The One Young World Summit returned to the spotlight at the end of September and saw thousands of young individuals taking in a heap of intriguing discussions and detailed insights.
The large annual event took place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 in the Canadian capital of Ottawa and once again featured an array of talks on how young people can approach, tackle and potentially resolve the issues plaguing the world. A range of areas were covered, including environmental matters, the refugee crisis and extremism.
OYWS has become known for its impact on the world community and the inspirational message it delivers to young people. According to an effectiveness report from 2014, 85 percent of event attendees were inspired to found an initiative while 89 percent gained a new skill, insight or practice that improved their own work.
One of the biggest facets of the event is its ambassador community which draws upon young individuals from around the world to represent their respective countries. At the conclusion of each yearly summit, this community adds further members to its alumni.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, actress-turned-U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and U.S. actress and singer Cher were some of the major guests at the summit this year. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended the event, living up to his additional role as Canada’s minister of intergovernmental affairs and youth.
Trudeau encouraged the young attendees to seize opportunities as future world leaders. “Your generation is politically engaged, educated, innovative, inclusive and progressive,” the prime minister said. “You need to harness that potential to make the world a better place and I know that every person here tonight is committed to doing just that in one way or another.”
The event itself was not only an expansive campaign for peace and the solving of world issues but also a celebration of diversity as speakers from around the world stepped up to the stage to deliver their insights and ideas as well as display their own cultures.
Thoughts now turn to the One Young World Summit for 2017 — the bidding process involves the selection of possible host countries that are culturally vibrant and youthful in spirit.