuals, whilst collaborating with renowned entities such as the King Khalid Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Harrods, and Alnahda Society amongst others.

The organization, which defines youth between the ages of 15-35, provides a vast variety of programs and initiatives, ranging from educational programs to art workshops and exhibitions, tree plantings and cleanups, and competitions, in addition to providing work opportunities.

“I ESTABLISHED SAUDI YOUTH SOCIETY AS A PLATFORM TO ENABLE & EMPOWER YOUNG PEOPLE!”

Why did you start the Saudi Youth Society?

I established Saudi Youth Society (SYS) as a platform to enable and empower young people, from the belief that the greatest investment we can make is in human capital and the development of young people, to provide opportunities and experiences that positively contribute to the formation of their character and support them to flourish.

After returning to the Kingdom, I entered the entrepreneurship space and faced challenges due to my age at the time, I then attended a program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I was able to observe the gaps that needed to be filled in order to assist aspiring leaders. Several months later, I decided to set up the organization as a voice for youth in Saudi Arabia, to also understand and address the challenges they face.

Through SYS, I was keen to bring the international best practices that I had witnessed and experienced growing up abroad to apply them in the Kingdom through a tailored approach based on the local context.

What is the most important thing that you want to see changed for the youth in KSA?

I would like to see a broader scale implementation of skill-based education, that develops 21st-century skills such as presentation, research, and linguistic skills, in addition to exposure to literary great thinkers and global issues the world faces, to ensure Saudi youth are able to compete on the world stage.

At Saudi Youth Society, we have a series of debate forums that are an opportunity to research and discuss pressing international topics, alongside a book club that meets on a consistent basis.

Furthermore, in May of 2023, we hosted the inaugural edition of “Youth Speak & Compete”, a competition that circulated around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in which participants tackled and searched for solutions that aid in achieving the goals. The winning team received an internship at the United Nations Development Programme. Additional tracks will be added in the coming editions of the program to provide work experience to young people by bridging them with leading entities in various fields.

“I WOULD ALSO LIKE THE YOUTH TO FEEL A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY IN THEIR ACTIONS & TOWARDS THE WORLD!”

How should we as a society encourage and build a better future for the next generation?

By reflecting on how we are paying it forward, as individuals and institutions, and leaving a positive impact behind us.

I would also like for youth to feel a sense of responsibility in their actions and towards the world, by reflecting on the legacy they strive to leave behind early on, and the value they seek to contribute during their lifetime.

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

What has been your most memorable moment since starting this journey?

One that comes to mind is of a participant, an 8-year-old girl, during the first program we hosted, “Namo”, an online educational program during the COVID-19 lockdown period; I recall thinking to myself how the organization could be a part of her experience growing up, by providing beneficial opportunities and experiences for her and others to compliment their lives for the better. That thought motivated me to ensure the work at Saudi Youth Society is sustainable, and to continue having an impact on the younger generations for generations to come.

eading entities in various fields.

What motivates you?

The youth. The energy of the young people we cross at the organization is admirable. Contributing to the Kingdom brings me great pride, and hearing the inspiring stories of those who came before us.

What are your next steps?

To continue developing and expanding flagship programs that add true value, while bridging the Kingdom and its youth with the world, and building the organization to be a pioneering and successful global model of excellence, through its contribution and impact towards youth, society, and the broader world calling for the prosperity of humanity as a whole.

Less is more or more is more?

Strikingly elegant less is more.

What is style to you?

Style is a form of expression reflected by the way that you carry yourself.

What is authenticity to you?

Authenticity is when your internal self is reflected through your external self… without any obstructions caused by the chaos of the world.