NEW YORK, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The heads of some of the world's largest corporations have pledged their support to the next generation of global changemakers by agreeing to serve as counselors for the second-annual One Young World (OYW) international youth summit, in Zurich on Sept. 1-4, 2011.
That list includes Paul Polman of Unilever, Antony Jenkins of Barclays Global Retail Banking, Tony Fernandes of AirAsia, Graeme Sweeney of Zero Emissions Platform, Patrick Chalhoub of the Chalhoub Group, and Guler Sabanci of Sabanci Holding, the largest financial conglomerate in Turkey, who was recently ranked by Financial Times as one of the world's most powerful women in business.
"The world is facing a number of enormous challenges over the next 50 years as it tries to evolve from a consumption-driven economy to a new, sustainable economy," said Polman. "The leaders of today are just starting to grapple with the challenges; it will be the leaders of tomorrow who have to deliver the solutions to overcome them. Our job is to inspire these new leaders to seize the opportunities the challenges present."
Along with OYW veterans such as Sir Bob Geldof and Muhammad Yunus, the new counselors will help this year's young ambassadors better understand and address some of the most challenging issues facing the world today. The counselors will facilitate debate and dialogue throughout the summit."One Young World is the only summit where global business leaders can meet the remarkable young leaders of tomorrow," said David Jones, global CEO of Havas and Euro RSCG Worldwide. "I am delighted that such a renowned group of international chief executives has signed up to take part, and I would like to extend an invitation to other global business leaders to join us as well." In addition, the following companies and organizations have pledged their support by sponsoring delegates: AMD, Google, HP, Lenovo, McDonald's, Nike, Pepsi, SAP and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In Pittsburgh, which is the sole U.S. city under consideration to host the 2012 One Young World, high-profile companies and organizations such as the Bayer USA Foundation, Euro RSCG Life and Carnegie Mellon University are sponsoring 25 delegates. The One Young World Pittsburgh Partnership, a group of local businesses inspired by OYW co-founder Kate Robertson's scouting trip to the city, put its name in the hat and pledged to secure the logistical, public and private support needed to bring this forum there. One Young World aims to give people age 16 to 25 of leadership caliber a high-profile platform for their views. The counselors are united in their belief that young people should have the right to influence world leaders on the legacy for future generations regarding many of the problems of global importance the world faces today. OYW also stands out as the only international forum that uses the views, visions and ideas of youth to create real solutions for change. The global issues take on hyperlocal relevance after the summit as delegates use their discussions and resolutions to activate initiatives in their communities—from the Community Pre-School Feeding Program in the Philippines and Bakongo Camp in Colombia to Eggs for Hope in Haiti and Earthfest Africa. Last year's inaugural forum, in London, attracted 823 delegates from 114 countries. This year, OYW intends to double that number, aiming to create a delegation that accurately reflects the diverse distribution of populations across the globe, not only those from wealthy countries. From the U.S., delegates will be underwritten not only by large multinational corporations but also by hyperlocal organizations, such as the Democratic City Committee of Stamford, Conn. Tapping into its social media know-how, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR has been attracting, recruiting and selecting top young leaders from around the globe; a Twitter outreach effort drew nearly 50 delegates to sign on for the 2011 event.