Power of words

We waste most of our time reading bad news in print, listen to bad news in television, however, incredible stories also take place in the world and sometimes it seems like we don't get to hear about them. Those stories are the ones that come to One Young World.

Thanks to their commitment these young leaders have towards the most critical challenges the world faces, they are achieving positive impact in their communities to make them better day by day. That’s a big deal! But there is more.

Simply by sharing their stories at the main stage of this kind of event, to the audience of leaders, someone in the opposite side of the world can get inspired and come up with solution for his own problem. The power of a great story share then becomes twofold: they have their own effect as well as the exponential one. And that’s what I want you to remember. 

We, as people, as entrepreneurs, as companies, have the power not only to create social change but to create hope. So we must act taking into account this double commitment.

Through the next days, we will hear again calm and vast words from Kofi Annan; revolutionary ones from Sir Bob Geldof; solid recommendations of Muhammad Yunus, but also words of the professional storyteller, the one who decided to make words her daily routine, Fatima Bhutto.

The story of Bhutto is especially encouraging. Being a poet, writer and activist, loosing her father, uncle and aunt in assassination, she knows very well what it was like to grow up in Pakistan’s famous political dynasty. Her memories in Songs of Blood and Sword as well as her fiction books remind us that violence was never very far away.

Bhutto came to One Young World in 2012 and challenged us to find out the good and the bad about women inside and outside the power; reminded us how wars make countries go back by ten years in terms of education, just like what happened at Syria, where she went to school. She told us about the importance of the small steps needed to fight against the 25 million children who will never see the inside of a classroom in their entire life. Being in the middle of one of the worst “European crisis” ever, she encouraged us to not forget that the real “crisis” is the one who the refugees and their families are facing. “I’m hopeful that, in the end, there will be justice”.

This is how all networks work. We share moments and thoughts, we learn, get inspired, act, fail, and try again. And we come back to share the results. Therefore, I expect each One Young World to be the same place of hope. A great story. The story of our future.

Maria Ramiro is a returning OYW delegate with passion in connecting storytelling with social change from her early adolescence. Examples of her projects include initiating video series for Oxfam Intermon, which raised donations and gave a place in the daily news to unique social projects that organizations like Oxfam are doing.