1200 young leaders – plus a couple of young-ish journalists – are all in Pittsburg for the 2012 One Young World Summit, where the likes of Jamie Oliver, (Sir) Bob Geldof, Joss Stone, Kofi Annan and Obama’s most popular hype man at the moment former US President Bill Clinton are due to speak and address those attending the 3 day event. It’s been dubbed “Young Davos” because it represents the biggest gathering – apart from the Olympics and the UN – of young minds from all over the world, coming together to share ideas about how to create positive change in the world.
Just glancing through the list of panels and delegates attending, it’s clear that this Summit has brought in heavy-hitters to help inspire the next crop of future leaders. From cricketer Imran Khan to musician Joss Stone and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, to actor and creator of Peace One Day Jeremy Gilley, as well as Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales.
Bill Clinton will kick off proceedings tonight with a keynote address, after which Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver are expected to take the podium. On Sunday, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will speak to the delegates about the role of young people in international relations.
Yunus, Oliver and Annan are just three of the well-known names, each respected figures in their fields, that are part of the One Young World counsellors, a network of some of the most enterprising and inspiring minds around, who are chosen to inspire and guide those attending the summit.
The organizers stress that the motivation behind the event is about what happens after the summit – what kinds of tangible changes are the attendees creating? So, for example, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has been taken up by the Pittsburgh ambassadors and will be rolling out here. The chef, who gets asked to join a number of organizations, says this is one of the most exciting things about One Young World: “To imagine what changes can come from this in 5, 10, 15 years from now. We’re only just getting started.”