Voices from the One Young World Summit Dublin

One Young World Summit

South African delegates to the One Young World Summit arrive in Dublin, Ireland.

This article was first published on playyourpart.co.za

This year’s One Young World Annual Summit, held in Dublin, Ireland from 15 to 18 October, brought together valuable young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organisations, joined by world leaders, to debate, formulate and share solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.

The 2013 summit, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, attracted 1 250 delegates from 190 countries.

The summit encourages youth to play their part, not only in their communities, but to make a difference globally and learn to understand the problems people face worldwide and develop global solutions to combat these problems.

What is One Young World?

One Young World is a not-for-profit organisation that gathers together the brightest young people from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. It was founded in 2009 by David Jones, Kate Robertson and Havas, its founding corporate partner.

At past summits delegates were joined by an elite line-up of One Young World Counsellors that included Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof, Kofi Annan, Sir Richard Branson, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Jamie Oliver, Jack Dorsey and Arianna Huffington.

After each summit, the delegates, who are then known as One Young World Ambassadors, start their own initiatives or lend the power of the One Young World network to existing initiatives. Of those with jobs, many return to their companies and set about creating change from within, energising their corporate environment.

One Young World Summit

Three of many ambassadors who attended the event this year in Ireland have written about their experience and the learning process after attending the summit.

Geneve Kroutz

The One Young World Summit in Dublin was always going to be inspiring, but this time it did something else. I have had to redefine some significant definitions in my life.

First was poverty. I always believed that poverty was black. I understand the African struggle; it’s been my struggle from before I was even born.

While in Dublin I came across the Famine Sculptures on Custom Quay in Dublin’s Docklands. It represents solidarity with people living in poverty across the globe. It is difficult not to feel the pain and suffering captured by these sculptures.

I now know that it has no sex, religion or colour. Struggles are not limited to my continent or its people. I’ve learned that we are all equal in the face of poverty – black and white. The fight against poverty is long and hard. I don’t know if we will ever win it, but I know that we stand a better chance if we are united.

The second definition was freedom. The special session titled “One Young World Peace and Conflict Resolution: International Insights” was amazing. The panel consisted of delegates from conflict countries including South Sudan, Kashmir, Palestine and Israel. They shared their experiences with conflict and the plight of their people. I am astounded by the fact that despite all the advancements in so many areas, from technology to medicine, we always revert back to the most primitive form of conflict resolution. Picking up a gun and killing someone because they are different from you or have what you want! How outdated!

One of the most heart-wrenching stories was shared by Yeonmi Park. She shared her journey to freedom, how she and her mother escaped from North Korea in 2007. As a child she witnessed many atrocities: one such was seeing her friend’s mother executed in public for watching a foreign movie. Yeonmi even talked about how they were so heavily indoctrinated that they believed that their ruler Kim Jong-il could read their minds. Freedom was not a word she could think or speak.

I have a new appreciation for the freedoms I can exercise in my own life. We no longer live in a country where we fight for our own right for freedom. We live in a country that allows us to do more than merely exist. Freedom is a word we use very loosely on a daily basis. Yeonmi Park reminded me of my freedoms and the responsibility it comes with, but also what a privilege it is in the world today.

The One Young World summit in Dublin changed the way I view the world. I hope to “be the change I want to see”, because it is my responsibility as a young leader and a citizen of the earth.

Phila Bongo

In the midst of routine work commitments, the summit date approaches, sponsorship requests pending confirmation, and one definite fact, I will be attending! It’s the last Thursday before the summit kicks off, payments have finally been made, flights have been booked (I am grateful).

Tuesday evening our journey begins. Terminal gates in South Africa, Dubai and Dublin open at the mention of “One Young World Delegate” (yes I have the right pass). Wednesday, we arrive and are welcomed by the not-so-welcoming Dublin weather. We are well-received by the One Young World team and are taken to our hotels. The bus trip becomes my first realisation of the diverse representation of countries from across different continents of the world. Networking starts here, so let’s do this!

It’s the opening ceremony. All flags of the 186 countries represented are paraded, signifying this is now my reality. Opening speeches by world leaders set the tone that will run through the next few days.

Our days started at 06h30, covering topics such as sustainable development, global business, leadership and government, entrepreneurship and climate justice. Representatives Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson of The Elders organisation give us our mandate and we knocked off at 23h00. Next is the unofficial networking sessions while exploring the pubs of the Dublin CBD.

The next two days are no different. We tackle employability, bridging the gender gap, human rights, peace and conflict resolution, social entrepreneurship, education, internal and external breakout sessions, a tour of the city, and dinner at the Guinness Storehouse.

The sessions held have proven to be intense and robust, exposing issues that generally do not reach my eyes and ears. I am exposed to delegates and ambassadors from countries experiencing unimaginable levels of human rights violation, oppression and violence. The people sharing these stories are my age, but have experienced far more than any human should in a lifetime.

I have made friends based in London, South Korea, Kurdistan, Ireland, my fellow African leaders, Palestine, USA, Cayman Islands and Germany, just to name a few. I can validly say, now I have a global network. We have shared laughs, bus rides, lengthy walks through Dublin, a Guinness or two, thoughts and ideas, and challenged each other. We know much about each other, because we interacted and integrated as one young world – excuse the pun.

I have met young people taking their positions within the politics of their countries, who are fighting for the preservation of the wellness of our planet, young leaders who have identified social needs and developed viable business models around solutions to these.

As delegates from South Africa, we have found each other and agree we cannot leave Dublin without singing our national anthem and waiving our flag proudly.

Sunday arrives, we have had meaningful interactions, have exchanged contacts, we are aware of phenomenal programmes run by young people that are bettering the world we live in. We too stand up! Home time: time to make my contribution to our beautiful nation.

Marcelle Angela Jacobs

I realised that, given the right platform, young people have the capacity to articulate and address national and global concerns effectively and strategically. One Young World is the preeminent global forum for young leaders. The world’s brightest young leaders converged over three absorbing days to find solutions to critical global issues and make lasting connections in Dublin’s Convention Centre. The opening ceremony witnessed 194 national flags carried by young delegates. In South African style, we cheered our flag-bearer Siseko Nomavila. The media presence was noticeable. Keynote speakers included Sir Bob Geldof and former Irish President Mary Robinson. Kofi Anan warned about the crippling effects of climate change. He said, “Don’t let anyone take the future away from you. It’s important to act now, not tomorrow.”

Sessions

Bridging the Gender Gap – We learned to push the boundaries and become a generation of achievers. Meghan Markle said, “Watch what you do, how you portray yourself and align yourself with men who support and understand you.”

Sport and Society – Sol Campbell touched on racism, nepotism and the lack of black managers in the English League. He said, “If you lose the love for something, you lose your direction.”

Human Rights – Raped while training – Amanda Dufresne’s talk was poignant. She said, “The easy part was when I rolled off a cliff to escape the rapist. The battle was dealing with the internal scars for years.” She insisted the importance of stamping out rape.

Peace and Conflict – Twenty-one-year-old North Korean Yeonmi Park told of her escape from “the darkest place in the world”. She saw her mother raped and a friend’s mother publicly executed. With one TV channel, no internet and no freedom of expression, North Korea executes people for making unauthorised international calls. Yeonmi said, “When I was crossing the Gobi desert, scared of dying, I thought nobody in this world cared. But you have listened to my story.”

Four former Latin American presidents communicated solutions to tackle drug trafficking and corruption, using the power of social media. They said, “Education is the only way to change a nation within one generation.”

Informative debates: ISIS, Ebola, gay rights and the right to religion, media’s role in shaping change, the effects of food wastage etc.

I learned that:

  • Awareness is everything!
  • Application of education is essential for progressive transformation.
  • I’m privileged to be a first-generation, post-apartheid woman in a male-dominated industry
  • Despite South Africa’s diversity, other nationalities are impressed with our unity.
  • Youth have a powerful voice for progressive change
  • I am a participant, not a spectator.

Do you want to be a One Young World Ambassador?

One Young World delegates are 18 to 30 years old who have demonstrated leadership ability and a commitment to effecting positive change. Many have already had an impact in their home countries on a range of issues, including the role of business in society, transparency in business and government, the impact of climate change, global health and hunger relief. Visit www.oneyoungworld.com for more information.

Read more: http://playyourpart.co.za/our-news/1158-voices-from-one-young-world-summit-dublin#ixzz3OswMY6ak

[VIDEO]: What does South Africa’s Constitution mean to the nation brand?

Property of Brand South Africa and was first published on Brandsouthafrica.com

Co-filmed and edited by Prelene Singh

On Wednesday 10 December 2014 South Africa celebrated the 18th year of its groundbreaking Constitution, the highest law of the land that is lauded across the world for its progressive protection of liberties and human rights.

Dr Petrus de Kock, General manager Research at Brand South Africa, reflects on the deep impact the Constitution has had not only on the development of South Africa’s democracy, but on other countries across the globe seeking best practice for reform and reconciliation.

Why Brand South Africa launched a Nation Brand Masterclass

This article first appeared on a Brand South Africa media partner’s site

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Brand South Africa's CEO Miller Matola speaking to final year Branding students at Vega School of Marketing. Photo: Prelene Singh.

Brand South Africa’s CEO Miller Matola speaking to final year Branding students at Vega School of Marketing. Photo: Prelene Singh.

Building a positive and strong nation brand is the key to any country’s success both domestically and internationally. A nation brand needs to encompass a whole spectrum of what the nation has to offer to both its domestic and international stakeholders.

Brand South Africa is mandated to build and manage South Africa’s nation brand in order to strengthen the country’s global competitiveness. The domestic mandate lines up with building pride and patriotism among the people of South Africa; inspiring and unifying civil society, business, government and the media to build the reputation of our country.  Internationally, we are responsible for positioning South Africa as an investment destination of choice to attract inward investment.

We do this using various tools but one of the most important is to communicate South Africa’s value proposition through a consolidated and clear brand image and a cohesive message.

To achieve this with greater consistency, Brand South Africa launched a Nation Brand Master Class on Tuesday 30 September 2014 at the VEGA School of Marketing.  The Master Class was rolled out to final year students attending VEGA to encourage future marketers and communicators to play their part in positioning South Africa as a competitive destination.

The Puzzle Theory

 South Africa’s reputation and global views on nation reputation building lay at the heart of the Master Class.  To this end, a puzzle formed the background aesthetic.

This was inspired by Simon Anholt’s Nation Brand Hexagon comprising the following -Investment and Trade; Exports; People; Culture and Heritage; Governance and Tourism- which fit as the pieces of the puzzle of a cohesive nation brand.

Simon Anholt's Hexagon

Simon Anholt’s Hexagon

To encourage the students of the Master Class to think beyond what we know and presently do, the key visual for the Class was an unfinished puzzle of the South African flag. This visual language was used to create a memorable tactile and emotional experience – one that encourages students to challenge present day theories on marketing and communication and secondly, to play their part of putting together new and inspiring solutions to position South Africa.

At the same time, participants in the Nation Brand Master Class were encouraged to think about how they could play their part in being excellent at what they do wherever they are. This excellence is what pulsates throughout a country in a way that enables it to become a competitive investment destination.

This Master Class is a fresh and unique way of approaching nation brand studies in South Africa and is the first of its kind in the country. It aims to educate and encourage people to understand the holistic South African brand image,vision, identity and positioning thus growing the brand and developing an understanding of how this aligns with our careers and subsequently us playing our part. We all want to be citizens of an inspirational and competitive country.  We should therefore all want to be excellent and be part of a brand of excellence.

Whether it be making multipurpose schoolbags for underprivileged children in your community which could contribute to the people pillar of the hexagon, or starting a local book café thus contributing to the culture and heritage of the country, or understanding how your role in the job you do every day contributes to nation building which will contribute to investment into the country and create attractiveness to outsiders, you are a vital part of Brand South Africa and playing your part to grow our country’s competitiveness.

In partnership with the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA), the class has been designed to inspire the youth and to impart knowledge which will empower them to influence change in their surroundings, in making South Africa one of the best.

Therefore, be motivated to rally behind the brand South Africa and put yourself in a position to help accelerate the execution of the National Development Plan (NDP) and to foster a more informed, engaged and activated society – this is part of building the nation brand as an active South African citizen and this is why the Nation Brand Masterclass was launched by Brand South Africa.

[WITH GALLERY] : Brand SA’s Nation Brand Master Class set the tone for how South Africa is positioned

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Johannesburg, Tuesday 30 September 2014 – Brand South Africa today, in partnership with the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA), Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) and Vega School, launched a South African first in nation brand studies – a Master Class on Nation Brand.

“The Master Class is aimed at developing a more formal framework to train and equip marketers and communicators, from the public as well as the private sector with the necessary skills to profile the unique features of the South Africa Nation Brand,” says Brand South Africa CEO, Mr Miller Matola.

As custodians of the nation brand, Brand South Africa has in the past done several training session with provinces and metros. The Nation Brand Master Class has been designed to take this training to a new level – a structured approach to impart knowledge and empower other marketers when profiling the nation brand.

The Nation Brand Master Class modules were developed by Brand South Africa, MASA, and IMM. “Brand South Africa is in the process of lobbying the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT Seta) to have the module enlisted with targeted Institutions of Higher learning and for the accreditation of this newly developed module,” explains Matola.

Modules include: Marketing Principles and Nation Brand, Introduction to Nation Brand, Country Positioning and National Identity, Image, Reputation and Competitiveness , Nation Brand Performance Measures and more.

A pilot programme in the Nation Brand Master Class was rolled out to 50 Vega and select IMM final year students. The training will, in due course, also be offered to trade and investment, tourism marketers and communicators nationally.

Ms Wendy Tlou, Chief Marketing Officer of Brand South Africa added that, “It is important to educate and guide key stakeholders in the nuances of communicating a nation brand on multiple platforms. The Master Class on positioning the Nation Brand will demonstrate that all South Africans have a role to play, and are equally part of building our nation brand. We as South Africans deliver the Brand South Africa experience! Let us play our part in delivering that experience.”

Join in the conversation: @Brand_SA #BSAMasterclass and @PlayYourPartSA #BSAMasterclass.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing – because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates to individuals, NGOs to government, churches to schools, young to not so young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

There are numerous opportunities, big and small, for each and every South African to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live and operate. Play Your Part encourages them to act on these opportunities. The campaign is driven by the Brand South Africa.

Further resources from Brand South Africa

Media are invited to visit http://www.southafrica.info/ for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement. Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.

[GALLERY]: 21 Icons – Wits Chapter

Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle

This article first appeared on Playyourpart.co.za

Rea Ngwane (22) and Thato Kgatlhanye (21)

Rea Ngwane (22) and Thato Kgatlhanye (21)

Power team Rea Ngwane (22) and Thato Kgatlhanye (21) together have developed and successfully launched a community driven business in Rustenburg situated in the North West province after almost four years in the making.

These young, vibrant entrepreneurs hail from the small town of Mogwase and have, with diverse mindsets and innovation, a company called Rethaka Trading (Pty) Ltd. Under which Repurpose Schoolbags was developed. Both have grown up together and attended primary and high-school side-by-side, which was the start of a long and productive friendship.

The idea of Rethaka came to the minds of these young entrepreneurs years ago. This idea became a reality last year when Kgatlhanye entered a competition run by SAB. The task: to create an organic product which was a mimic of nature? She created a bag which mimicked a bird’s nest. Her design placed her third in the competition and won her R300 000 of working capital, to start her own business and get it off the ground.

The Ngwane is a BCom student who had always dreamed of becoming a chartered accountant. She attends the University of Johannesburg studying towards her Marketing Management degree. Ngwane describes herself as a forward-thinker, someone who always has a curiosity about the “other”, the “what else” – simply an architect of social eminence.

Ngwane and Kgatlhanye set up Rethaka, a company that aims to combine business with social good. Rethaka’s first business venture was an environmentally-friendly innovation called Repurpose Schoolbags. Rethaka (Pty) Ltd is a for-profit, woman-owned business, based in Rustenburg, South Africa.

These ladies chief division is their Repurpose Schoolbags innovation. These are bags which are in essence designed to do more with less. Targeted at children from underprivileged communities where electricity is a privilege for the few, The bags are made of 100% repurposed plastic textile and have imbedded in them solar panels which charge during the child’s walk to school, later transforming into a solar lantern useful for them to use as light for studying for up to 12 hours.

thaThe bags are made from plastic which is found at landfills schools and households. The duo has also set up “plastic-purpose textile banks” which are bins they have erected outside schools and churches to collect dumped plastic. This plastic then goes through an intensive process of cleaning, debranding and ironing before it is creatively sewed into a stylish design by the team of seven full-time employees at their warehouse in Tlhabane, Rustenburg.

As the operational & financial Manager, Ngwane’s role is to cost effectively and efficiently facilitate the process from material purchase to manufacturing, final product and inventory control. Ngwane says she is playing her part in ensuring that her social entrepreneurship provides impactful solutions for those who need them the most.

Kgatlhanye who also refers to herself as the “Struggling billionaire” is a young South African who believes in second chances. She used this to not only fuel her career as an author, of a book she and her co-author wrote in 27 days called “Start an empire with a brand”, but also as a young entrepreneur who saw an opportunity for school kids who needed a second chance at their education.

As the Brand & Marketing Manager of Rethaka, Kgatlhanye ensures that she effectively communicates the companies green innovations and how they redefine societal problems into solutions. She believes she belongs to a new generation of leaders placing themselves as change agents. She has worked in New York with marketing guru Seth Godin during a New York internship and is a recent graduate of a BA in Brand Management from Vega, The School of Brand Leadership. Kgatlhanye was also selected to be one of 18 South African social entrepreneurs to attend the 10 day Red Bull Amaphiko Academy in 2013.

Thato
The duo sees their company going further in the coming years and plan on developing another subsidiary luxury brand called Purpo which will be a range of fashion bags for woman and corporates which will reiterate the message of being green and being fashionable. Along with this they design corporate bags which are specifically designed for laptops, IPads and notebooks. 10% of sales of these bags go to the manufacturing of schoolbags.

The one thing Kgatlhanye says she wants to see change in the country is South African youth dreaming audaciously and the issue of funding for education being eradicated Ngwane says she dreams of the day when we as people fail to see the difference in others, we fail to see race as a defining factor of a person. Until that day comes these women say they will continue uncovering opportunities.

“If we see an opportunity in cutting cheese, we will cut cheese.”