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One young world 2022 Manchester: A midway experience

Published: 07.09.2022
Junu Shreshta Advocacy and Policy Manager
Junu at One Young World

You come, you connect, and you grow. The start of this week was exciting for me. I travelled from Kathmandu to Manchester to attend the One Young World Summit 2022 (5-8 Sep). I feel privileged to be amongst the 2000 plus young leaders from 202 territories of the world at the event. I am thankful to IAPB and our patron Santen Pharmaceutical for this great opportunity.

FlagsIt is a surreal experience to be at an event where there are young leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, advocates, campaigners, innovators working on different social and development issues. The grand opening ceremony on the 5th at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester in presence of the most influential personalities from the globe was so appealing to me. The moment when the national flags were flaunted and marched on the stage, was truly overwhelming making you realise the global platform that you are participating in.

One Young World is a platform to showcase leadership, share the work, network with new ideas and build partnerships to bring meaningful and impactful change, that together we can. Lots of learning and inspiration from great leaders like Paul Polman, Mary Robinson, Sylvia Earle, Caroline Casey and so on at the event. Critical global challenges like destruction of basic human rights, climate change, gender inequality, diversity and inclusion, are being discussed.

Dr Alaa Murabit, UN Health Commissioner and SDG advocate, while speaking about accelerating gender equality said, “Every one of the world’s 3.9 billion women deserve opportunity, health and dignity” We cannot achieve SDGs without closing the gender gap”

Lemn Sissay, poet, author, British broadcaster, at the opening ceremony, when he was reciting his poem on Hello to new ideas meet the old, Hello old thoughts meet the new, Hello to the future greets the past, Hello world hello you” suddenly paused- took out his reading glasses and said “When I start reading poetry, I read like this.” With the cheers from the crowd, he carried on, “ if this is the gig that I’m gonna get applause for putting on my glasses, then I love it”

A renowned poet at the OYW stage in front of thousands, suddenly paused while reciting a poem, taking out his reading glass from his pocket, putting on the glasses, and continuing with the poem, while the crowd cheered on – I resound this because not only did he normalise his presbyopia/near sightedness, but for the message it sent to the crowd: he showed no reluctance in wearing spectacles and setting out loud that it aids your performance on stage!

Everyone at One Young World is sharing the work they are doing in their communities to create real social change and impact. Please wait till I come back with a full update after the event.