One Young World Testimonial

An Experience of a Lifetime
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!

- Li Wang, One Young World Ambassador, Bogota, 2017