This article originally appeared in the Cayman Compass on June 19, 2016.
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Local business leaders gathered at Government House Thursday to learn about a special international summit on the topic of sustainable finance that will bring hundreds of the world’s brightest young people to the Cayman Islands in November.
The One Young World Sustainable Finance Expert Event will take place at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman from Nov. 16 to 18, 2016.
The expert event is an offshoot of the renowned One Young World annual conference, which is often referred to as a “young Davos.” The event is supported by numerous world leaders who often appear as speakers. Sir Richard Branson, Kofi Annan, Bob Geldof and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus are just some of the famous names who frequently appear on One Young World’s stages.
The aim of the event is to develop young leaders, ages 18 to 30, to develop solutions to urgent global issues.
“The founders of One Young World felt that the problems of the world can all be solved – there’s not a lack of solutions. What we have at the moment is a serious lack of leadership, and a lot of the crises around the world could be solved if we had strong leaders,” One Young World International managing director Ella Robertson said.
“They felt that empowering today’s generation to be stronger voices, to be more ethical, to be more socially conscious and aware of those in need than the generations that have gone before is probably the most important thing that we could do for the future,” she added.
The sustainable finance expert event, the first One Young World summit to focus exclusively on this topic, will bring 500 young world leaders to Cayman to hear from financial experts from political, business and academic spheres.
Experts and conference delegates will discuss issues such as innovations in microfinance, transitioning to a green economy, reforming public service delivery through social impact bonds, the role of young leaders in solving the youth unemployment crisis, and incorporating environmental, social and governance issues into investment analysis.
“We are fundamentally a pro-big business movement,” Ms. Robertson said. “We want to make sure that people feel that … if they’re going to be the CEO of a big bank, they can still make a really significant amount of positive change in the world as well.”
Local young leaders, sponsored by local businesses, will also attend the event, and a few scholarships will be offered to bright young people from the Cayman Islands.
Event organizers hope that local businesses will support the event, both as sponsors – with the opportunity to have their brands shown at the One Young World summit in Ottawa in September – and as hosts of breakout sessions during the November conference.
“Worldwide, all the top companies, blue chip companies, are all involved in some way, shape or form,” said Chris Duggan, vice president and head of community development at Dart Enterprises. “For us in Cayman to have this opportunity to bring this global brand here for some of our local companies to partner with … alongside some of the largest companies in the world, I think it’s a great opportunity, not just for the Cayman Islands, but for all these companies here.”
Dart was instrumental in bringing the One Young World event to the Cayman Islands through discussions with One Young World co-founder David Jones, who was a guest speaker at Dart’s Alternative Investment Summit in February.
“They’re doing amazing things worldwide and we have a passion for youth development,” Mr. Duggan said. “It’s tomorrow’s generation that will be changing the world and the sustainability of our islands is reliant on tomorrow’s generation … that’s why we got involved, and similarly, I would encourage companies to get involved for exactly the same reason. It’s about not only developing their existing staff into leaders of the future for their companies, but also promoting leadership development throughout the island.”
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