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My Upcoming Trip to South Africa to Attend One Young World

World Flags at One Young World         One Young World is an annual summit where around 1,300 young leaders from 190 countries gather to discuss the most pressing global issues and to develop new solutions to these issues. It was created in 2009 to address a gap. Most of the world’s politicians are a whole generation older than us and won’t actually be around to deal with the future consequences of their policies. Our generation is the one who’ll be left to clean up their mess, so this summit was created to give 18 to 30-year-olds a voice and to engage the leaders of the future in solving these issues as soon as possible.

No youth-dominated event outside the Olympic Games brings together more countries than One Young World.

          And the good news is that this October 2013 I’ll be attending the summit! It’ll be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from the 2nd-6th October and I’ve won a competition at work to attend as part of the 11-person delegation that my company are sending. It’s a fantastic opportunity for all involved, and while I am one of the 4 delegates that are on my particular graduate scheme at the company, 7 interns and apprentices from around Europe were selected as well. There were 140 applications for only 11 places so I feel very fortunate to have been selected! The first round of the competition involved writing various articles and replying to questions such as ‘What’s your elevator pitch as to why we should choose you?‘, ‘How will you make use of this opportunity?‘ and ‘In relation to a global issue of your choice, (I chose Social Development) tell us why this interests you?‘ I decided to write my main article on the subject of climate change, discussing the failure of the Kyoto Protocol and proposing and analysing alternative solutions.

Did you know that the majority of the Maldives will be flooded and uninhabitable by 2100, and that the USA, while having only 4.5% of the world’s population, actually produce 16.4% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

         The USA are yet to sign and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which is ultimately why certain developing countries have failed to achieve their CO2 reduction targets, as they see the system as unfair. I won’t give you the whole 1,000-word article here, but if it’s later published on the blog that my company’s delegates from last year have set up, then I’ll let you know.

         Having got through to the second round, I and 40 others of the original 140 applicants each had to produce a 2-minute video demonstrating why we want to attend One Young World, which you can find below. Thanks are due to my sister for acting as cameraman!

         It was certainly a stretching and cumbersome application process, so I’m ecstatic to have been chosen to attend, and I cannot wait to get stuck in and meet the other 2,000 attendees from across the globe. Previous years’ summits have had an illustrious line-up of speakers, including Bill Clinton, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Prince Haakon of Norway and Bob Geldof, so I can’t wait to find out who will be there to inspire us this year.

Blue One Young World Flag

        The summit will be held in Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, a country I’ve never been to before but which I studied at school. After 7 days in Johannesburg (or Jo’burg as it’s called) for the summit, and after catching up with a French friend of mine who happens to be living there, I and some of the delegates are going to head south-west to the famous Cape Town, about which I’ve heard a lot! Here are some snippets: Table Mountain, penguins, dolphins, whales, wine estates, white-sand beaches, cage diving with sharks…

         Lots of planning to do! If you’re going to One Young World or know someone who is then please do get in touch as it’d be great to find out who else is going! You can now take a look at my delegate profile on the One Young World website.

         Interested in finding out more? Check out the One Young World website and follow them on Twitter at @OneYoungWorld

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