To those who may not know me, my name is Ciara Sherlock and I am your OYW Delegate from the School of Management. I am currently a second-year student at the University of Bath, studying BSc Management with a placement year. I am also fortunate enough to be a recipient of the Gold Scholarship Programme a.k.a Susanne Admiraal Scholarship.
So you may be wondering what One Young World's annual summit is. The annual summit brings together the brightest young talent from every country and sector, working to accelerate social impact. At the summit, there were delegates from over 190 countries. The NGO also has a range of counsellors who are influential political, business and humanitarian leaders such as Justin Trudeau, Paul Polman and Meghan Markle, amongst many other global figures.
The summit is a four-day event, which occurred on the 22nd July - 25th July 2021. The event is filled with a series of speeches, panels, networking and workshops. This year was the first blended summit where we had delegates attending both in-person at Olympiapark in Munich, Germany, alongside digitally on the digital platform Hubilo. Due to COVID restrictions in the UK, the majority of UK delegates were participating online which actually made networking much easier as we were all in the same timezone, and similar situation.
Each year the summit is held in a different country, One Young World’s arrival in Munich represents a significant moment for the Bavarian capital, renowned for its mixture as a traditional and cosmopolitan city. Munich is famous for its broad variety of culture and leisure opportunities, its high internationality and its quality of living.
Overview of the event
Opening Ceremony (22nd July 2021)
I think the opening ceremony was one of my favourite parts of the summit, specifically the flag bearing event. This is where each flag is paraded by a representative of the country. Something I learned was that there is a flag for refugees. As pictured, the flag has an orange background with one black stripe, the meaning behind the design is to represent the orange life jackets, refugees, across the globe wear when risking their lives to reach safety.
My favourite individual we heard from in the entire summit, was Sir Bob Geldof. Although cynical, he said what everyone wanted to hear. He talked about the state of the environment and the need for a global tax appropriate for the disaster we are facing. This quote pretty much sums it up "What is the price of all humanity?", "Everything we have", "If we pay it we live, if we don't pay it we die".
Day 1 (23rd July 2021)
There was lots and lots of sessions happening, but here I'll give you a snippet of my favourites:
How to become a gritty optimist? by Leena Nari. In a world of declining trust and increasing inequality, Leena Nair, Unilever’s Chief Human Resource Officer, shared a blueprint for how to become a gritty optimist. With no shortage of challenges ahead of us in a world post-pandemic, Leena wants to inspire youth to harness their most powerful asset so they can use it to build a sustainable future. My favourite quote from her speech was "spend more time thinking about solving the problems left behind rather than being angry".
Empowering women entrepreneurs in India by London Business School. This was a short information film provided by London Business School, and my favourite quote from the film, was from an Indian woman who said her advice is "don't worry about what people say".
Day 2 (24th July 2021)
Here are some snippets of the second day:
Terry Crews gave a brilliant story using a cockpit example. He says that captains used to have ultimate control, and the first and second officers had no power to question the captain's authority or deicison-making. Very much depicting dictatorship leadership styles. However, he wanted to emphasise that we are all in control, not just the captain. There will always be captains who do not want to listen to their first or second officers, but that doesn't mean you cannot be in control. You have to be able to question authority.
Sara Mardini introduced her keynote with the most powerful and upsetting fact, just the night before 37 refugees lost their lives in the mediterranean sea escaping Syria, and because of this she asked the in-person delegates to stand in silence for 37 seconds, one second for each of the lost souls.
Day 3 (25th July 2021)
Professor Muhamed Yunas, the founder of Grameen Bank, talked about his entrepreneurial journey, and how he created social change through social business and microfinance. One of my favourite quotes from him was “If you want to do something new, you have to defy”.
Dame Vivian Hunt, Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company UKI, speech talked about human capital and how they alongside technology are the key to improving productivity in the UK. My favourite quote I took away was "You have the people you need, they just need to be equipped with the right tools.", "Algorithms cannot assess human qualities".
Active Delegate Leaderboard
I managed to rank #4 on the leaderboard of virtual delegates for engagement during the summit!
After the summit I was left with some amazing ideas that I want to pursue, alongside a long list of individuals added to my network. I was extremely pleased to be able to meet even a handful of delegates and ambassadors recently in London. We went to Pergola Paddington then to The Union, where we spent time getting to know one another and discuss our interests. I highly recommend playing two truths one lie if you're trying to get to know someone! We all had crazy stories to tell and pearls of wisdom to pass on to one another. I hope to meet some of the delegates who couldn't make it down to London for this occasion, and we plan to regularly meet and go over the workshop topics that were featured in the summit.
The next two summits will be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2022, and Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2023. I am keen to attend future summits to get the chance to experience the summit in person and without miss corona.
Interested in becoming a delegate?
For anyone considering applying to be a delegate, DO IT! It will change your life, and give you a sea of connections that you can rely on for life.
The School of Management and Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences will be opening delegation applications for Tokyo 2022 in mid-September.
Please do not hesitate to contact me or my fellow delegate and co-chair Clemence Levoir on LinkedIn or over email if you would like to know more about One Young World or any other advice you would like about activism/extracurricular activities.
The next One Young World Bath caucus will take place on campus on Sunday 20 March 2022.