One Young World 2018 – an Observer perspective

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Next week, I’ll be travelling to The Hague for my first visit to the One Young World Summit. Having supported student delegates from the University’s Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences for the past six years, I’m now experiencing the same level of anticipation and excitement ahead of the event.

When the Faculty became aware of One Young World in 2012 we were immediately struck by our synergies. Not only in terms of our focus on research and teaching in health, poverty alleviation, peace and reconciliation, justice and education, but also in our mutual philosophy to inspire young people and future leaders to enact positive social change and to consider the local, regional and global communities in which they live and work.

I’ll be attending as an Observer, hoping to experience the impressive keynotes and the emotionally-honest speeches and witness the energy of the delegates as they form links and commit to leading change.

I hope to be as inspired as our wonderful delegates have been: for the past two years they’ve brought back key themes and viewpoints to create One Young World Bath for the student community and this year’s delegate, Alex, hopes to do the same in 2019. Meanwhile, I’ll be sharing insights from the Summit with the University team responsible for embedding citizenship and sustainability into our curriculum and overall learning experience.

I’m also hoping to meet representatives from like-minded organisations, big and small, with similar aspirations for their future workforce. The combined impact that universities, industry and policy-makers can have by working together is magnified around the key issues of this year’s summit: equality in education; plastic pollution; preventable diseases; youth unemployment; human rights and, of course, the Sustainable Development Goals. By accessing funding, providing academic input and business expertise, and evaluating project impact, we can support the OYW delegates as they create the positive change. It’s something I’m positively excited about.

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