October 25, 2023
From October 2 to 5, Okayama University sent two students, Ms. NUNO Kokoro (a third-year student of the Discovery Program for Global Learners) and Ms. Akramjonova Dilyorakhon Azizbek Kizi (a first-year student of the Discovery Program for Global Learners), to attend One Young World 2023, a global summit for future leaders, in Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of the delegation from Japan.
The University has been an official partner since the Bangkok, Thailand summit held in 2015. Every year, the University sends two student representatives and the Vice President for Global Engagement, YOKOI Atsufumi, to participate. This year marked the University’s eighth consecutive time participating in the summit, following the summits in Bangkok, Thailand (2015); Ottawa, Canada (2016); Bogota, Colombia (2017); the Hague, the Netherlands (2018); London, England (2019); Munich, Germany (2021), and Manchester, England (2022).
This year, as part of the “Okayama Dream Education Initiative” in collaboration with the Okayama Prefectural Board of Education and Okayama University, Ms. WAKAMATSU Maya, a representative of prefectural high school students, was dispatched from Okayama Prefecture for the first time to participate in the summit together with members attended from Okayama University.
The opening ceremony for the summit was held at the SSE Arena (Belfast, Northern Ireland) on October 2, spectacularly filled with Irish traditional music, dance, and flags representing the countries of the world. The opening ceremony featured keynote speeches by the youngest Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Ryan Murphy, and Belfast actor James Martin, who has made it into the Guinness World Records by becoming the first leading man with Down Syndrome in an Oscar-winning film, and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan shared the message of “It is important that young leaders like you take small steps towards solving big problems.” resonated strongly with the participants. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus delivered a video message: “We were born to make the impossible possible. Let’s overcome difficulties together.” during the plenary session.
Ms. Nuno and Ms. Akramjonova participated in plenary, workshops, networking, and discussion sessions focusing on Peace and Reconciliation, Climate Change, Food Crisis, Education, and Mental Health under the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the “Good Friday Agreement” between the United Kingdom and Ireland regarding the Northern Ireland conflict; students were able to learn about the historical background and hear from leaders who were actually involved in the peace negotiations. It was a valuable opportunity to think deeply about the importance of peace and reconciliation by experiencing the current situation.
Marking its 13th summit this year, over 2,000 people from more than 196 countries attended the OYW 2023 summit. The OYW 2024 summit will be held in Montreal, Canada, from September 18-21.
○Global summit for future leaders One Young World (OYW)
After being declared at the 2009 World Economic Forum (known as the Davos Forum; headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland), OYW has become one of the world’s largest summits, bringing together young leaders (18-30 years old) representing more than 190 countries. It has taken place annually since it was first held in London, the capital city of Great Britain, in 2010. OYW is a project for developing the next generation of young leaders in a global collaboration of industry, government and academia for the purpose of solving challenges on a global scale faced by the world, by having the next generation of young leaders cooperate under world leaders. Its scale and network continue to rapidly expand.
Summit participants, who are given the title of “OYW ambassadors”, have the opportunity to create long-lasting connections with about 15,000 talented young people from around the world.
Including Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank, the summit is supported by many OYW counsellors comprised of prime ministers and presidents, government officials, leading companies in the global Fortune 500 ranking announced by Fortune magazine (United States), as well as global leaders and prominent figures in a variety of fields, such as culture and sport, media, NGOs, entrepreneurs and artists.