How to get the most out of the One Young World Summit

Congratulations on being accepted to One Young World conference!

As you attend this high-profile event, you will expand your network with world-class Millennials who just like you are driven to make the impact in careers and social causes.


All of a sudden, you will realize that when young people from 190 countries are in one room, we all get similar challenges that we strive to solve.

How do we work on the jobs we adore while we maintain the work-life balance? How do we make institutions in our countries accountable for improving employment conditions, reforming our education systems, bringing peace in the community or solving issues related to climate change or migrant crisis? 

With this awareness, we can share good practices, collaborate together and lift each other even when the event ends. Even when we continue to talk and work together online until the next live reunion.

I had the opportunity to attend One Young World three times and the tips I provide to you below are the result of interacting and contributing to the community over dozen global projects and the time span of three years.


In Johannesburg 2013 I was a Delegate representing the youth of Serbia thanks to a global crowd funding campaign.

Then, in Dublin I attended OYW as a Coordinating Ambassador for Europe 3 region after organizing the fully-sponsored Caucus for OYW Delegates at EXIT Festival in Serbia with colleagues from MUNPlanet community. 


Finally, my third attendance at One Young World happened after a 10-month long City Bid to bring OYW to Belgrade, the booming city for Millennial entrepreneurs who love affordable luxury of the co-working spaces, city restaurants, cafes,  compelling history and alluring night clubs.

During One Young World City bid campaign in London, Belgrade and with Millennial leaders across 30 city landmarks on all continents my team and I have learned to unite around three compelling causes: to show hospitality towards Millennials interested in visiting exotic destinations, to run an incredibly demanding global project with 20 event management criteria to comply with, to mobilize academic, business and institutional stakeholders not only from the region, but also internationally. 


All of this journey of me from a Delegate to a project manager would not have been possible if I had not harnessed the power of my internal resources and capacities of my peer group.

So, read below to achieve the same or even more as you are getting ready for the next One Young Summit.

1) If you lack resources, become resourceful.

Many times in my life I adhered to the saying, ‘‘If you do not fit in, it is because you were born to stick out.’’ As you aspire to be a young leader, you may fall into the trap that the world owns you something or that you should be provided more resources, perks and freebies. However, the economic laws and people psychology do not work like that.

You get to earn and receive goods, salaries, help and any other material or intangible resources in proportion to the value you provide. So, every day find a way to improve at least a little bit in the field you are contributing or build a system to help more people and you will receive more in return.

On average Millennial generation travels business wise 4.7 times per year and for leisure 4.2 times per year. As a lucrative, well-informed market we have spent around USD 200 billion per year on travel, amounting to approximately one fifth of all travellers (22%).

Therefore, we know what we want in the You Economy that focuses on collecting experiences, not things. And we find ways to reach our goals of going places and connecting with our peers.

Thus, if you  require the complete sponsorship for a conference or to cover remaining expenses read on this One Young World fundraising guide and The Ultimate Guide - How To Find Money For Your Education, Conferences and Internships Abroad which I wrote down as initiated by colleagues of Hey Success and World Merit. So far I have fundraised over USD 45.000 for my international education and I encourage you to take the first step and build your knowledge daily. 


2) Prepare for the event with agenda and social media.

Join the conversations on One Young World Facebook groups and Twitter with interesting insights. You may want to connect in advance with people who share the same interests like you. ‘‘Hi, who among you is an environmental activist with a focus on water management?’’ ‘‘Hello, are there any entrepreneurs who also work on education projects?’’ These can be some of your opening lines.

Beware that the conference agenda is fully packed, literally every minute from the morning to the evening you will hear different people and notice the difference in your energy level. Figure out what sessions in the agenda you do not want to miss and make sure you are earlier on time so as to experience the show and inspiration from front rows.

3) Network in a meaningful way and keep recharging yourself.

Making friends at One Young World is as equally exciting as the conference itself. Take advantage of the coffee breaks and meals to connect with people beyond your region or the entrepreneurs and activists you might have known before.

You will get tons of insights about what makes your peers fired up, how it is to live in their part of the world and if you can create something together. At OYW like in other high-profile events, people very often attend with a goal in their mind, but you can be the one who knows how to listen to others, asks meaningful questions and deeply cares about their stories.

In case you feel jet-lagged or tired, make sure to take a short break and rest. Even a 30-minute nap will perk you up and keep you on your tiptoes with wonder what next it’s going to happen.


4) Once you come back home, follow up and keep hustling on your dreams.  

We are the creatures of habits so three days of powerful talks with brightest senior leaders (One Young World Councellors) and your peers will fade away unless you continue to hustle on your dreams day-to-day when you come back home.

Follow up with new friends over social media and keep updating each other on new initiatives you are building. When you need partners for the new projects, you travel to a new country, or you want to make a reunion somewhere across our globe, tap into the power of the network you built.

Just remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’’ Good luck in all your endeavors.

Milena Milicevic is a One Young World Returning Ambassador. Milena’s current projects focus on helping companies and Millennials in the 4th Industrial Revolution through three streams: business development in ICT sector, international education and event management.