Discover the 5 Plenary Themes headlining the #OYW2019 Agenda

Each year, One Young World consults with the One Young World Ambassador Community, via the Global Consultation Process, to determine which topics, issues and key questions are addressed during the main Plenary Sessions of the next Summit. We're pleased to share the results of that process, which define the Plenary Session topics for the One Young World Summit 2019 in London.

Each of the five Plenary Sessions contains five speeches made by Delegate Speakers. Delegate Speakers are introduced by a Counsellor - previous Counsellors have included Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Head of Amnesty International Kumi Naidoo, Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Actor Emma Watson and social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus. Applications to become a Delegate Speaker are set to open in June 2019. 

Below are the Plenary Session topics for the One Young World Summit 2019 in London. 

 

This year’s Education Plenary Session will address the question: “Does the future of learning need to be reimagined?” 

From electric cars to smartphone apps, many everyday features of modern life would have been inconceivable to most classroom professionals when they were school students themselves.

The world is evolving so fast that the school curriculum often struggles to keep up. Digital native schoolchildren can be bewildered by classroom teaching methods that shun the online resources at their fingertips.

SDG 4 pledges to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all. But how much quality exists in lessons that are stuck in the past?

Instead of learning about environmental sustainability, changing demographics, and the potential of artificial intelligence, children around the world learn from textbooks that would have been familiar to their parents and grandparents.

One Young World Ambassadors have utilised online tools and innovative teaching methods to impact 108,150 students, including child refugees in Malaysia and Myanmar. Our projects have taught 30,000 students and 200 school teachers how to code.

What more can young leaders do to ensure education systems evolve with our changing world?

 

Our Planetary Health Plenary Session is themed: “Planetary Health; how is climate change endangering our health?”

Air pollution is killing 7 million a year and harming billions more.

Not only is it fuelling climate change and destroying planetary health, but it is also creating a public health “time bomb”. Until we stop poisoning the planet, we will continue to make humans ill.

Nine out of ten of the world’s children are breathing toxic air, the World Health Organisation revealed last October. The WHO study found that 600,000 children were dying annually from a respiratory infection.

Urbanisation is exacerbating the problem. Unesco predicts that by 2030 5 billion people (61% of the world’s population) will live in cities. This migration is being increased by climate change, which is having a profound impact on human health.

From direct effects caused by floods, droughts, and heatwaves through to indirect effects such as bad harvests and poor water quality, climate change is a major contributor to heart and lung disease, malnutrition and mental illness.

Among the One Young World community, 76% believe this generation will leave the planet in a better state than it is currently. Our Ambassador projects tackle air pollution in Africa, through the use of smokeless briquettes for cooking, to maintaining clean and sustainable water supplies in rural Peru. Schemes have educated 1,674,953,868 on environmental sustainability and impacted 1,342,595 people in getting access to physical and mental health services.

Can young leaders find new ways to protect people from illness by first curing our stricken planet?

 

The subject of our Media Freedom Plenary Session is: “Media Freedom; how can we protect the truth?”

The news is in crisis. While the Internet has provided the digital native generation with unprecedented opportunities for communication, it has also unleashed a tsunami of fake news and propaganda.

The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report of 2018, found that 54% of people agree or strongly agree that they are concerned about what is real and fake on the Internet. This figure rises to 85% in Brazil, 69% in Spain and 64% in the US. Fewer than a quarter (23%) of respondents globally said they trusted the news they found on social media.

More journalists are being killed, with 94 media workers dying in targeted killings, bomb attacks and crossfire during 2018, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

One Young World Ambassador projects are fighting back for freedom of speech. Noorjahan Akbar’s Free Women Writers scheme in Afghanistan provides a platform for 130 contributors and over 100,000 monthly readers. Saeed Atcha’s Xplode magazine project has given media skills to 2,500 schoolchildren aged 10-11 and supported 90 children in creating their own magazines. Nyus Alfred created the Sporte Avis platform for young sports journalists in the Eastern Caribbean.

How can young leaders create new models for online news that we can trust?

 

Our Poverty Alleviation Plenary Session is titled: “Can innovation solve economic inequality?"

The global economy is projected to grow by 3.5% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, while the number of people officially living in poverty has tumbled to a record low of 655m, around 9% of the world’s population.

Despite this, the World Bank believes that the United Nations sustainable development goal of eradicating poverty by 2030 is unlikely to be met. The UN set the target in 2015 but the World Bank warned in December that 480m - 6% of the global population - will still be living on less than $1.90 a day when the deadline arrives.

Yet while many go without, the rich get richer. By 2030 the richest 1% of the world’s population will control almost two-thirds (64%) of global wealth, according to research conducted by the British House of Commons released last year. Their combined assets are set to rise from $140 trillion in 2018 to $305 trillion 12 years later.

One Young World Ambassador initiatives have given employability and entrepreneurial skills training to 652,500 students. Our projects have helped 202,970 people to overcome poverty and giving access to affordable energy, clean water and sanitation.

How can young entrepreneurs ensure a more sustainable and inclusive path to economic growth that benefits the poor as well as the wealth creators themselves?

 

Peaceful Future will be addressed in a Plenary Session headed: “In a polarised world, how can we build peace?"

“There is an ongoing deterioration in global peace,” said Steve Killelea, head of the Institute for Economics and Peace on the publication of its 2018 Global Peace Index, which found that conflicts have increased in the past decade. It recorded a deterioration in peace in six of the nine regions of the world and in 92 countries. Terrorism and internal conflict were the biggest threats to peace.

Climate change is destabilising communities, fuelling poverty and conflict. The rise of social media has seen a surge in hate speech and intolerance. The FBI reported a 17% rise in hate crimes in the United States in 2017, the third consecutive year of increase.

One Young World Ambassador projects have educated and engaged 207,774 people in peacebuilding projects. Almost two-thirds of Ambassadors actively lead change in their communities to bring about lasting peace and justice. One Young World co-founded Extremely Together, a unique initiative in which young leaders enable their peers to tackle extremism of all kinds.

What is the role of young people in tackling intolerance and building a peaceful future?

 


The One Young World 2019 Summit takes place between 22 - 25 October. The global forum is back in its place of origin, London. Here's more on how to attend.