By Clair Hendry, Learning and Development Consultant, Telefónica

In short, One Young World changed me.

The opening Ceremony set the tone for the whole summit, as the African proverb says ‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.’ David Jones, Kate Robertson, Kofi Annan, Professor Yunus, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Jamie Oliver, and many more gave a massive call to action in which we all have a collective responsibility to mobilise change.

The most inspirational speeches came from the floor, stories of courage in the face of adversity, turning tragedy into belief and belief into action. Our own amazing delegates Carlos and Charlie from Wayra and the European graduate programme Talentum sharing their amazing work and insights.

The thought provoking breakout sessions to see the real South Africa and spend time with her young people were truly inspirational. It isn’t rhetoric; people are taking action and affecting real change. Initiatives were shared where our young people are taking on rape, gender inequality, human trafficking, youth unemployment, the crisis in Syria, to name a few, we all have a social responsibility to build a fairer and more secure world, ‘these are problems without visas, without passports, we are global citizens and can affect real change’, Kofi Annan.

By the closing ceremony the passion for making change was palpable, and when special guest Winnie Mandela bid us farewell with the rallying cry of Amandla! (power) and the crowd responded with Awethu! (power to the people), I had shivers. I knew I was in the midst of something special. We carried that momentum to our Telefónica workshop the next day and committed to each other to identify the issues, organise ourselves, and to push the messages out through our initiatives!

OYW isn’t an event, it’s a movement – and we need YOU to be part of that movement too!

See more images from One Young World Summit 2013 HERE.

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