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.”


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

2014 : The highlights and lessons learnt

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The best, yet worst year of my life. I always say that everything happens for a reason…and this year has shown me that when you feel like the world is crashing down on you….relax, take a breather and remember that nothing is put in your path by accident.

Eyewitness News – The place where my year started. Eager, energetic and positive I was going to make a change in the world with my voice and my words. It was great at first but I quickly realised that it was not for me. And I’m not saying it’s not for everyone, it just wasn’t for me. What I had thought I wanted to be, was not what I was doing by working here. After many talks, lectures, thinking, weighing of pros and cons I decided I would leave. And I did.

While it was not the best experience for me, it was reality hard and cold. It being my first year out of varsity, I threw myself into the harsh world of the average working person and Oh! did I feel it. Over worked and under paid – the life of a mainstream news journalist was rough and tough. I learnt to never take anything to heart or personally. People will critic you all your life; I learnt to take it from where it is coming from. The harder the push the faster and further you fly.

Professionally, EWN taught how to work under immense pressure; I worked through some of the hugest times news journalism, Mandela’s death, the Oscar Trial and the national general elections, among other great sagas like Nkandla, the experience – priceless. I also got to meet some great people who inspire me through the work they do and the souls they keep. The biggest thing was I found I could really do anything I put my mind to. There is nothing you can’t do if you want it bad enough. I left knowing I could be a radio journalist and I could be great at it, but that did not mean that because I could do it I should. I did it, and it was time to move on, the box had been ticked.

2014 was also the year I graduated with my Honours degree. Yes – 23 and sitting on two degrees. An accomplishment in my books and something I had never planned or saw for myself. I was spring cleaning my cupboards recently and I came across a project I did back in high school. One of the questions was what I wanted to do after I finish school. My answer – I want to take a gap year after matric, travel the world and find myself haha! (The big dreams we have in school). Needless to say that never happened – I went from matric straight into varsity – but it all paid off I suppose.

Nowadays I sometimes ask myself why I studied further, I should have just worked and grown from there – but then I realise that my knowledge is priceless and can never be taken away from me. It’s something I did and worked hard at, something I have accomplished and nothing I should be afraid of showing off. Yes I have two degrees and yes I’m 23. I learnt to never be ashamed of what you work hard for. Don’t be afraid of who you are. I learnt that you can’t control what people say or think of you and anyway what people think of you does not matter – what does matter is what you think about yourself.

After 2014 I think I am more confident in the person I am and confident in the future I see for myself. I realise that the more you try to please people the unhappier you make yourself. I also learnt that life is too short to worry about the small things. The little failures 2014 brought me made me stronger and taught me that in life you HAVE to fail. It’s what makes life interesting and challenging. And if you aren’t challenged in life how will you grow.

My career – there is no plan, there is no definites and there is no storyboard and there is no “I can’t”, I am young and I feel like this part of my life will be over very soon. I won’t be able to do what I can now in a few years, so why not make the best of it. The only plan I have is to learn, not remain stagnant, live and love. And this year … 2015 I plan to do just that.

P.S I want to start my own beauty blog this year – because why not?

If you love all things beauty I suggest you watch and follow these accounts on Youtube:

Umtata Christian School celebrates Global Dignity Day with Brand South Africa

This article first appeared on the Play Your Part website


On the 15th of October 2014 South African youth celebrated Global Dignity Day. This day is aimed at learning and understanding the importance of dignity and how to help others lead a dignified life. On this day thousands of volunteers all over the world instilled a new, positive, inclusive and interconnected sense of value in young people that will guide them as they grow into adulthood.

What is Global Dignity?

“Dignity is the source of human rights,” This was a key realisation for Vuyo Jack, one of the founders of the Global Dignity Club, who was selected as one of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum in 2009. He was intrigued by the Global Day initiative which was co-founded by a group of Young Global Leaders, Prince Haakon, the crown Prince of Norway, John Hope Bryant and Prof Pekka Himanen. The initiative was inspired by Prince Haakon’s visit to South Africa in the early days of democracy, where he experienced the importance of dignity in people’s lives. “We wanted to build on this inspiration by extending Global Dignity Day celebrations to many people through a summit in 2010 which was attended by young professionals from and around South Africa”,  says Jack.

This journey took them around the country covering the nine provinces with a goal of engaging learners from different backgrounds. This compelled them to conceptualise a more sustainable programme for learners where they could engage and take action on matters relating to dignity in their environment proactively on a daily basis. This is how the Global Dignity Club programme was established in January 2013.

Brand South Africa then joined forces with the Global Dignity movement through the Play Your Part programme. The campaign is aimed at preparing students for their journey towards cultivating the ability to empathise with others and to instil in them the recognition that every life has equal value.

The focus is on accelerating the execution of the National Development Plan (NDP) by taking a community-centric approach to the socio-economic, academic and entrepreneurial development of learners.

The South African Dignity campaign has since reached more than 15 000 school learners in nine provinces across the country. The message of dignity is centred on education, financial literacy and the values of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is largely understood as an expression of kindness to the vulnerable other. It’s phenomenon that has less to do with social vulnerability but more about social assertiveness. The concept speaks to the ability of one to claim what is rightfully theirs in relation to the other.

The Umtata Christian School

The Umtata Christian School in the Eastern Cape came up with the idea to start a soup kitchen, a drama club and Career Expo’s as part of their contribution to Global Dignity Day on a budget of R2000 last year when the campaign was launched.

The soup kitchen is aimed at feeding the homeless people in the area as a way to restore dignity; the drama club is set to empower learners of the school with performing arts skills while simultaneously spreading the message of dignity. With the careers expo, the club adopted three schools in the rural area of Tsolo on the outskirts of Umtata, with the intention to guide underprivileged learners in career choices and self-introspection that goes in choosing a career.

As part of Global Dignity Day celebrations, the learners of Umtata Christian School applied their minds to an integrated programme, performing a play, reflecting on the year by showing videos of the community work they had embarked on throughout the year, such as donating old clothes to the unfortunate and painting a day care centre. They also created a space for participation from the audience by allowing speakers to talk to what dignity means in various spaces, such a spiritual environment and how dignity applies to relationships, as a way to propagate the gospel of dignity to members of their community and the learners.

Play Your Part

These smaller community initiatives are entirely developed by learners of the Club and executed with help from their mentors and teachers. This lays the foundation early on in their education and the value of active citizenship. They are taught to inspire new ways to make a fundamental change in their respective communities. By such activities which are made appealing to youngsters, they are able to display initiative and leadership abilities, which will be key to realising the development goals outlined in the NDP and Vision 2030.

In partnership with the Global Dignity Club, Brand South Africa handed out certificates to all the learners of the Club, as a way to encourage them to continue playing their part in their communities and grow to be active citizens of the country. After all, today’s youth will make up the workforce of 2030, so their input and involvement is crucial.


Why Brand South Africa launched a Nation Brand Masterclass

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


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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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