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One Young World: London 2019

One Young World, held in London from 22-25 October, saw over 2,000 of the brightest young talent from every country and sector convene to accelerate positive change. Chartered Accountants Worldwide had 19 ambassadors representing the accounting profession at the summit, including six ambassadors from ICAEW.

ICAEW Ambassadors:

What happened at the summit

The delegates had a busy week, starting with a dinner at Chartered Accountants’ Hall with Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive and Chartered Accountants Worldwide Chairman on Monday 21 October. The dinner, hosted especially for all 19 delegates gave the ambassadors a chance to meet, network and discuss what they were looking forward to from the week ahead.

Tuesday, officially the first day of the summit, allowed the ambassadors to get their bearings, register and receive their credentials before heading off to the opening ceremony held at the Royal Albert Hall. The opening ceremony was a celebration with cultural entertainment, keynote speeches from global figures, and the Flag Bearing Ceremony featuring delegates representing over 190 countries, setting the tone for the rest of the summit. The celebration saw guests such as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, a performance from Jay Sean and Major of London, Sadiq Khan declare London 'open' as he welcomed delegates to the international city. The opening ceremony was followed by dinner at the Natural History Museum.

The following day, the panel and keynote speeches began. The summit focuses on the subjects of Poverty Alleviation, Education, Peaceful Futures, Planetary Health and Media Freedom. Michael Izza introduced the keynote address on the planetary health plenary session.

In his speech Izza commented on chartered accountants as problem-solvers: “Finance professionals and chartered accountants are problem-solvers, and what bigger problem do we face than the climate crisis?”, going on to say; “the accountancy profession can and must play a unique role.”

On Wednesday evening ICAEW hosted a community dinner at Chartered Accountants’ Hall. The theme of the dinner was the sustainability development goals which saw 17 ICAEW members from a range of sectors invited to the dinner for guest to discuss how they were influencing change in their relevant organisations. Representatives included WaterAid, BMW and KPMG. The 200+ guests were challenged to complete a sustainability development goals bingo card with the prize, a £500 donation to a charity or cause, chosen by the winner.

Thursday continued with the themes of the summit and included a plenary session on Poverty Alleviation - Can innovation solve economic inequality? It was an intense day hearing from brave speakers sharing their experiences and how they are tackling the problems they face. Luke Fletcher ACA, ICAEW member and OYW delegate said: “We heard some remarkable stories from some very courageous and brave people from across the globe”. One such issue - orphanage tourism – was highlighted by J.K Rowling who attended the summit speaking as president of children’s charity Lumos. Speaking on the topic she called on students not to volunteer at orphanages as emerging evidence shows it drives family separation and child trafficking.

Friday concluded the 10th annual One Young World summit with continued conversations on the future of education and peace. Highlights from the day included a keynote address from Sir Richard Branson on global leadership and a candid conversation with Ronan Dunne, group CEO of Verizon and ICAEW member explored the future of education in a world of endless technological development. The closing ceremony saw cultural entertainment and delegates making commitments to the causes they had been discussing throughout the summit. This marked the end of an incredible week handing over to representatives from Munich, Germany, where the summit will be held next year.