Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Young World Summit Experiences and Recommendations

As a returning and convening Ambassador for media impact at One Young World Summit in Zurich Switzerland, it was a great pleasure to talk about the project impacts of 2010 Ambassadors and lead Media resolution for 2011 at the summit. I was only able to make it together with the help of my mentor Carol Anderson and my Sister Janice Wong. One young world Summit purpose is to “connect and bring together the youngest, brightest and best and to ensure that their concerns, opinions and solutions are heard.” To know more about the summit, please visit One Young World Website

Nick Simmi, a 21 years old future leaders from UK shared his experienced about the events “The event has allowed me to gain a true insight into some of the world’s biggest problems and most pressing issues from first hand contact with hundreds of delegates from Africa, Asia, Europe, America, Canada and Australia.”(Lep Business)

All of the counselors such as Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof, Jamie Oliver, Muhammad Yunus, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Paul Polman, Guler Sabanci, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Wael Ghonim, Oscar Morales, Joss Stone, Doug Richard, Andy Ansah, Patrick Chalhoub, Waris Dirie, Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Nick Hayson and many others were very inspiring and really cared about the issues that today we are facing.

"I love to be here because I am dying to see what you are doing" said Sir Bob Geldof, Musician and activist. He further talked about the age to inspire the delegates, “It’s incredible to be here to be less young.” Similarly, Desmond Tutu, Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and one of the oldest and the most inspiring counselors called One Young World delegates as a “fantastic amazing group.”

Fatima Bhutto, Writer, Journalist and Activist and the counselor of the summit describes how women raise community and the importance of educating them where she explained the benefits of educating women. It is not just herself but for the larger network including community in the long term. She also highlighted the fact that not all women can make a world better place. "It is not true that all women can make better world, but it’s about leadership." She requests everyone especially women to fight ethically whether they are “inside” or “outside” the power.

Many of us, especially I am very worried and think how I can make a best networking and the suggestions from Karol Stone, Managing Director, YouGovStone pointed out that to network you don’t need to be outgoing but take interest in people’s action and belief. Talk with them (like-minded people) was suggested by beautiful counselor. Jennifer also highlighted the offers from the power of network delegates have. “Delegates should access network that offers powerful opportunities” said Jennifer.

I think now you will agree with me that the counselors were very inspiring. The guest speakers were equally inspiring too.
Gabi Zedl meyer, global Social innovative form HP challenged for those who think that changing the world literally is impossible. We could literally change the world... Let’s change the world Gabi requested to the delegates during his talk at the summit. He further highlights the work conducted by his company on health, education, entrepreneurs, community involvement and volunteering and says that “it’s not about how many people take training from our programs but we need to think how many people do something with it.” That’s how the leadership takes from the top.

Another guest speaker Sigi Probsti, CEO of sustainable cities, primarily focuses on the need of education, where he mentioned “education is what you need first and skills later.” While talking about some of the best examples of education system, South Korea happen to be one. However, the question is, how can we say that South Korea has one of the “best” education system given the fact that many young people still cannot afford the education. The suicide rate is increasing dramatically because of two reasons. First, Students do not receive the marks as their expectation and second many cannot afford their tuition fees. If the poor cannot afford the education and Education, today’s ‘basic needs’ is only for rich people here in Korea, how can we define it as a best education system. I myself raise this question from the floor and request all the delegates and counselors to revisit the definition of “best education” system.

The gender inequality was highlighted by guest speakers and even by the speakers in various impact areas. Mercedes Erra highlighted some of the current gender issues by showing some facts. Erra focused on the facts of illiterate women where “2/3 of the 774 millions of illiterates in the world are women.” On the other hand, “On 500 largest corporation in the world only 13 have a female CEO.”
I will talk about the impact speakers in my next blogging. Indeed they were very inspiring.

Finally at the end of the summit, Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate stood up at the stage and asked the delegates; whether they are aware of power they have? He further makes the delegates realize their power and again asked “what are you going to do with the power you have? How can the power be used?” He further encouraged the delegates to use their power in creating a completely new world within delegates’ 4os. Yunus further challenged the delegates to takes the impossibilities. “Very soon what you think impossible today will be common tomorrow so don’t ignore any impossible”

I am very humbled to be called as a convening ambassador for media impact but there are many things that needed to be addressed by One Young World team members especially the summit organizers.
Firstly, the summit should not stop here. It’s a beginning and a best way to inspire young people and help them to find the like minded people and initiate the projects, but this inspiration should converted into actions and One Young World should support in every steps they can including financial support.

Thirdly, I have personally found some delegates who have come just to visit a country either London or Zurich. These types of delegates should not get chance in the coming summit and One Young World Summit should take it seriously during the screening phase. I am sorry to say this, but so far I have found that whoever can afford 3000 euros get chance to attend the summit. However, money should not be first priority to bring the young inspiring best future leaders rather should be their ideas and actions.
Finally, we could have brought more delegates from developing countries, if we could use the money we use for beverages such as alcohol, beers and wine during the summit or we could have use the money, we spend for beverages, to feed normal food for the delegates who arrived in 31st. I noticed that some delegates at city hotel sleep hungry stomach because they didn’t bring any money with them neither they were informed that they have to bring the some money for 31.
I hope this will be a fruitful recommendation for One Young World summit organizers and OYW will rethink about it in the future summit.

Attending One Young World for the second time is really humbling to see the amazing work young people of my age are doing after overcoming several challenges. Unlike UN and others, the summit is not just about passing the resolutions related to Media, global health, environment, global business and leadership. It is more about the actions carried by young people around the world, where summit is used as a platform to gather and exchange ideas.

Representing Nepal at One Young World Summit in Zurich
Worldpulsarian attending One Young World Summit
Secondly, the summit is very expensive that the so-called “third world” people cannot afford. How can we expect a person to pay 3000 euro where many people in his/her country cannot afford three meals per day? If the summit is to bring young future leaders of the world then some privileged should be given to developing and underdeveloped countries. One Young World board members should encourage companies to think about their CSR for developing countries.

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with all the recommendation. Even sitting here from my country I could gather few serious drawbacks.

    Rec1 – I am wondering how many delegates actually make tangible impacts in their communities out of total number of delegates attended. How could they covert the energy into concrete actions in their communities? What kind of support do they get form OYW in initiating their projects apart from media exposure?

    Rec 2 – I know many talented young individuals couldn’t make it to the conference due to the cost – and I agree with you, how can we accumulate ideas from young leaders across the globe when we can’t even bring individuals from marginalized communities? Lack of seriousness among delegates also contributes to unwillingness of corporate firms to sponsor – some think young delegates just waste their time there.

    Rec 3 -4 – Ahh I couldn’t figure that out by looking at the pictures and the kind of delegates got selected to represent their country over others. It’s a complete waste of time and resources. Maybe switching it from zurich and locating the conference to a developing country would be more pragmatic. Lest I forget, nothing generates media attention like something taking place in Switzerland.

    Keep up the good work Sunita ! I sincerely hope they heed your positive suggestions.