By Abigail Slade
From 30 January to 1 February, 20+ One Young World (OYW) Ambassadors attended the annual ChangeNOW Summit in Paris as part of OYW’s Delegation.
The ChangeNOW Summit is the world’s largest gathering of solutions for the planet, bringing together 27,000 participants over the three days from more than 120 countries. This includes a large range of leading innovators & business professionals, decision-making corporates, investors, and city & government officials.
Here are our top five highlights from the event…
1. Innovative young panelists -
We heard from a whole new generation of young changemakers who are already industry leaders in the respective fields. All of the speakers provided a lot of insight and plenty of food for thought, including OYW Ambassador and Founder of Wintegreat, Théo Scubla, who shared his thoughts on refugee integration. Another stand-out speaker was Fiore Longo and her though-provoking discussion on why conservation often oppresses tribal communities (learn more here).
2. Pitch sessions -
The most promising and impactful startups pitched their solutions for the planet to the audience and a top-level jury of investors and experts. We heard from dozens of innovative solutions that are rethinking the current business standards and paving their own paths.
OYW Counsellor Paul Polman gave a keynote speech during the 'Building Global Action' session on the importance of integrating sustainability into business.
3. Exhibition area -
Between stage sessions, there were plenty of exhibition stands to explore. We learned about sustainable clothing initiatives such as Uptrade and Mud Jeans International; ate sustainable and refugee-made food delicacies; and viewed awe-inspiring art installations such as the Esohprometem sculpture designed by the talented Rachel Marks.
4. Intergenerational dialogue -
One of the most special parts of the Summit was watching young leaders at the very beginning of the careers sharing the stage with seasoned social-impact figures. Many of the panels were set-up with this in mind, and panellists were able to bring both energy and experience to every discussion.
5. Ambassador meet-up -
We finished day two with a One Young World Ambassador meet-up. Our lovely group was comprised of Ambassadors from seven different Summits visiting from all over the world, from Belgium to Bangladesh!