2015 has been an exciting year for the One Young World community. Join us in reflecting on some of this year’s top moments:
[[[image 6- small right]]]Six One Young World Ambassadors were recently awarded the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Queen’s Young Leaders are recognised for taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives. We congratulate Ambassador recipients including PJ Cole, Kellyn George, Nondumiso Hlophe, Karuna Rana, Alain Nteff, Jean d'Amour Mutoni and Mallah Tabot.
[[[image 7- small right]]] Ambassador Yeonmi Park released her book ‘In Order to Live’ this year. The book is published by Penguin and details her journey to freedom. Yeonmi’s harrowing and moving story has drawn international attention, with the Guardian describing her as “the human face of North Korea’s oppressed.”
8. Reaching milestones in Iraq’s LGBT movement
[[[image 9- small right]]] In the past year, Ambassador Amir pioneered an LGBT rights movement in the Iraq and Kurdistan region through founding IraQueer. IraQueer is an online platform for the region’s LGBT community to unite and bring awareness to the harsh violations directly imposed upon them by their government. Amir has been public about his activism, frequently speaking out on the topic at conferences such as TEDxUKH in Iraq, Harvard and MIT universities in the United States, Lund and Umeå gay pride events in Sweden and the Stockholm Internet Forum. Amir’s work represents a milestone for the LGBT movement in Iraq as the topic was nearly invisible just months ago.
[[[image 10- small right]]] In this year’s Google Impact Challenge France, two One Young World Ambassadors were in the running for their respective projects: Julien Ancele for 1001fontaines and Ludovic de Gromard for Y Generation Education. With the help of Julien’s leadership 1001fontaines was selected as a winner of the Google Impact Challenge France 2015. This award brings with it a €500,000 grant which will help the organisation bring clean drinking water to 1 million people by 2020. 1001fontaines has currently enabled 96 entrepreneurs to locally produce clean drinking water for 180,000 beneficiaries in Cambodia, Madagascar and India.
6. Rising Star Programme
[[[image 4- small right]]] This year saw through the competition that is sending one lucky young leader to space. The trip into space is just the beginning. Applicants were offered the chance to connect with the world’s leading influencers and a 3 year contract with talent agency and competition partner Kruger Cowne. Out of 90 talented applicants, One Young World Ambassador Hussain Manawer won the competition after a compelling speech at the 2015 Summit in Bangkok and will be the first British Muslim to be sent into space.
[[[image 12- small right]]] Father Mussie Zerai was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with migrants and refugees. A large part of his work revolves around taking migrants’ calls from satellite phones and then communicating GPS coordinates and basic information to coast guards in Italy and Malta as well as EU naval authorities so that rescues can be launched. Over the last 15 years, he has become a one-man crisis call centre for the Mediterranean as his mobile number spread across the detention centres and refugee camps of North Africa. He now fields calls from as far away as Yemen and Indonesia.
[[[image 13- small right]]]In an exciting announcement made earlier this year, it was revealed that Bogotá, Colombia will host the 2017 Summit and The Hague, Netherlands will host in 2018. Colombia will be the first country in Latin America to host the Summit before the baton is passed to the Netherlands for the 2018 Summit. One Young World has also launched an additional series of in-depth Summit each with a focused theme. The One Young World Environment Summit has been announced to take place on 19 - 21 May 2016 at the University of Arizona Biosphere 2 in Tucson, Arizona.
[[[image 11- small right]]] We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Conference & Incentive Travel award for International Conference of the Year, for the second year in a row with our coordinating partners, Conference Partners. Entries in the category were at a record number of almost 150 impressive entries, among them were brands including Bupa, Deloitte, John Lewis, Mazda, Twitter, Wella, Primark and Google.
2. Call on COP
[[[image 8- small right]]] One Young World Ambassadors from every country participated in the most global action on climate change this year. Both young leaders and global luminaries alike called on their leaders to sign and be committed to the Paris COP21 agreement as Counsellors such as Kofi Annan, Sir Bob Geldof, Mary Robinson, Paul Polman and Ronan Dunne raised their voices on the topic alongside Ambassadors.
[[[image 2- small right]]] A particular highlight for us was the 2015 Summit in Bangkok, attended by 1,300 young leaders from 196 countries. The Summit hosted an undeniable air of excitement and young leaders made major commitments from committing to reshape gender norms to standing united in the face of terrorism. From the spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Royal Palace where Counsellors such as Kofi Annan, Sir Bob Geldof and Muhammad Yunus brought the house down, to the many standing ovations that Delegate Speakers garnered, the Summit was a smashing success. Thank you to everyone who helped make 2015 so memorable for us!