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technologyHow One Young World Is Preparing Young Leaders in the Digital Era

How One Young World Is Preparing Young Leaders in the Digital Era

In the heart of today’s globally connected and digitally driven planet, One Young World is an essential incubator for nurturing budding leaders tasked with the formidable challenge of steering civilization toward a more sustainable and equitable future. This organization isn’t merely a platform; it is a vibrant, global community where the leaders of tomorrow converge to spark change.

One of the ways One Young World stays plugged into inspiring today’s youth is through technology.

“Being youth-driven has always meant that One Young World has had digital DNA,” says Ella Robertson McKay, One Young World’s managing director. “In 2010 and 2011, in the early days of social media activism, some of the first-ever speakers were leading social media movements in Colombia and also in Egypt during the Arab Spring. Now social media and activism go hand in hand, but then it was groundbreaking. These days, we run really significant online campaigns with a variety of partners and a lot of our content is around how you can use digital innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems.”

One Young World identifies, promotes, and connects some of the world’s most impactful up-and-comers with a mission to forge a better world through more responsible and effective leadership.

Robertson McKay recalls a recent exchange with Ethan Waisberg, a winner at The Young Entrepreneurs Challenge; part of the winner’s package was a place at the One Young World Summit in Montreal.

“[Ethan’s] company is called AngioGenius and essentially, it’s using artificial intelligence to massively reduce the cost of health care for your eyes,” Robertson McKay says. Eye diagnostics typically involve two types of photographs that can be taken of the eye. These retinal photos can identify eye diseases and other abnormalities.

“From a simple photograph, the type you can take with your iPhone, the AI builds out the resolution to allow full diagnostics that you would only be able to do with very expensive eye photography, which many developing countries don’t have the facilities to do.”

Robertson McKay adds that One Young World is focusing on developing more trailblazers like this one.

“We are trying our best to identify young leaders like that, pair them with funding where possible, pair them with mentors, and also give them a platform to share this really exciting story about innovation in eye care so that they can be supported effectively,” Robertson McKay says.

The annual summit is the highlight of this movement, an event where the brightest blossoming talent from over 190 countries gathers to accelerate social impact. Vice describes the summit as “the world’s biggest and most impactful youth leadership summit,” a sentiment echoed by influential figures like the Duchess of Sussex, who took the stage at One Young World’s Manchester, England, summit in 2022 to discuss how these attendees are “the future,” and “the ones driving the positive and necessary change needed across the globe now in this very moment.”

Zurich, London, Pittsburgh, and Bogota, Colombia, are just a few other locations where the summit has been held.

Meghan was invited to be a counselor in 2014 before becoming the Duchess of Sussex in 2018. As a counselor, the fearless actress turned activist inspired delegates striving for positive change — who she said were much like herself.

The process of becoming a delegate at the One Young World Summit is highly competitive, accepting individuals who have demonstrated leadership ability and a tangible impact in their communities. Diversity is crucial to One Young World’s mission, and it brings together a rich tapestry of voices and experiences.

Over 50,000 applications are received annually. The selected delegates then become part of a global network of One Young World ambassadors dedicated to making a difference in their communities.

One Young World’s 2022 impact report states that over 1,845 delegates participated in the Manchester summit. There were 250 speakers, with 160 in-person and 90 contributing digitally.

One Young World Offers a Platform for Seasoned Activists

For enterprising One Young World ambassadors, there are opportunities of a lifetime to leverage. Deloitte, a multinational professional services network, stands out for its collaborative efforts with One Young World, particularly through programs like the Lead2030, the world’s biggest prize fund for young leaders making an impact for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This partnership is part of Deloitte’s WorldClass initiative to impact 50 million lives through education, skills development, and access to opportunity, which aligns perfectly with One Young World’s ethos. Deloitte’s Lead2030 Challenge specifically targets the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education, seeking to prepare young people for the digital era through skills development, entrepreneurship, and improved access to education​.

These initiatives underscore a crucial acknowledgment: As digital literacy and skills increasingly become the currency of success, conduits for creativity like One Young World are essential.

They offer young leaders a stage to voice their ideas and solutions and equip them with the tools, networks, and resources to implement these solutions effectively. Through programs like the Lead2030 Challenge, One Young World and its partners are directly contributing to preparing next-gen movers and shakers for the challenges and opportunities of the digital era.

Participants leave the summit inspired and armed with actionable insights and a robust network to catalyze global change. The community’s influence is tangible, with the One Young World 2022 Impact Report revealing that ambassadors have directly impacted over 5.7 million people, contributing to a collective impact on 41.5 million lives since 2010.

Another key facet of One Young World’s progressive digital push is inclusion and authenticity — something that could easily be lost in an era of filters and quick-fix apps.

“If you go on TikTok many, young people are talking about living with neurodiversity such as ADHD or autism, whereas even five years ago, that was probably quite taboo,” Robertson McKay says. “At One Young World, we celebrate young people embracing intersectional identities. Rather than just inclusive, we want to be really encouraging of everyone to bring them their true selves.”

Robertson McKay reiterates how the entity’s approach to shaping leaders is also a product of its potent partnerships.

“We are very good at helping young grassroots changemakers work with big business to make things happen,” she shares.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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