If you’ve read my preview post, you’ll know a little bit about One Young World, and the event we attended in Bath on Saturday. If not, I can explain a bit!
One Young World is a global meeting of young people, that challenges, encourages and inspires them to think about the problems and issues facing the world, and how to solve them. Last year it was held in Ottawa, Canada, and two students from the University of Bath were lucky enough to attend. After attending, they became ambassadors for the project, and in that role organised the event we’ve just attended in Bath. The event is perhaps best described as a satellite to the global event. It operated on the same premise, bringing in interesting and inspiring speakers for the attendees. One of its main purposes however was to encourage attendance of this year’s event in Bogota Columbia. Before talking about that, it’s worth reflecting on the event itself.
Tom Rowledge, Lisa Harris and I were invited to attend by one of the speakers, Flo Broderick. Flo is an ex-Southampton student working in the big data area of Telefonica, and was lucky enough to attend and present at One Young World 2016 herself. We took an early train and then a lovely stroll up Bathwick hill to the event, which was held on the Uni campus.
— Lisa Harris (@lisaharris) March 25, 2017
Everyone was massively friendly and welcoming, helping us to register and guiding us to our first talk. This was given by Professor Hugh Lauder who spoke about the global nature of employment, particularly for young people. Simultaneously one of the most interesting and troubling points he made was that 50% of young people are under-employed for the level of qualification they have. This shows there is still plenty of work to be done to allow young people to flourish, not only achieving their dreams but also helping and contributing positively to the world.
After this we went to Flo’s talk on Big Data for Social Good. Here, she talked about Telefonica’s work in using the massive amount of data they have, to aid in disaster response and socio-economic research, whilst focusing on world goals laid down by the UN. This talk was hugely interesting, and resonated with my Web Science interest. I was fascinated to learn about something I had no idea was going on, and was keen to talk to Flo to understand why this research and work was not talked about more. This led nicely into a plenary on sustainable and ethical business, and whether this was possible. The conversation was fantastic, and far too diverse to summarise here but I was left with the very clear feeling good business was not only possible, was happening almost everywhere already.
During the lunch period, it was great to talk more to Flo, learning about her work, talking about what we are working on at Southampton, and if there had been any changes since she was there! After lunch we attended a very topical and moving talk on the Extremely Together movement organised by the Kofi Annan Foundation, which aims to help young people contact violent extremism.
The event was then really well summarised by Charlie Oliver of One Young World. Here, Charlie spoke more about the event, showing highlights, previews for Columbia and videos documenting the amazing work that some of delegates have and are achieving. This was incredibly inspiring, and made me very keen to attend the event in Columbia. To see the massive power of such a gathering of diverse young people from all of the world was incredible, and this was just on video! I came away with a real sense of inspiration for what One Young World does, and what it can help achieve. Charlie spoke about this generation being “aware of the hand we’ve been dealt”. I do not believe it is beneficial to dwell on the negatives here, but he used this really nice to explain why One Young World is as important as it is. Whether there is an opportunity for anyone from Southampton to attend remains to be seen, but one thing is certain; it would be an amazing and beneficial experience if they could.
The event was both fantastic in itself, and fantastic for those who have the opportunity to attend the event in Columbia. I have no doubt I will be reflecting on what I heard there over the Easter break, and the talk from Flo might even have helped me form my dissertation question! Thanks for reading guys, and have a great Easter.