One Young World Leadership Summit Brings Decision Makers of the Future Together

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Image from One Young World

The world's bright lights will be in London this weekend for the One Young World Summit. It's the first youth leadership summit, and will be bringing together 1500 leaders, all under the age of 25, from 192 countries. If we don't get some great new ideas out of this lot, then we really have problems.

They will be discussing issues such as the environment, interfaith dialogue, the role of global business, the media and global health. Leading experts and world figures such as Bob Geldof, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Kofi Annan will be there to make presentations.

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Image from I. Andrews

The idea is that they will address some of the world's most pressing global issues, both in workshop and plenary sessions. They will be led by counsellors: people who are older (!) and have some expertise. These include senior businessmen, politicians (Senator John Kerry), entrepreneurs (Burt's Bees CEO John Replogle) and media people.

The delegates are an amazing cross-section of young people from across the world. Their stories and experiences and participation are inspirational and uplifting. This new young generation really might change things.

The delegates are sponsored because they are coming from afar. Burt's Bees is one of the sponsors; they are funding ten delegates from Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea and the UK to attend the summit. These lucky delegates will be invited to advise on the company's future policies on sustainability and social responsibility during 2010.

TreeHugger spoke to Iris Andrews, one of the UK delegates. Iris has been involved in environmental initiatives for years, having worked at Peace One Day, Greenpeace, the European Summit and a number of climate change related projects.

We asked her what she expected from the conference. She was looking forward to meeting the other delegates, who are such an inspiring group. She is going with an open mind and looking forward to hearing the amazing speakers and participating in the drafting of resolutions.

Iris was in Copenhagen for the recent climate conference. When asked about her views on that summit, she said that she started out doubful about the prospect of success. Once there she became hopeful, with the election of President Obama and then she was devastated at the outcome. However she feels that there is momentum building and that there were some very positive messages that came out of Copenhagen. It was a big step forward that all of the countries' leaders came to the table and that all the issues were taken so seriously by all the major governments.

Iris is looking forward to the ongoing relationship with Burt's Bees which will be another interesting feather in her cap.

All One Young World sessions will be streamed online and available through real-time updates at their website.

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