The news from Zurich is that Joburg will host One Young World (OYW) in 2013. “We’re thrilled, delighted, ecstatic!” said Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC), who attended the final event of the 2011 Summit in Zurich, where the announcement was made on Saturday evening. “JTC’s Conference and Events Bureau team has put in so much effort over the past few months, bidding for OYW, and we are so excited to be bringing this high-profile event to Joburg in two years’ time.”
One Young World (OYW)* is a dynamic global platform for young leaders making a substantial difference and tangible impact in their communities. Its purpose is to connect and bring together the youngest, brightest, and best minds the world over, to ensure that their concerns, opinions, and solutions are heard. While the first OYW Summit was held in London in 2010, this year more than 1,200 young leaders from over 170 counties attended the event in Zurich from September 1-4, 2011.
“Clinching the event for Johannesburg and Africa is important on so many levels,” said Kwele. “Africa is the continent which has the largest proportion (20%) of youth – as a demographic component of population – and it would be significant to host this event on a continent which so many young people call home and which offers so many opportunities and challenges. As the African continent’s most accessible hub and vibrant business locations, Joburg makes sense as an appropriate destination to inspire youthful leadership, networking, and brainstorming solutions to issues across the spectrum – from healthcare, development, finance, and business – to social issues and politics.”
WHY ONE YOUNG WORLD (OYW) IS DIFFERENT
“What differentiates One Young World from other youth summits is that young leaders are making real-time, tangible change the world over and being recognized for their efforts. Young people from all walks of life are leveraging the power of their networks – educational institutions, government, the corporate world, religious organizations, NGOs, and the corporate world, governments and esteemed global leaders are behind their efforts and solutions,” said Catherine Peter, Africa Director for OYW.
Peter elaborated: “What One Young World really is, is a brilliant network of extraordinary shared accountability, a rare and unique platform to engage the world’s youth on what matters now, and what will matter the most tomorrow. This ‘millennial’ generation or the ‘age of authenticity’ will, through hard work, commitment, and building relationships, make our world a better place, and it’s about time we let them.”
As a city, Joburg is a youthful one – with 42% of the population under 24 and 49% under the age of 34 – making for a vibrant, energetic, and enterprising community. In keeping with this demographic, South Africa’s commitment to youth development is significant, demonstrated by a host of youth development initiatives supported by both the public and the private sector. From a national perspective, South Africa boasts youth participation and representation in parliament, while at a city level, Johannesburg has community-based youth advisory centers managed from the Mayor’s Office.
“The opportunity to host One Young World in Johannesburg will provide us with the platform to share ideas on the importance of developing youth into future leaders, learning from both developing and developed countries,” continued Kwele. “Johannesburg Convention and Events Bureau, a division of Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC), is facilitating the bidding process, working alongside relevant partners and stakeholders to ensure a successful One Young World Summit in 2013.”
Johannesburg Tourism is a member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).
ONE YOUNG WORLD AND AFRICA
AngloGold Ashanti and the University of the Witwatersrand have joined 87 of Fortune Magazine’s top 500 global company listings to support aspiring young leaders from all walks of life in their endeavors to build a better future as One Young World delegates.
One Young World is a global forum for young people of leadership caliber. Its purpose is to connect and bring together the youngest and brightest and to ensure that their concerns, opinions, and solutions are heard and taken into account by those in power whether in government, business, or any other sector. Since the first summit in London in 2010, 823 under-25s from 114 countries have been making real on-the-ground impacts in global business, media, environment, interfaith dialogue, global health, and political leadership development, reducing poverty in the most innovative ways, making the future brighter.
One Young World projects have been presented at the United Nations dealing with these 6 prominent issues, and many world leaders, including former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, as well as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, have engaged with One Young World ambassadors and their projects offering instrumental insight and wisdom to them.
One outstanding project by South African Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh engages student leaders from universities across Africa in championing the African Renaissance, building on the historic influence of students who have been responsible for some of the world’s great paradigm shifts. Another, featured in June’s UK Vanity Fair magazine, saw Nigerian, South African, and Russian One Young World ambassadors present with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at UN Headquarters on conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue in achieving some of the world’s greatest development targets including the Millennium Development Goals. Others are engaging their corporate leaders in changing the way business is done, to better reflect the authenticity demands of our generation and urgent need to address climate change.
*One Young World Background and History
The One Young World Inaugural Summit was held in London on February 8 to 10, 2010 and drew 823 young leaders from 112 countries. The summit focused on 6 key resolutions developed in response to the most pressing issues in the world today, as identified as by the One Young World Global Consultation Process, a poll of over 15,000 respondents aged 18-27 years old, from 34 countries in every continent on the planet. The resolutions were the focus of the summit’s plenary sessions where counselors, such as Kofi Annan, Bob Geldof, Muhammad Yunus, and Desmond Tutu, facilitated debate and dialogue between the delegate speakers and their audience. The resolutions are as follows:
1) Our political leaders to make clear their stance on humanitarian issues before we consider our support for them.
2) Global businesses to define and act on their role in the fight against poverty.
3) Leaders and followers of all faiths to unequivocally commit to deliver peace among nations, races, and creeds.
4) The media to use its influence and power to help protect truth and personal freedom.
5) Governments to take more deliberate, legislative action to help guarantee that appropriate carbon emissions reduction targets are both agreed and met by 2020.
6) Businesses, governments, and civil society to work together more effectively to prioritize spreading information about and providing access to good healthcare and nutrition.
The Second Annual One Young World Summit was be held in Zurich, Switzerland on September 1-4, 2011. Signed up were a number of distinguished counselors including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof, and Muhammad Yunus, who were all instrumental in the inaugural event. These world figures will be working to promote the event, and other high-profile counselors Mo Ibrahim and Fatima Bhutto will join them in 2012, with more being announced over the coming months.