One Young World

A Load of Waffle 

Once again I am up late at night. My 2-year old son decided to stay awake ALL day, 8am-11.30pm with no nap. He fights sleep so much. I know my 6 week old will wake up once I decide to try and sleep but I just need that down time, time to think and time to myself regardless of how tired I am.

Even if my eyes are closing whilst I type.

It's a good job university lectures helped me to learn to touch type quickly.  Otherwise this post wouldn't be happening.

Anyway, with the recent saddening and horrific events in the UK; the bombing in my hometown of Manchester and last nights terror attacks in London it caused me to think what more can I do. I then remembered One Young World and thought it is an amazing opportunity to share with my entrepreneurs and mumpreneurs out there.

One Young World

I have been thinking about what more I could do to help and how I really eventually want to be one of those inspirational people who have actually contributed to changing the world, quite significantly. When I think about people like that I think about One Young World.

One Young World absolutely changed my life. 

So I saw a business competition with Barclays that said you can win a trip to OYW in South Africa. I had no idea what OYW was but I saw South Africa and was like I have to win! So I travelled to London, pitched and was one of 6 winners. I was ECSTATIC.

One Young World is a conference for 18-30 year olds trying to create social change in the world. It is like a network of amazing people who WANT to interact to CREATE positive change. It is soooooo refreshing! It's not like a networking event of people selling, it is an event where people actually want to help each other.  The year I went I heard from Ahmed Kathadra, Winnie Mandela, Lily Cole, Bob Geldof, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and so many more influencers as well as delegate speakers with amazing stories. It really made me reconsider how I create more social value and also appreciate life more. South Africa in 2013 made me appreciate:

  • Education - because I read Nelson Mandela's 'Long Walk to Freedom' upon return and watching the news and seeing the stories made me realise how lucky we are in the UK to benefit from free education. Learning that 80% of girls in Malawi (the statistic given in 2013 by a delegate speaker) do not have access to education and the lengths many parents have to go to to make sure their children are educated, I now value it and it's power so much more and will do for my children. 
  • Health - there are so many that struggle for health care and to live due to lack of basic amenities. I found visiting an orphanage for babies and toddlers with signs about how to stop the spread of HIV really upsetting. Thats not something we ever have to consider in that depth in the UK. Of course you see and hear about this on the TV and the internet but actually seeing it first hand really hits home. 

I then attended in 2014. Barclays and One Young World were very accommodating. I took my 8 week old son and he stayed in the hotel with my other half whilst I went off for some inspiration at the conference centre. The main thing I came to value was domestic peace and freedom. Of course we currently have a situation with terrorism in the UK but in comparison to many other countries at civil war and those that are looking for conflict resolution; we are so lucky. There was a plenary session on conflict resolution as being in Ireland, the country that boarders Northern Ireland that had successfully managed to negotiate the Northern Ireland peace process it was an ideal opportunity to help delegates strengthen efforts at conflict resolution in their own countries. Hearing from and seeing so many delegates from countries in conflict was deeply upsetting as well as those that experience human rights abuse. I was in the audience when this amazing speech took place, I am sure you will understand at the end why I felt that way:

Children or no children, One Young World is an AMAZING opportunity and event for any young entrepreneur or intrapreneur. You are immersed in cultural activities of the country and its city. You also get the opportunity to network with CEOs and people in good positions in major companies due to the nature of the event. I done a workshop with Paul Lindley (founder of Ella's Kitchen) and there were only around 15 of us in there. I then managed to talk personally with Ahmed Kathdra and Bob Geldof. I had breakfast with the CEO of Barclays and great conversations with the director of community & CSR at Barclays. The list goes on I am sure you get it. The brands and businesses there are amazing. Some even got to have a meeting with Sir Richard Branson!  It is great networking, an inspiring place to be and made me appreciate my life so much more. It also made me realise that it is our job to help others. I distinctly remember Doug Richard saying:

What gives any business the right not to be a social business

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