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One Young World Summit Opens in Munich

World leaders to address a global audience of 500 young leaders in person, and 800 virtually from more than 190 countries 

The annual One Young World Summit (@OneYoungWorld) opens in Munich today, with Nobel Peace laureates, heads of state, campaigners, and business pioneers due to address a global audience of young leaders.

One Young World is the global forum for young leaders. Its mission is to create a better world, with more responsible and effective leadership by identifying, promoting, and connecting the world’s most impactful young leaders. Its annual Summit convenes the brightest young talent from every country and sector, working to accelerate social impact. 

A renowned hub of culture and heritage, Munich is at the forefront of innovation, business and world-class research. Over the course of this week, more than 1,300 young leaders from over 190 countries will gather in person and virtually alongside influential political, business and humanitarian leaders, including Sir Bob Geldof, President Mary Robinson, Cher, Dr Tedros, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Halima Aden, Ilka Hortsmeier and David Hasslehoff.

The annual Summit was due to take place in 2020 but has been delayed due to the global health pandemic. This year, it will be a mixture of physical attendance in Munich and virtual participation for the safety of delegates whilst ensuring every country in the world is represented. 

This year’s Summit takes place at a critical time, not least given the impact of a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected the younger generation, with one in six 18–29-year-olds globally losing their jobs.

It coincides with a rising activist movement of young leaders, from social media activism to engineering global protests, the world’s youth are challenging those in leadership to tackle issues such as climate change, the environment, inclusion, human rights and global injustices.

The opening ceremony and main stage content will take place at the Olympic venue the Olympiahalle, with the legacy of this iconic venue recognised with key addresses from Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee and the Governor of Tokyo just as the Olympic games begin in Japan. The Closing Ceremony will take place at BMW Welt. 

Since launching in 2009, One Young World has built a network of over 12,000 Ambassadors – young leaders whose work has impacted 30.4 million people worldwide.        

All content at the Summit is shaped by the six Plenary Sessions from keynotes to panels. The topics are decided through the Global Consultation Process involving the 12,000 + Ambassador Community. Key themes for Munich 2021 include:

  • The Climate Crisis: Less Than 10 Years To Go, Can We Deliver The Paris Agreement?
  • Conflict Resolution: Authoritarianism Is On The Rise; How Can We De-Escalate Tensions?
  • Covid–19: Lessons From The Pandemic – The Road To Recovery
  • Education: How Can We Prepare For The 4th Industrial Revolution?
  • Future Economies: How Can Economic Growth Be More Just?
  • Rights and Freedoms: How Can We Defend Rights Online and Offline?

Kate Robertson and David Jones, Co-Founders, One Young World said: 

“Whenever there are big challenges the one thing the world looks for is leadership. We have seen this throughout the pandemic, with every single person in every country looking to their government for help and support and that is why the work of One Young World in identifying and promoting young leaders throughout the world has never mattered more.”

“The agenda for this year’s Summit was chosen by our community of 12,000 Ambassadors from over 190 countries, and it reflects the issues that really matter to young people worldwide – from climate change to human rights and freedoms to healthy equity to addressing conflict globally.

“We launched One Young World to ensure that young leaders have a bigger seat at the table and in One Young World they have a platform that strengthens their mandate to succeed” 

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