Giving Back, Topic of the Day, Topics|August 19, 2011 1:05 pm

Joburg Prepares to host the ‘Young World’

One Young World could be in Joburg

2012 could be a landmark year in Johannesburg for yet another reason. The city of gold has been shortlisted to host next year’s One Young World Summit. After beating out competition from leading cities in Australia, China, South Africa, Peru, the Gulf States and the United States, only Pittsburgh, USA and Johannesburg, South Africa remain as the finalists. The winning city will be announced on Saturday 3 September at the Closing Ceremony of the One Young World 2011 Summit in Zurich.
If you’re not sure what exactly the One Young world Summit is, that’s alright. The inaugural event was held last year in London and aims to bring together the youth of the world to debate and find solutions to critical issues facing today’s society. What makes it different from other youth leadership summits is the amount of access the delegates have to powerful global leaders and media institutions.

Still passionate

This year’s event will host none other than our own Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who, after attending last year’s summit, was delighted to attend this year’s event despite his retirement from public life.
Tutu said: “I was inspired by the energy, ideas and dynamism of the wonderful young people I met at One Young World in London last year and I am delighted to be attending the second gathering of these exceptional individuals in Zurich this year.”
Tutu will join other leading figures, including economist Muhammad Yunus, Sir Bob Geldof, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Fatima Bhutto to act as counsellors to One Young World ambassadors as they address some of the world’s most pressing issues.
Also attending this year’s summit is Wael Ghonim, the Google executive credited with spearheading Egypt’s revolution, and Oscar Morales, the creator of the One Million Voices against Farc Facebook campaign. Ghonim and Morales will draw attention specifically to the role of social media and internet technology in driving revolutionary change.

Take a look at some of South Africa’s delegates to Zurich!

A captive audience

More than 180 countries have sent delegates under the age of 25 to take part in the summit and this year South Africa has around 30 delegates attending, compared with around 20 from the whole of Africa last year.
Since the 2010 summit the One Young World ambassadors have been effecting change on a global level – including the presentation of The Missing Millennium Development Goal (interfaith dialogue) to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon and launching the first African student leaders summit as well as more than 100 environmental and education projects around the world.
Joburg’s bid is being handled by the convention and events bureau at the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC) who say the bid is important to the city and would be a major milestone.
“Clinching the bid for 2012 is important for Johannesburg on so many levels,” says the JTC’s chief executive officer, Lindiwe Kwele. “Africa is the continent with the largest proportion of youth and it would be significant to host this event on a continent which so many young people call home and which offers so many opportunities and challenges.

Sir Bob Geldof will be back in 2011

“As the African continent’s most accessible hub and vibrant business location, Joburg makes sense as an appropriate destination to inspire youthful leadership, networking and brainstorming solutions to issues across the spectrum – from health care, development, finance and business to social issues and politics.”

Kate Robertson, One Young World co-founder and UK Group Chairman of Euro RSCG, said, “The bids from both Pittsburgh and Johannesburg were exceptional. They showed an unhesitating commitment to the ethos of One Young World in championing young people and the vision to create a formidable event in 2012.”

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