Hello, everyone! Our OneYoungWU team has returned to their respective countries (I miss them already!) and I’ve finally been able to process my key takeaways from last week’s summit:
1. “Create the world you want to have”
Microcredit extraordinaire, Muhammad Yunus, led a session on The 3 Zeros in his ideal world – zero poverty, zero unemployment, zero net carbon emission. We do not need to settle with the status quo. We can create a better world. So let’s get creative and each do one thing, it can be small, to create a better world. Collectively, we will have a BIG impact.
2. Don’t let fear dictate your actions.
For many of the delegates, speaking out and sharing their stories was a huge risk to their personal safety. However, their courage and desire to create a better world led them to speak up for what is right. Emma Watson spoke of this during the Gender Equality session she led. When she “came out” as a feminist, she was attacked and threatened on social media. Despite this, she is still uses her influence and voice to keep the discussion on gender equality going.
3. “The Voldermort Effect”
Maajid Nawaz, Founding Chairman of the Quilliam Foundation, led a session titled “In and Out of Extremism.” His point was that we can’t be afraid to have the conversation – no matter how uncomfortable the topic is. When we don’t confront the situation, we can’t come up with a solution.
4. Lessons in Leadership
Thuli Madonsela, Public Protector of South Africa, gave a fantastic speech on leadership where she explained the difference between a victim and a leader. Victims blame the system, the process, and other people. Victims do not create change. Leaders ideate, problem solve, and look for solutions. Leaders are the future. We can’t always prevent something from going wrong, but we can control how we react.
5. Listen More
Several of the sessions ended with Q&A for the delegates to ask the speakers any questions. However, this quickly turned into a forum for people to share their stories and advocate for themselves / the organizations they were representing. While I believe that there is value in this, it took away the opportunity for delegates to ask questions. My key takeaway from this is that we need to listen more. Listening is just as important as being heard. If we’re going to solve the world’s global issues, then we need to understand each other and our different perspectives.
One Young World was an incredible experience! I’m always so amazed by the young leaders we meet, and I’m extremely proud of our business and the OneYoungWU team. WU is making a difference, and it’s important that we remember that recognize and celebrate that.