Bangkok November 2015 was my highlight of the year. A city of smiles, culture and bustling trade hosted the pre-eminent global forum for young leaders, One Young World. From stepping foot off the plane into Bangkok Airport, I could already sense that this was going to be an event to remember. I was immediately taken aback by the physical presence of One Young World. You could really tell something big was about to take place in Bangkok, from the beautifully designed posters everywhere to the astounding welcome party of One Young World volunteers. This made me realize the magnitude of the event and the 4 days that followed lived up to the months of hype in the build up to the Summit.
Looking back I can certainly say that I had the fabulous opportunity to be in the midst of the most valuable young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward thinking organizations. The format and dynamic nature of the Summit enabled us to debate, formulate and learn from each other; and it did not stop at just the Summit in Bangkok. I was able to build lasting connections and continue the momentum into the One Young World London Ambassador community. Here I was able to tap into expertise of like-minded individuals who offered a different set of skills to mine and great insights from their experience. The most valuable result we got from being part of the Ambassador community was insights into how we can strengthen the partnership between One Young World and Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters provides professionals with the intelligence, technology and human expertise they need to find trusted answers. Less than 12 months from Bangkok, I hope you can see how we have managed to do just that in Ottawa.
I am thrilled that this year the One Young World Summit is taking place in Ottawa, Canada. The last 12 months have shone a light on Canada as a model country from their warm acceptances of refugees to trying to make amends with events from their own past. Just last week while I was doing my final preparations for Ottawa, I came across a very moving speech by none other than the Canadian Prime Minster himself, Justin Trudeau. During his first U.N. speech he said something that I believe is the underlying mantra of One Young World: “In Canada, we see diversity as a source of strength, not weakness. Our country is strong not in spite of our differences but because of them. Every single day we need to choose hope over fear, diversity over division.”
This year I am privileged to return to the Summit, as an Ambassador not only for One Young World but also Thomson Reuters and the icing on the cake as the flag bearer for the UK. I hope I can shine as an example of the rich diversity that the UK has to offer. I am really looking forward to rekindling the connections that I made last year, catching up to learn how we have all progressed from last year. If there were to be three reasons as to what brings me back now and in the years to come: first, the opportunity to learn from the greatest minds and world leaders. Second, the Summit is a source of many ideas where I can learn how to be even more effective. Finally, the wealth of networks enabling you to connect to the right people to help put ideas into action. Research shows that appropriate connectivity can have positive impact on performance, innovation and learning. As a final point; I’d love to hear what brings you to Ottawa?
Dulal Rahman is a One Young World Returning Ambassador representing the UK. He is a Manager of Talent & Development – Technology at Thomson Reuters.