I have been really fortunate to attend three One Young World Summits – Johannesburg, 2013, Dublin, 2014 and Bangkok 2015. I’ll be proudly returning this year to Ottawa as the Coordinating Ambassador for London & the South East for the past two years.
Being part of One Young World is a life-changing experience.
The Summit is a massive opportunity in so many ways – as a learning opportunity, you will hear from speakers that have levels of knowledge and experience that are hard to discover elsewhere; as an opportunity to network, you have the chance to meet people from 196 different countries, from leading multinationals, NGOs and governmental organisations.
It’s also an opportunity to be uniquely inspired by your peers and I don’t mean just the people you see on stage.
With all that in mind, here a few tips to help you make the most of the opportunity.
- Work out who you want to speak to! 1,300 delegates will attend One Young World, you can’t speak to all of them. Find a balance between meeting people that will help you learn more about the world, with people that you can collaborate with or learn from to deliver initiatives you are working on.
- Research the Plenary Sessions and speakers that interest you the most. This will make you better placed to get the most out of the Summit content.
- Keep in touch with your sponsor (and/or manager if you’re coming from a corporate) – make sure they know how great an experience One Young World is and what you have learned – especially in terms of what is relevant to your day to day back home.
- Added to that, put the One Young World 2015 highlights video in your Out Of Office automatic reply and let the person trying to contact you know that they can watch the Summit live here as well as listen to daily wrap-up shows on the One Young World Ambassador Podcast – available on iTunes and SoundCloud.
- This is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. Put yourself in the best position possible to sustain your energy levels through the 3.5 days of the Summit, they are long days – eat well and be as well rested as you can.
- Engage on social media – before, during and after. You can do this as a “listener” – follow what others are saying; and be a contributor. One Young World will be covering the Summit live on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. You’ll be able to find great images on Flickr after the Summit.
- Brief yourself on logistics before you leave. Ask yourself basic questions like – where is my hotel? Where is my hotel in relation to the Summit venue? How will I get there? Who am I room sharing with? Don’t waste time working this out when you arrive. You could be doing something more valuable with your time.
As I say, One Young World is amazing experience. We are incredibly lucky to be attending the Ottawa Summit.
Few are as fortunate. For example today, 286M young people live in working poverty.
Let’s do ourselves and our generation justice.