It’s the beginning of a another academic year. Amongst the many new experiences of the final year, the One Young World Summit 2015 in Bangkok is one of the most exciting things to look forward to. I feel privileged being chosen to represent the University of Bath with Naomi in this global conference for young people who want to make a difference in their communities. Just looking at its name, I know that the summit in November will be a very unique and inspiring experience.
World – a collection of nations in all its diversity
As economists we “read the world” through rates of growth, saving, inflation and unemployment. The summit, however, would offer a chance to “meet the world”, in person. 196 countries will be represented in the summit this year, making it the most international youth movement after the Olympic Games. We can ask questions from the delegates, learn about their culture and the pressing issues in each country through their projects, whether it was to do with education, human rights or the environment. Their first-hand perspective can teach us so much, beyond just facts and figures.
Young – fresh ideas packed with action
Some people associate being young with being naïve and inexperienced, but at the same time we have the time, energy and enthusiasm to take actions. Just look at how many societies, sports clubs and other student-run groups there are on campus compared to, say, at a workplace. Many delegates have started their own businesses or community projects at a young age. The summit would be a great opportunity to hear their stories and be encouraged by their determination and spirit.
One – cooperation and shared concerns
In the news, we keep hearing about conflicts and conflicted interests between countries. The summit, however, would bring representatives of different nations under the same roof. It’s a chance to exchange ideas; I don’t expect everyone to agree, but at least those who come are prepared to listen. The main sessions in the summit are also organised around six main themes: education, peace & security, global business, environment, human rights and leadership & government. It makes me feel that despite the diversity of our backgrounds, we are ultimately fighting for a set of common goals.
You can find the official introduction to One Young World and read about Ambassadors in Action from their website www.oneyoungworld.com
Hope you all have an inspiring new semester!