Members of the LBS community reflect on their summit experiences
Ten representatives from London Business School (LBS) recently attended One Young World’s (OYW) 10th annual summit in Westminster, where 2,000+ young leaders, all committed to bringing about positive change in the world, came together. The attendees came from over 190 countries and took part in four transformative days of speeches, panel debates and workshops.
LBS’s delegation, all of whom were selected as part of a competitive application process, included two current Early Careers students and three recent Early Careers graduates as well as two LBS staff members. Three young leaders from Kosovo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, and chosen from thousands of scholarship applicants, joined them. LBS’s Early Careers team, together with the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development, funded these three places.
The Wheeler Institute for Business and Development builds awareness about the unique role business can play to improve the lives of the world’s most disadvantaged communities. It aims to improve lives through identifying what needs to change and applying relevant business insights.
All 10 delegates were chosen for their leadership qualities and commitment to the role business can play in bringing about positive social impact.
Also attending the One Young World Summit was Faheem Ahmed (MBA2020), who took part as a member of the Johnson & Johnson delegation and Yannick Lakoue Derant (MiM2016), who attended via One Young World’s Leading Africa Scholarship and represented the Central African Republic.
After attending the One Young World summit, delegates return home and develop existing initiatives or spearhead new ventures, with the aim of bringing about positive change in their community and beyond.
The summit also saw the launch of the One Young World and London Business School Scholarship, which will fund a high-achieving young person to attend one of LBS’s Early Careers programmes in the 2020/21 academic year. The scholarship will be awarded on a needs and merit basis to a member of the One Young World network who embodies the principles of both organisations.
Below, LBS's delegates provide their initial reflections on the One Young World summit.
Raleigh Chuang (MiM2019)
“The four days were buzzing with so much positive energy and new ideas that challenged my thinking, and being able to meet delegates with the same mindset to exchange these ideas was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. My personal conclusion aligns with what Richard Branson said: ‘We need to create more space for inclusion.’"
Nikita Dhesikan (MiM2019)
"Prior to the conference, the world of social impact seemed dauntingly large and unclear. I now understand the way the world becomes a better place is by 'normal people' taking a stand to impact things that matter to them. Humanity is pushed forward because of these actions, no matter how small they are, and the extent of the collective impact is enormous."
Yang Huang (MiM2019)
"I definitely enjoyed OYW and collected so much encouragement, energy and inspiration from it. In particular, I was impressed how Feike Sijbesma, Chairman of DSM, and Vismay Sharma, L'Oreal UK Country Managing Director, described the relationship of making profits and creating social impact. They believe that to contribute to a better society and to make money is equally important.
"Moving forward, I will devote myself to promoting the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in the company I work for and try to become part of the solution to a more sustainable society by making responsible decisions.”
Aseem Jain (MiM2020)
"One Young World was a great learning experience. A summit, which had people from 196+ countries, was definitely exhilarating. The summit had some great speeches from delegates, renowned business people and Nobel Laureates.
"J.K. Rowling talked of an organisation she started called helpingnothelping.org in partnership with LUMOS. The aim of the organisation is to create awareness that 80% of children living in orphanages have a living parent and that we as a society must discourage this."
Prasannajeet Mane (MAM2020)
“I loved connecting with fellow delegates coming from every corner of the world; the most rewarding part was listening to their remarkable stories about how they are contributing tirelessly to the realisation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
"In particular, Bob Geldof's speech was unforgettable and moving! The passion and the rigour with which he delivered his address indeed ‘sent us into battles’ - battles to create a better world, with more responsible, more effective leadership.”
Ana Djú, Recruitment and Admissions Officer, Early Career Programmes
“I have come (away from One Young World) feeling like there are endless possibilities to create impactful change locally and globally. All over the world, young leaders are creating spaces and innovative ideas that impact hundreds of people, even if we are not aware. More than ever, I know that change starts with me and I have the power to continue to change lives. The summit was definitely the highlight of my year.”
Paola Bethmage, MIF Programme Manager, Degree Education & Career Centre
"'Don’t change yourself, change the game'. This piece of advice, from UNICEF Ambassador and model Halima Aden, sums up my One Young World experience.
“The ambience during all four days was truly special and to know that I was in a room filled with people with similar motivations, gave me reassurance that we are all in it together. Whichever Sustainable Development Goal we are working on, we are on the same journey. Attending the One Young World conference with fellow LBS delegates was one of the best experiences of my life.”
Funmilola Awosanya, Founder of Opportunities World, Nigeria
“For me, a couple of talks were particularly memorable. These were the presentations by Dr. Rudiger Recknagel, CEO of Audi, and Muhammed Amersi of the Amersi Foundation, which supports causes relating to education, poverty, conflict and social cohesion.
“Dr Recknagel offered four key tips, learnt from tennis: firstly, never stop being positive and believe in yourself; secondly, don’t stop fighting for success; thirdly, stay focused on your goals; and finally, never stop listening. Muhammed Amersi offered very valuable advice on seeking funding from a potential investor. For example, he emphasised that it’s important to think about your people and your team: yourself, employees, volunteers and co-founders.”
Hysein Damati, Founder & CEO, Education Innovators Kosovo - EIK
“The common cause that we share together as leaders in companies or organisations is that we want to make things different. I want to make things different because, at the end of the day, whether you want to call people entrepreneurs or whether you want to call them changers, I think that we are all optimistic Change Makers in our own way!"
Nomqhele Samantha Siziba, Executive Director of Youth Invest, Zimbabwe
“Attending the One Young World summit in London was my best week in 2019! It was such an honour, but this comes with a great deal of responsibility. I did not just go for myself or to represent Youth Invest. Instead, I went to represent every young person in Zimbabwe. My participation at the One Young World Summit was instrumental in challenging orthodox means of problem solving. It was an opportunity to learn about the various and unique strategies which one can use to help solve issues. The important thing is to demonstrate the possibilities that exist for the youth in Zimbabwe."
Faheem Ahmed (MBA2020)
"My highlight of OYW was participating in a roundtable discussion with ‘The Elders’, chaired by the first female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. We enjoyed a stimulating discussion on the SDGs with global leaders from business, government and civil society. By harnessing the collective skills of highly talented, motivated and influential individuals in a meaningful manner, opportunities such as this at OYW can have a tangible impact for generations to come.
"As a newly inaugurated OYW Ambassador, I join an unparalleled network of young likeminded individuals who, rather than just discussing the world’s problems, seek out practical solutions to positively enact change."
Yannick Lakou Derant MiMPT 2016
“Attending the OYW summit in London was a remarkable experience. OYW stands as a coalition across the globe, wholeheartedly inspired by a universal vision around social development goals and an unswerving commitment to truly make our world a better place…it is down to each and every single one of us to assume a new role beyond our own cluster to drive innovation, inclusiveness and positive change."