One Young World Summit 2022: What To Expect From The Event, And Meghan Markle's Speech

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

The annual One Young World summit - connecting empowering entrepreneurial minds and fostering effective future leadership - kicks off in Manchester tomorrow September 6, following the opening ceremony tonight.

More than 2,000 young pioneers from no less than 190 countries, across myriad sectors, will collaborate to promote social impact and develop knowledge and skills to become influential change makers.

The delegates will be counselled by the likes of Meghan Markle, Justin Trudeau and Paul Polman, and be afforded the opportunity to take part in speeches, panels, networking sessions and workshops.

As well as being able to share a platform with impactful figureheads, delegates will receive mentorship, be able to challenge notable leaders and make lasting connections.

Last year's event, held in Munich, gave way to speeches from celebrities including Arizona Muse, Cher and Lewis Hamilton.

Ahead of the three-day event, here's everything you need to know about the One Young World summit 2022:

What is the One Young World summit?

The One Young World summit is an annual event bringing together global young leaders to harness their knowledge and skills, so as to accelerate social change and develop influential change-makers. It's committed to creating a better world with more responsible and effective leadership.

Over three days, delegates share a platform with political, philanthropic and business leaders, engaging in speeches, panels, networking, and workshops, with figures from the media industry in attendance.

While celebrating leaders of the future, through social events and opening and closing ceremonies, the event also enables young leaders to receive transformative mentorship and grow their contact book along the way.

Since launching in 2009, One Young World has grown into a major platform for governments, NGOs and businesses, who collaborate to tackle global challenges in the company of tomorrow's game changers.

The One Young World community now surpasses 13,500 ambassadors, whose work has resulted in impacting 35.8 million people. In the last year, One Young World has provided nearly 700,000 meals to combat food insecurity, protected 406,000 hectares of forest globally and empowered over 26,000 women and girls to overcome everyday challenges.

It has provided education for children in Afghanistan, helped veterans returning to fight after Russia invaded Ukraine and was influential in slashing the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia.

What's the theme for the One Young World summit 2022?

This year's summit focuses on five key plenary challenges: conflict prevention, gender equality, oceans, ethical leadership and health. The events of the three-day summit will be shaped by these issues, which also provide a benchmark for panel discussions.

Speeches will come from global leaders and delegate speakers whose work, personal experiences and thought-provoking insights coincide with these issues.

The 2022 summit comes at a time of uncertainty, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, a worldwide food crisis and economic challenges causing a continuous fear of global recession. Young leaders will seek out answers to questions surrounding these issues and devise actionable next steps.

Where will the One Young World summit 2022 be held?

The 2022 event will take place at the Manchester Central conference centre, with tonight's opening ceremony being held at famous concert venue Bridgewater Hall.

Who will be attending the One Young World summit 2022?

As ever, this year's event hosts founders, activists and entrepreneurs determined to resolve some of the greatest worldwide challenges, from climate change to gender inequality.

Meghan Markle will attend this year's event. She last attended the One Young World summit in 2019, which was held in London at the time. The duchess arrived at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the October 22 opening ceremony of that year, in her capacity as Vice President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. The latter had collaborated with the organisation to bring 53 young leaders from across the commonwealth to the event.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The Duchess has attended the event three times - her debut was when she served as counsellor at Dublin’s 2014 summit to stress the significance of women's rights and the role men need to play in achieving equality and empowering women.

'You need men to effect that change because at the end of the day, I think what scares people is this idea female empowerment is somehow threatening. No it's not. You empower women, you empower the community,' she said.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Markle has of course stepped back from her role as a senior member of the royal family since her previous appearances, and together with Prince Harry relocated to Montecito, California in 2020, where they live with their children Archie and Lilibet. However, her dedication to charitable causes, for the empowerment of women and to push for greater racial representation has not abated.

The duchess' anticipated appearance for 2022 will mark her first visit back to the UK since she and Prince Harry attended the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June with their kids.

In 2016 she attended Ottawa’s summit opened by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Referring to her decision to be counsellor, she said: 'One Young World invites young adults from all over the world who are actively working to transform the socio-political landscape by being the greater good.'

Photo credit: Clodagh Kilcoyne - Getty Images
Photo credit: Clodagh Kilcoyne - Getty Images

'They are delegates who are speaking out against human rights violations, environmental crises, gender equality issues, discrimination and injustice. They are the change.'

The confirmed attendees for 2022 include: Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland: Ban Ki-moon, Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations: Robert Spano, President of the European Court of Human Rights; Maria Juliana Ruiz, First Lady of Colombia; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, Director General of World Health Organisation; Leigh-Anne Pinnock, campaigner and Little Mix singer; and Mark Tewksbury, Olympic Champion Swimmer and Chair of Special Olympics Canada.

Other celebrities who have delivered touching speeches at the summit over the years include Emma Watson, who spoke about the seven life rules that 'scare the absolute sh*t' out of her.

During the speech, she said: 'I am willing to be seen. I am willing to speak up. I am willing to keep going. I am willing to listen to what others have to say. I am willing to go forward even when I feel alone. I am willing to go to bed each night at peace with myself. I am willing to be my biggest, bestest, most powerful self. (Watch her full speech here.)

Human rights activist and North Korean defector Yeonmi Park shared a speech about escaping from North Korea in search of freedom and people in the East Asian country 'desperately seeking and dying for freedom at this moment…'. (watch here).

What were the highlights from the One Young World summit 2021?

Last year's event, which took place from July 22-25, was memorable for many reasons. Some of the notable moments from the 2021 summit included when White Chicks actor Terry Crews spoke about racial injustice. He said:'One person is weak all by himself, but if we all come together and collaborate, we’re stronger together!'

Another standout moment was when human rights advocate and delegate speaker Sarah Mardini asked the One Young World audience to stand in silence for 37 seconds, with each second marking the loss of a refugee's life when crossing the Mediterranean on July 22.

At the opening ceremony, singer and activist Bob Geldof shared a powerful statement about how young people across the world have joined forces to address the injustices and and obstacles previous generations didn't overcome.

He said: 'We require good change, we require great change. We require from you exceptional change because you are the ones chosen because of your exceptional abilities to implement exactly what we need.'

Following his moving speech, delegates and volunteer representatives showed flags representing 190 nations, symbolising the strength of the One Young World community and its devotion to cementing international peace and collaboration.

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