Former President Barack Obama said Monday these are “challenging times” but he remains hopeful because of the next generation of leaders that he aims to guide.
Touching on his “third act,” the 44th president spoke of programs that have become a central pillar of his Obama Foundation and its $500 million presidential center project in Chicago.
He told a packed arena at Bell MTS Place how he plans to create a “university for social change” that will serve as a hub for young people in the U.S. and around the world who are skeptical of the “old institutions.”
“If we train them — if we give them skills, support, financing, media training, spotlights, then they’re the ones that are going to carry forward the solutions that we so desperately need,” Obama said.
He then amplified a vision he shared in Japan last year in which the new global class of future leaders are molded in his or his wife Michelle Obama’s image.
“If we could form a network of those young leaders, not just in the United States, but around the world, then we got something,” he said, adding, “if we can train a million Baracks and Michelles who are running around thinking they can change the world” hope is achievable.