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One Young World 2018 – The Summit Experience

-      By Alessandro Carletta, One Young World Ambassador 2018

In a world constantly threatened by global warming and inequality where human rights are often rip off and access to education and healthcare is extremely difficult, the leaders of today do not commit themselves enough to the improvement of human condition and environment protection. One Young World was originally created on the assumption that young leaders, instead, have the energy and the drive to make the world a better place. One Young World was founded to connect and inspire young decision-makers to walk the talk and act now to improve our future. The summit is organized on 5 big topics: human rights, education, poverty alleviation & economic development, environment and health. This year, the summit welcomed 3 Nobel Prizes for Peace and many industry CEOs. The impact of the summit does not end after the seminar. Most of the participants involved in One Young World built networks to better tackle their projects and they developed a better understanding of how to face the big challenges of the future.

One Young World 2018 – The Dream

-      By Anatol Justin Long, One Young World Ambassador 2018

It has been more than a month since I returned from the summit. I am still having flashbacks to the event and cannot believe how the time has flown by. After a month of digestion, I think the effect of One Young World has finally permeated. With such an overwhelming conference, it was extremely fatiguing to reflect while in the conference. Looking back to the speeches and referring to the numerous notes I have made throughout various workshops, (though with my usual critical self,) I am still thunderstruck and motivated by the social change most delegates and the gathering encourages.

 

To sum up, One Young World is probably the most diverse, both culturally and intellectually, gathering of Millennials and Gen Z around the globe. I was fortunate to be selected one of the 5 participants to take part in this year’s conference in the Hague, the Netherlands.

Here is a brief summary of what 5 of us did over the span of 4 days:

•             Network with committed activists, young leaders and global figureheads.

•             Attend inspirational keynote lectures from some of the world’s most powerful individuals

•             Debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces

 

Overall, attending the conference was a superb opportunity for my own personal development. It was an adventure of a lifetime and it did reignite my fire for supporting social change after  meeting so many incredible people who are doing all these extraordinary things from all over the globe.


One Young World 2018 – EXPERIENCE

-      By Afifeh Fakori, One Young World Ambassador 2018


It has been an absolutely enlightening and humbling experience to spend three full days with 1,800 young change-makers during OYW 2018. It offered us an excellent opportunity to meet corporates, social enterprises, NGOs and young entrepreneurs from all over the world in one single platform.  The summit echoed the voice of the ESSEC Leadership & Diversity Chair, albeit at a very grand scale. We are aware of many issues plaguing today’s world: gender inequality, discrimination against the disabled and prejudices surrounding the LGBT+ community. However, the summit helped me to understand the enormity of the problems as I listened to first-hand experiences from delegates who have suffered from flagrant violations of human rights themselves. Some of the delegates shared their stories of rising triumphantly from the ghastly ashes of sexual abuse and discrimination; these stories were as inspiring as they were haunting. Others talked about their amazing initiatives pertaining to human rights, poverty eradication and climate change.

The CEOs of many well-known companies such as Unilever, DSM, Reckitt Benckiser and Credit Suisse, also shared their commitments to achieve the various SDGs and instilled in us the confidence that it is indeed possible to do good while doing well. I also had the opportunity to attend two very interesting workshops outside the core summit: one at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the other at Museon (a museum with a One Planet exhibit themed around the 17 SDGs). The three days spent at The Hague were undoubtedly intense, but every moment spent there made me ponder about my contribution to the society. So, here I am, back from the summit, infected with the contagious passion of the OYW delegates and counselors.  I have met strong, young men and women who have come from unbelievably difficult circumstances and initiated significant changes. The least I can do now is to step up and join these millennials to propagate positive changes – no matter how small - for the society and environment which needs us now, more than ever before.




One Young World 2017 – EXPERIENCE

-      By Camilla Fisco, One Young World Ambassador 2017

 

General Overview

 

The summit lasted 4 days, with a very intense schedule (8AM to 10PM). Despite the fatigue from the travel and the charged schedule, the quality of the conferences was so high - that we forgot all the fatigue and engaged 100% in the summit. Being appointed ambassadors was such an honor, and I will carry this experience in my heart for all my life.

 

Highlights

 

From my point of view, the two major highlights of OYW were:

 

1) Listening to incredible speakers that cover a wide range of topics: transparency in business and government, the impact of climate change, global health, hunger relief, human rights.... Speakers are extremely diverse: social entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians but also young students just like us.

 

2) Meeting and engaging directly with the speakers thanks to small Q&A sessions after the panels, or if lucky by meeting them randomly in the venue. Personally, my highlights were

- Sit at a small Q&A session with Muhammad Yunus. Professor Yunus was standing right in front of us - (really close as you can see in the picture!!)! - and answered our questions. It was incredible to hear him speak about his new book and vision: A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions


- Another highlight was listening to Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s chief leadership and human resources officer, present the new "Inclusion starts with I" program. Accenture decided to create an internal video that profoundly explored the question of inclusiveness and inspire employees to make a commitment to act.

 

“So having an inclusive culture where people really feel as though they belong allows us to be smarter and more innovative. And that’s a business issue at Accenture. Overall, that is an enormous benefit.” - Ellyn Shook



We had the opportunity to have a one-to-one talk with her and took a picture with the ESSEC logo. She sent the photo to Pierre Nanterre (CEO of Accenture who is an Essec Alumni) moreover; she gave us her business card to contact her.



- A third highlight was having a one-to-one lunch with Jayathma Wickramanayake - only Envoy on Youth at the United Nations. We were very lucky as me and Li randomly sat together at lunch, we had the opportunity to talk about what is her role in the UN and what are her challenges being the only young person on the commission. She was very inspiring and we had the opportunity to share with her our Chair ideas




- Being in Colombia during the first anniversary of Peace Day was definitely a highlight. We listened to President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombian citizens and FARC representatives tell their stories and talk about the country’s path to achieve to peace, after more than 50 years of armed conflict. It was incredibly touching, it made me understand how often we ignore issues happening around the world, and how we should keep ourselves more informed and try to do our best to improve our communities as much as we can.





An Experience of a Lifetime

By- Li Wang, One Young World Ambassador 2017

 

I had been trying to find a word to conclude the amazing journey in OYW 2017 Bogota. When ‘magic realism’ jumped up in the introduction video of Columbia, I felt it summarize

well. The conference was held when I was getting lost in how to make the world a better place during intensive corporate work. The conference showed me the way with abundant

inspirations. Here are the three quotes that impressed me most:

 

1/ Professor Yunus: ‘Defining something and make it happen’.

 

Professor Yunus envisions ‘three zero’: 0 property, 0 unemployment and 0 net carbon emissions. Driven by this vision, he created the concept of ‘social business’ and put it into practice by running Grammen bank. He said ‘Current system is designed to leave people behind. You need to work on the machine itself’. It’s very impressive since nowadays we are faced with so many crises, and most of the time, we passively rely on traditional solutions. When the old way failed, we may give up and complain: ‘See, there is no way out’. Yet if we jump out of the traditional mindset and try to be innovative, we will start to ‘work on the machine’ and find hope.




2/ Several war victims: ‘If we are not too young to be victims or children soldiers, we are not too young to be change makers.’ I’ve been lucky to have lived a peaceful life in a peaceful country, yet in this session, those young victims of war tore off the mask of ‘world peace illusion’ and showed us the bloody fact of war. Those tragedies they endured and those struggles they experienced brought us to tears, but the determination of peace they demonstrated by saying this quote above inspired me most. Things will happen, good or bad. We may be restricted by our age/gender/etc. to directly control something big, but if we don’t limit ourselves, we can always stick to our faith and start with some small positive change.




3/ Ron Garan: ‘Human beings are one habitant on the planet earth’. Ron Garan, the former NASA astronaut, showed us the fantastic view of ‘earth rise’ he saw in the space. When he saw the blue planet rose from the moon horizon, it seemed that countries, genders, ethnics. Those artificial labels are so insignificant from an external view from the space: We are all one habitant on the mother earth. The video was played on the screen with a background of ground Columbian sky. Standing on the ground and starring out at shining stars, the feeling that mankind is a community of shared future deeply stroke me. We should do our best to protect our future.




Besides those insightful sessions, I also got the chance to exchange ideas with global youth during the summit, to join the project run by a returning ambassador of General Electric and to internally reflect on my personal development. The OYW 2017 is a magic because the experience was too good to be true, but it’s also realism because it shows the way of being a real change maker. Sincere appreciation towards David and Kate, founders of One Young World. By gathering youth and experts from all around the world together, they amazingly enlighten future change makers. Also, big thanks to Junko and Elisabeth for this wonderful opportunity and for your support to us!

 

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