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One Young World delegate on the event for youth leaders
06 November 2014
Georgia Stryker Marketing and Operations Manager Westpac Women’s Markets was chosen by Westpac to be a One Young World Ambassador and attend this year’s Summit in Dublin. She confessed to coming home with a renewed appreciation for where she lives and works while feeling conflicted about how to make a difference.
“Australia’s so far away from so much of what’s happening around the globe. The security and safety we have on a day to day basis is so removed from what other young people living in other parts of the world experience. That’s a positive thing and amazingly good luck but it can also mean many of us in Australia think the problems aren’t ours to fix. They are and if the Summit counsellors were anything to go by it’s up to young people to do the fixing.”
Sometimes, Georgia felt, the responsibility was overwhelming.
Complacency can be hard to overcome.
“Creating awareness and advocating for change doesn’t have to be done on the ground. Social media and online are obvious avenues,” Georgia believes.
The Summit which ran from October 15 -18 began around 7.30 every morning and finished at 10.30 at night. All the plenary sessions were held in the main auditorium and attended by all delegates.
“It was packed. If you wanted to go out for water, or whatever, it was a shuffle. There were no breaks and you just had to hope you didn’t miss anything major if you did have to leave. The art of it was to eat a very big breakfast and co-ordinate with other delegates to get water.”
On the last day a young woman from North Korea spoke about living in the hermit regime and the horrors of escaping the brutality of her home country. Yeonmi Park’s (pictured above) story, says Georgia, "put my small hassles in context".
When she was nine years old, Yeonmi had watched the public execution of one of her friend’s mothers. Her crime: she watched a Hollywood movie. So terrified of the regime and its power, Yeonmi believed even to think a bad thought about North Korea would be found out and punished. When Yeonmi’s sister escaped from the country her family became targets for the regime and so Yeonmi and her mother were forced to flee. The horror of what the two women faced – including her mother’s rape at the hands of a Chinese broker and almost starving to death trekking through the Gobi Desert – combined with the quiet, humble, low key way Yeonmi told her story - had the audience in tears, according to Georgia.
One Young World was founded in 2009 by advertising executives David Jones and Kate Robertson. The UK-based not-for-profit brings together young people from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change.
One Young World began in 2010 in London. Talent from global and national companies, NGO's, universities and other organisations are joined by world leaders, acting as the One Young World Counsellors. Delegates debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces. One Young World delegates are 18-30 years old and have demonstrated leadership ability and a commitment to effecting positive change.
Westpac was the only Australian bank at the Summit. There were 1300 delegates from 192 countries and most other Australian delegates were representing global companies such as Google.
There was a choice of outside plenary sessions, says Georgia, who had put her name down for Facebook and was lucky enough to get in.
“It’s everything you hear about and everything you expect. The growth area is in content scanners: teams of people watching and dealing with inappropriate content. Back in the Summit we also heard from the founder and CEO of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales. The most tightly controlled area on the site is in health and medical information.”