One Young World

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One Young World
One Young World Logo
Founded 2010
London, England
Type Non-governmental organization
Key people
  • David Jones, Global CEO Havas Worldwide/ Euro RSCG Worldwide, One Young World Co-Founder
  • Kate Robertson, Group Chairman, Euro RSCG, One Young World Co-Founder

One Young World is a UK-based not-for-profit organization that gathers young leaders from around the world to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.[1] One Young World stages annual Summits in different World Cities where delegates from charities, NGOs, corporations and universities are joined by world leaders,[2] acting as One Young World Counsellors. Since inception in 2009 till 2015, One Young World has staged 6 Summits for a total 8,000 delegates between the ages of 18-30 from 196 countries.[3] In 2018, the number of summits reaches 9.


Founded in 2009 by Kate Robertson and David Jones, OYW hosts an annual international summit for ambassadors and speakers to collaborate and debate innovative solutions for global issues. The summit attendees range from corporations, non-profits, and governments and the young individuals they influence to provoke better understanding. Per Robertson, the summit intends to turn well selected delegates into future ambassadors who will be motivated to emerge in leadership positions. "There is a complete disconnect between what people under the age of 30 want and what is being delivered to them. That is the case in many, many instances. It is very important that their voices as leaders are raised and are sufficient noise as to not be ignored."[4] [OFID] is also one of the founding partners of the One Young World summit and every year supports the attendance of young leaders. To date, over 100 talents from developing and underrepresented countries have participated under the auspices of OFID.[5]

Delegate Attendance[edit]

Applicants can apply to attend a Summit either individually or under one of over 500 participant organizations. The applicant can either an employee from within the organization or sponsored by the organization. Should a candidate opt to attend individually, they may attend via scholarship or out of pocket. Delegate fees cover the Delegate's accommodation for the length of the conference, ground transportation and meals. Applicants must submit an application to OYW with typed essay format answer to questions posed on the application form by a certain deadline each year. Chosen applicants will then opt to attend an interview either in person or virtually to become candidates. Individuals attending the summit for the first time are considered Delegates. At the closing ceremony, Delegates graduate to Ambassadors and are afforded the opportunity to join Ambassador networks to continue their independent social and environmental initiative work outside of the Summit.[6]


Opening Ceremony of the 2014 One Young World Conference in Dublin, Ireland

The One Young World Summit, which has been referred to as a “Young Davos,”[7][8] is an arena where delegates discuss global issues and develop solutions "to meet the challenges of the 21st century."[9] Topics are chosen by a survey of former delegates.The Summit is facilitated by Counsellors who have been politicians, activists, chief executive officers, musicians, models and chefs.[10]

Since One Young World’s founding in 2010, there have been six subsequent summits, the first being in London, England, in February 2010.[11] Subsequent summits were held in:

  • Zurich, Switzerland, 2011;
  • Pittsburgh, USA, 2012
  • Johannesburg, South Africa, 2013.
  • Dublin, Ireland, 2014[12]
  • Bangkok, Thailand, 2015[13]
  • Ottawa, Canada, 2016[14]
  • Bogota, Colombia, 2017
  • Hague, Netherlands, 2018[15]

One Young World will be hosted by The Hague for the 2018 Summit.[16]


Kofi Annan[edit]

Kofi Annan at the 2014 One Young World Conference

Kofi Annan has spoken to Delegates at 4 One Young World Summits.[17][18][19] He is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations for 9 years. He was a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize with the UN. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as being the Chairman[20] of The Elders.

Muhammad Yunus[edit]

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize[21] for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. Yunus was a Counsellor at One Young World Summits: 2010 in London, 2011 in Zurich and 2012 in Pittsburgh.[22]

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu[edit]

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid.[23] He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999;[24] and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007. He spoke to Delegates at the One Young World Summits in London[25] and Zurich.[26]

Sir Richard Branson[edit]

Sir Richard Branson is a British businessman and investor. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies. Branson was knighted in the year 2000 for services to entrepreneurship. Branson's philanthropic efforts include pledging to donate over half of his net wealth to charitable causes.[27]

Vicente Fox[edit]

Vicente Fox was President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. His term in office marked the end of 71 years of uninterrupted rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He joined 4 other Latin American Presidents at the One Young World Summit 2014 in Dublin, Ireland to discuss the Telefonica Millennial Survey. He told those in the audience that eradicating corruption ‘has to start with education’ and that his focus is now on promoting leadership.[28]

Meghan Markle[edit]

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex was a Toronto-based American actress who performed the character of Rachel Zane in the 7-year TV Series "Suits." She was a counselor for international charity One Young World and she attended its 2014 and 2016 summits. At the 2014 summit in Dublin, she spoke on the topics of gender equality and modern day slavery.

One Young World Summits[edit]


One Young World 2010
One Young World 2010

The first Summit was held in London on 8–10 February 2010. Topics were environment, interfaith dialogue, global business, media, global health and politics.[29] It drew 823 young people from 112 countries.


The 2012 Summit was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 18–21 October 2012. The plenary topics were education, global business, health, human rights, leadership, sustainable development and transparency.[30] Former President Bill Clinton of the United States was the keynote speaker.[31]

Pittsburgh was the first U.S host city[32] and the first to host smaller breakout sessions for delegates in offsite locations throughout the city.[33][34]

City Nation
Pittsburgh United States
Johannesburg South Africa
Melbourne Australia
Dubai United Arab Emirates


One Young World 2011 announcement

The 2011 Summit was held in Zurich, Switzerland on 2011 September 1–4. It was opened by Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, who spoke on the 2011 massacre in Utoya, Norway, and on his Global Dignity initiative.[35] Plenary topics were global business, media, global health, interfaith dialogue, environment and leadership.[36]

City Nation
Zurich Switzerland
Paris France
Pune India
Cape Town South Africa
Washington D.C. United States
Vienna Austria
Hong Kong China


In 2014 Ottawa, Canada submitted and won the bid to host the 2016 OYW Summit. Planning and staging for the event was a two-year undertaking for the city of Ottawa and supporting organizations. The opening ceremony was held on Parliament Hill on September 28 to an audience of over 1,300 delegates, ambassadors, and world leaders. External breakout sessions were conducted at over 15 sites throughout the city to focus on discussion topics. A unique characteristic of OYW 2016 was the local community's participation in events, hosting delegates in their homes for an evening dinner. The Ottawans hosted a total of 135 dinners.[37]

Plenary Sessions focused on global issues related to Education, Global Business, Health, Human Rights, Peace and Security, the Environment and Indigenous Reconciliation.[37]


In 2017 Bogota presented the OYW 2017 Summit.[38][39] It was the first time when the conference was held in South American region. It was held between October 4 - 7th. In this conference there participated 1,408 delegates who represented 194 countries. 239 of them were provided with scholarships which were worth around £700.000 [40]. Four Nobel Prize Laureates were addressing young people from the stage of Simón Bolívar Plaza. President of Colombia also participated in the conference.


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  2. ^ "Kofi Annan at One Young World Summit in Johannesburg". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  3. ^ "Dublin wins bid to host 'One Young World Annual Summit' in 2014 | Dublin City Council". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
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  5. ^ "One Young World". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
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  14. ^ "Ottawa wins bid for One Young World summit". Ottawa Citizen. 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  15. ^ "Future Summits". One Young World. 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  16. ^ "Seven Hills | One Young World announces Bogota and The Hague as host cities for 2017 and 2018". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  17. ^ One Young World (2014-10-17), Kofi Annan - The One Young World Summit 2014, retrieved 2017-10-05 
  18. ^ "Kofi Annan tells One Young World: 'We must tackle climate change now ' -". Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  19. ^ Kofi Annan Sir Richard Branson others announced as counsellors at One Young World Summit Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "Kofi Annan". The Elders. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
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  24. ^ "1999 Archbishop Desmond Tutu | Sydney Peace Foundation". Sydney Peace Foundation. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
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  33. ^ "One Young World Pittsburgh Partnership". Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "Clinton To Address One Young World in Pittsburgh". [permanent dead link]
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  36. ^ "1,200 Young Leaders Dictate Their Demands For Change at One Young World 2011 -- ZURICH, Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --". 2014-11-12. Archived from the original on 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  37. ^ a b "One Young World – One Amazing Success! - Ottawa Tourism". Ottawa Tourism. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
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  40. ^

External links[edit]