Keep up the momentum

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Mbali and Elje are both One Young World Ambassadors from South Africa.

On Saturday, 15 November 2014, a group of young socially minded and inspired individuals gathered at Investec Bank to discuss ways of effecting positive social change in South Africa. Inspired by the words of Sir Bob Geldof “The world doesn’t need another youth conference, what it needs is change” we the One Young World Ambassadors from Investec approached our Executive Leadership with a proposal to host a One Young World SA Caucus at Investec.

The event brought together One Young World Ambassadors and young people from all walks of life. The day was filled with networking, sharing activities and inspiring talks from speakers such as Investec CEO Stephen Koseff who spoke about leadership, and how we as young leaders can take up meaningful leadership roles. Referencing Simon Sinek’s “Start with why”, Ciaran Whelan and Ryan Tholet, who lead the Investec Private Bank business encouraged the young leaders in attendance to understand why they exist, because its only when an individual has a clear understanding of their “why” will they be able to live their truth, obtain buy-in, and make meaningful change in society. 

Brand South Africa Chief Financial Officer Alice Puoane spoke to us about the role the organization plays in creating a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa. Catherine Peter, Development Director of One Young World, together with Rumwell Mabundza, Investec One Young World Ambassador, provided expert facilitation throughout the course of the day, and stimulated participation resulting in rich and meaningful dialogue.

It was clear from the start of the day that individuals were eager to engage in dialogue around some of the challenges facing South Africa, but even more eager to get their hands dirty and find ways of addressing them. The breakaway discussions provided the opportunity for individuals to share ideas and form strategic partnerships that will allow for the leveraging of expertise, resources and greater impact. We look forward to hearing all about the various initiatives as they unfold, and to realising positive change within our lifetime.

Forums that create the platform for people to come together and discuss ways of improving society are encouraged by One Young World. We do not need to wait until the next Summit for such an opportunity, after all it was Kofi Annan who encouraged us to “start our own journeys, organise ourselves and make a difference”. Below is some advice on how to go about organising such an event.

Connect
Many hands and minds are always better than one. It’s better to partner with individuals who share your vision and can contribute in a meaningful way to the success of the event. The One Young World team can provide guidance on the elements that should be considered when planning such an event. They can additionally market the initiative by contacting One Young World Ambassadors and encouraging them to attend.

If you are working in a team it’s very important to keep each other updated on progress made. This will help you ensure that you’re aligned at all times, and that all details are finalised ahead of the event.

Plan
It’s important that you plan in advance in order to identify and execute all important elements that will make the day a success. Here’s a list of elements to consider as part of your planning:

Confirm your budget 
It’s important to know how much money you will need for the event and where the money will come from because this will influence all other elements of the event such as its scale and location.  
Find and secure a venue: find a venue that can accommodate the number of people your budget has made provision for. Ensure that you secure it timeously to avoid disappointment.   
Identify and confirm speakers: if you will be inviting speakers it’s important that you inform them of the purpose of the event and the desired objectives ahead of time. This will give them sufficient time to plan accordingly. Availability of speakers may have a significant impact on the agenda of the day, therefore be flexible around making changes to the agenda if required.

Send out invitations
Once all your details have been confirmed send out the invitations.  The One Young World team can assist with contacting One Young World Ambassadors, it’s therefore essential that you partner with them on your event. Be sure to include as much information relating to the day as possible, this will provide those interested in attending with a clear understanding of what the initiative aims to achieve, and what will be required of them should they commit to attending.

Tracking of RSVPs
​Once invitations have been sent out it’s important to keep track of the individuals who have committed to attending as this may influence other details such as the venue size and costs. People may require additional information or clarity on details, therefore ensure that you are available to answer queries leading up to the day

Finalising details
Finalise all catering, seating, décor, equipment etc. that will be needed on the day. A few days before the event send all individuals who have committed to attending an email confirming their attendance. It’s additionally important that you inform your speakers of the number of people that will be in attendance, and provide final confirmation of the day’s events.   

Execute
On the day of the event ensure that there is a designated individual that will welcome and provide direction to the guests as they arrive. You’ll additionally need a facilitator during the session, who help will stimulate meaningful conversation, encourage collaboration and crosspollination of ideas, provide structure, and ensure that time is well managed.

Ultimately the buck stops with the individuals in the room, encourage them to form strategic partnerships and leverage each other’s strengths and networks, because collective efforts go much further than individual ones. 

Investec One Young Ambassadors: Mbali Maseko, Rumwell Mabundza, Elje Van Deventer, Lettie Matthews, Refilwe Makgala, Dean Benjamin, Imraan Khan, Kholofelo Mojatau.