The news from Zurich is that Joburg will host One Young World in 2013. “We’re thrilled, delighted, ecstatic!” says Lindiwe Kwele CEO of the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC), who attended the final event of the 2011 Summit in Zurich, where the announcement was made on Saturday evening. “JTC’s Conference and Events Bureau team has put in so much effort over the past few months, bidding for OWY and we are so excited to be bringing this high profile event to Joburg in two years’ time.” One Young World (OYW)* is a dynamic global platform for young leaders making a substantial difference and tangible impact in their communities. Its purpose is to connect and bring together the youngest, brightest and best minds the world over, to ensure that their concerns, opinions and solutions are heard. While the first OYW Summit was held in London in 2010, this year more than 1200 young leaders from over 170 counties attended the event in Zurich from 1 – 4 September 2011. “Clinching the event for Johannesburg and Africa is important on so many levels,” says Kwele. “Africa is the continent which has the largest proportion (20%) of youth - as a demographic component of population – and it would be significant to host this event on a continent which so many young people call home and which offers so many opportunities and challenges. As the African continent’s most accessible hub and vibrant business locations, Joburg makes sense as an appropriate destination to inspire youthful leadership, networking and brainstorming solutions to issues across the spectrum – from healthcare, development, finance and business – to social issues and politics.” WHY ONE YOUNG WORLD (OYW) IS DIFFERENT “What differentiates One Young World from other youth summits is that young leaders are making real-time, tangible change the world over, and being recognised for their efforts. Young people from all walks of life are leveraging the power of their networks – educational institutions, government, the corporate world, religious organisations, NGOs, and the corporate world, governments and esteemed global leaders are behind their efforts and solutions,” says Catherine Peter, Africa Director for OYW. Peter elaborates: “What One Young World really is, is a brilliant network of extraordinary shared accountability, a rare and unique platform to engage the world’s youth on what matters now, and what will matter the most, tomorrow. This ‘millennial’ generation or the ‘age of authenticity’ will, through hard work, commitment and building relationships, make our world a better place and it’s about time we let them.” As a City, Joburg is a youthful one - with 42% of the population under 24 and 49% under the age of 34 – making for a vibrant, energetic and enterprising community. In keeping with this demographic, South Africa’s commitment to youth development is significant, demonstrated by a host of youth development initiatives supported by both the public and the private sector. From a national perspective, South Africa boasts youth participation and representation in Parliament, while at a city level, Johannesburg has community-based youth advisory centres, managed from the Mayor’s Office. “The opportunity to host One Young World in Johannesburg will provide us with the platform to share ideas on the importance of developing youth into future leaders, learning from both developing and developed countries,” continues Kwele. “Johannesburg Convention and Events Bureau, a division of Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC), is facilitating the bidding process, working alongside relevant partners and stakeholders to ensure a successful One Young World Summit in 2013.” ONE YOUNG WORLD AND AFRICA AngloGold Ashanti and the University of the Witwatersrand have joined 87 of Fortune Magazine’s top 500 global company listings to support aspiring young leaders from all walks of life in their endeavours to build a better future as ‘One Young World’ Delegates. One Young World is a global forum for young people of leadership calibre. Its purpose is to connect and bring together the youngest and brightest and to ensure that their concerns, opinions and solutions are heard and taken into account by those in power whether in government, business or any other sector. Since the first summit in London in 2010, 823 under-25s from 114 countries have been making real on-the-ground impacts in global business, media, environment, interfaith dialogue, global health, and political leadership development, reducing poverty in the most innovative ways, making our future brighter. One Young World projects have been presented at the United Nations dealing with these six prominent issues and many world leaders including former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, as well as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu have engaged with One Young World Ambassadors and their projects offering instrumental insight and wisdom to them. One outstanding project by South African Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh engages student leaders from universities across Africa in championing the African Renaissance, building on the historic influence of students who have been responsible for some of the world’s great paradigm shifts. Another, featured in June’s UK Vanity Fair magazine, saw Nigerian, South African and Russian One Young World ambassadors present with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at UN Headquarters on conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue in achieving some of the world’s greatest development targets including the Millennium Development Goals. Others are engaging their corporate leaders in changing the way business is done, to better reflect the authenticity demands of our generation and urgent need to address climate change.