Mícheál Gallagher was a first time One Young World Delegate in 2013 (Johannesburg, South Africa). This year he is one of the Host City Ambassadors and part of the volunteering team that is hoping to help make your stay in Dublin as enjoyable and memorable as possible.
We are now officially counting down the hours until the One Young World community arrives in Dublin. I already know first-hand, from being a delegate in Johannesburg last year, that the Summit will leave a lasting impact on Ireland’s capital city. So take a minute from packing your bags and read my top 5 tips for making the most of your One Young World Summit experience.
1. Get up and speak from Day 1!
At the Summit you will hear and be heard from “Counsellors” of incredible talent and proven success. From Nobel Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus to former Irish President Mary Robinson, there are plenty of incredible leaders to learn from and to inspire you. After each session there will be occasions for you to ask the Counsellors questions and I’d highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity. Get going from day one and speak to whoever is involved in an issue you’re passionate about. Once you get up and speak, you’ll find dozens of other delegates interested in getting in contact with you, who are working on issues similar to your own in other countries. You'll soon find out that One Young World is about thinking about global impact while acting locally to make positive change.
2. Business cards and LinkedIn:
I remember last year being a bit taken aback by the fact that everyone wants to know who you are, what you’re doing and how they can contact you. The easiest way of doing this is by exchanging a business card that has your contact details and also a web address of your Twitter/LinkedIn. Furthermore, you need to remember to follow up on your conversations, otherwise the business cards aren’t much good to you and you’re pointlessly collecting little pieces of paper. Also Dublin is the European, Middle East and African Head Quarters of LinkedIn and it would be a wise move for you to cultivate your profile in advance of the One Young World Summit, it will help you connect meaningfully with delegates from around the world who can help you achieve the change you want to see in your community. I was recently given help and advice in improving my own LinkedIn profile, so feel free to have a look at mine for an example of where to start.
3. Building your network and creating change:
If I were to set the required reading list for before you attend the One Young World Summit I would definitely include Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone. Ferrazzi’s book is a compelling read which demystifies networking and sets out a solid plan that you can implement to create your “coalition for change”. If I were to recommend a book for immediately after the conference I’d recommend John Kotter’s Leading Change. Kotter is seen as an authority on change management and leadership and his practical steps can help you implement change in your home community. Maybe download an eBook or grab one from you library to help make that long flight to Ireland fly by.
4. Don’t forget the basics:
Okay I’ll speed through this point. Make sure you’ve packed everything (double check to see if you have your tooth brush and cell phone charger!). Set two alarms in the morning (jet-lag comes out of no where!). Bring a notebook to the conference centre (even if you are relying on technology, bring an old school back up pen and paper). Last but not least, make sure you plan for rain and bring suitable clothes! As I type this we’re experiencing sunny 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit), but just last Wednesday, we had scenes of heavy rain so bring a coat/umbrella.
5. Enjoy Dublin!
You’re spending a week in one of the European Union’s youngest cities, with 40% of the population under the age of 30. It’s swiftly becoming one of the biggest tech hubs in Europe. The people are unbelievably friendly and ready to extend to you a traditional Irish “céad míle fáilte” (literally translating to “a hundred thousand welcomes”). It’s a city where world famous writers such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett drew their inspiration. It’s an island that has a world famous peace process, with communities that less than 20 years ago turned away from armed conflict and towards respecting differences. It’s a country that in the last six years has gone from being an economic bailout to the fastest growing economy in the European Union. As a delegate, you have every reason to be excited about visiting this city. Let me assure you Dublin’s natives are looking forward to welcoming One Young World attendees from every country and hearing your stories!