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Shannon Spero

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One Young World, One Big Experience

Posted: 10/26/2012 11:29 am

This week I returned to work after One Young World 2012 and as cliché as it may sound, it feels different than it did before I left.

One Young World is an annual summit that brings young people from around the world together to discuss, debate and work towards solutions on global issues. One important note is that these global issues are determined by the young attendants (the Delegates) as opposed to being dictated to us. This gives a real sense of the issues that are most important to our generation.

After three and a half days of being around world leaders, past presidents, international business power houses, Nobel Peace Prize winners and of course my inspirational peers, it is hard to put into words what this experience gave me, but of course I will try. I was touched and amazed by the people who so selflessly give their time and energy to better someone else's -- and most often a stranger's -- life. I could have listened to stories from Mark and Spencer or Josie, Ceri and Emmah for days.

As I left OYW Monday morning, I had a clear vision of what this summit will mean for me. After the Plenary Sessions, Special Speakers, Speeches, Breakouts and exploring the city of Pittsburgh, I returned home with clear words of wisdom ingrained. The below are the four most important messages from One Young World as they relate to me.

'You can be an entrepreneur within an organization' - Greg Kyle-Langley

Greg was a returning Delegate this year, and spoke during the Leadership and Governance Plenary Session. His message is strong. I think many of us view being an entrepreneur as starting our own companies, but I left OYW knowing I can be a powerful leader and agent of change at my own company. It is possible to create and start new initiatives that can help both the company and our local communities, and taking on the role of an entrepreneur no matter where we work or where we are in our careers.

'Use the skills you have' - Joss Stone & Jeremy Gilley

There is no magic skill needed to make a change. One of the most encouraging ideas from OYW was that the skill you hone, no matter how grand in nature, is enough to make a difference. Joss Stone is a singer/songwriter and is one of the few (maybe only) Counselors that could also be a Delegate. Joss Stone uses her voice to make a difference. We also saw this from Jeremy Gilley, creator of Peace One Day. Peace One Day was founded in 1999 as a vehicle to raise awareness of the International Peace Day. When he knew the message he wanted to spread, he used his talent as a filmmaker spread it.

"In life it is often the things you don't do that you regret more than the things you do do and you fail at." - Carole Stone

In the business world, as a networker and as a woman looking to make a difference, it is sometimes too easy to shy away and to let opportunities pass. Dubbed the 'Queen of Networking,' Carole Stone is an author and broadcaster, and spent 27 years with the BBC. Carole advises that it is always better to make an attempt and be snubbed instead of not trying at all. I know this is something I can and will use every day for the rest of my life in personal and business situations.

'We have to give ourselves permission to succeed and move forward' - Jessica Jackley

This message from Kiva.Org co-founder really ties all of the above together. Kiva is the world's first p2p microlending website, and Jessica is truly a visionary. Throughout the OYW Summit there was constant synergy, the discussions of education related to human rights and to employment. Health debates related to human rights which related to the food revolution and to business ethics and so on and so forth. For me personally, I find synergy in Jessica's words. You can have the best idea, and be ready to talk to the right people and to make it all happen, but first you must give yourself the permission to succeed. It will be impossible to carry out the ideas that come from One Young World unless we are totally convinced that we have the power within us to be successful and make our dreams a reality.

I can't imagine a day that one of the many lessons of One Young World doesn't affect me. I am beyond excited to bring my idea(s) to life and to make a change in the lives of the people in our community and within our organization. Stay tuned Havas Discovery -- good things are coming.

This post first appeared on the Havas Discovery blog.

 
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