Sam Pritchard rounds up the first day of OYW

Boris Johnson’s welcome speech last night was a hard act to follow…. but today we’ve heard a number of inspirational speakers; both counsellors and delegates.

The day kicked off with the first plenary, on the environment, opened by Senator John Kerry via video link. It was great to see the world’s youth uniting behind a resolution – but we’ve made little progress in terms of how we’re going to get there. Kofi Annan encouraged us to lobby within our communities and businesses which, of course, will be a positive start, but what else can we do?

Interfaith dialogue was the topic of the second plenary – again, we united behind a resolution. This time progress was suggested in the form of a gathering of world faith leaders to promote further dialogue, but we need to do more. Personally, I would’ve liked to have seen a little more discussion between the Counsellors. There were Christians, Muslims and an Athiest on stage – we still don’t know what they think. Perhaps we could have debated with them?

The third plenary was all about global business and how we can turn around businesses to make them more responsible. I stood up and talked about the excellent corporate responsibility programme in the company I work for, and how volunteering can have a positive effect on businesses as well as on local communities. Overall, we agreed that global business is a good thing as long as it is responsible.

So much to think about… I can’t wait for day two.

2 Responses to “Sam Pritchard rounds up the first day of OYW”

  1. 1 Tholumusa Favoured Mlalazi (Zimbabwe)
    February 10, 2010 at 08:04

    It’s a pity I didn’t know anything about this OYW till now. Anywhere, The time to involve young people in shaping the course of the world they are groing into is long overdue. Sorry Sam I don’t know how old you are to project when you could be the next UN Secretary General. Though I believe that a change in attitude at individual level results in a massive global Environmental transformation, religious tollerence and business responsibility, it is the actions of the few that have the power to control the many that actually matter.
    We can have as many white table-clothed plenaries with clean bottled water and buffet of finger lunches, in the end it’s the actions that we make after that which make “the” difference.

  2. 2 Laura Anne
    February 11, 2010 at 15:37

    Sounds like a great event Sam, one day I hope to see more people like you actually making a difference to the world. I will be interested to hear how you can take what you have learned back to your company….

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