By Helen Parker, Telefónica’s Head of Social Innovation
From the 18th to 22nd November, a Telefónica delegation of 33 young people were submerged in a once in a lifetime experience at the One Young World Summit in Bangkok. Selected from across Telefónica and our social and digital entrepreneurship programmes through their passion, ideas and proven track record in creating positive change, they joined 1,300 like-minded young leaders from 196 countries.
One Young World (OYW) is the preeminent global forum for young leaders aged 18-30 and gathers the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections and develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues’.
OYW Counsellors and luminaries have included the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Mary Robinson, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson and President Clinton. Their role is to help guide delegates during the summit, delivering inspirational plenary and breakout sessions. Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefónica UK fulfilled the role of an OYW Counsellor for the second year running. He was key in driving the message of ethical business and consumer buying power in the Global Business plenary session and led a Telefónica special session which debated the components of digital life. This session kick-started a global conversation before the publication of the Telefónica Index on Digital Life in early 2016.
Telefónica has been a partner of OYW since 2011 as a result of our shared belief in supporting young people. Our collective vision is to help the younger generation to tackle some of the world’s toughest issues by starting small, and thinking big. We actively advocate the use of networks and technology to gain greater impact. Since 2011, Telefónica has supported 172 OYW delegates.
The event is intended to act as a springboard for innovative and creative thinking, helping to shape young people into champions of change. Telefónica is able to extend the reach to within our own business and through our Think Big and Wayra programmes.
Our 2015 delegation had representation from the UK, Spain and Germany, as well as those from further afield in Columbia, Peru and Venezuela. And a number of our delegates were on the official agenda in a participatory capacity;
Delegate Speaker Alexander Lange from TEF Germany who was spoke about the role of technology in helping to tackle the global refugee crisis.
From the 196 flags, three of our delegates were flag bearers and the opening ceremony and one proudly wore national dress. Camilo Mendez Parra, Colombia, Eduard Korostelev, Germany and Sarai Hassell, Panama
The following delegates filmed their demands to their leaders on climate change, ahead of the 21st Conference of the Parties, held in Paris from the 30th of November.
Inspiring the 2015 delegation in what can be achieved in a year, Hayden Taylor from the UK Think Big programme was selected in the Corporate Ambassadors in Action session.
The task now is for these young people to take the inspiration of this experience and turn it into action through projects inside and outside of Telefonica. This positive change using digital thinking and technology directly supports our 20:20 vision and will help lead momentum to when OYW goes to Latin America for the first time for the 2017 Bogota Summit.
Watch this space for updates on our delegate’s projects.