A team of ten bright young Bangladeshis were travelling with Professor Muhammad Yunus to attend the One Young World Summit in Dublin, Ireland from 15-19 October 2014. The One Young World, founded in 2009 by David Jones and Kate Robertson, is a UK-based non-profit organization that gathers together the brightest young people from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. One Young Summit invited Professor Muhammad Yunus and Yunus Centre to bring a delegation of ten young people from Bangladesh to participate in the One Young World Summit at their cost. At this purpose, Yunus Centre selected ten delegates - five girls and five boys - from different universities in Bangladesh through a vigorous screening process focusing on leadership quality and commitment to work for the social good. Among them three are from Grameen Bank borrower families who are now studying in University of Dhaka, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing with Grameen Bank education loan.
Delegates wrote about their observations & experiences of OYW Summit, 2014 which are share here:
1. Tanjila Mazumder Drishti, from Volunteer for Bangladesh-Chittagong district, student from Asian University of Women
One Young World Summit is the second largest gathering of nations in the world after Olympics. This year 190 countries participated in this summit. The thought of representing my nation at such a global platform was tempting from the very beginning. On top of that given my experience in working with youth lead social welfare organizations in my country, I knew this summit would help me widen my range to serve humanity on a global stage through introducing me to youth leaders with similar interest from various other countries.
The selection process through which Yunus Centre selected the delegation team was extensive and highly commendable. Yunus Centre called for applications from young activists, entrepreneurs, journalists, scientists and emerging youth leaders from all possible sectors. After screening a huge volume of applications and resumes, I was called for the second round by Yunus Centre, where we had to write essays on our future plans for the development of Bangladesh. On passing that, finalists were invited to attend a social business workshop where we were asked to develop a social business strategy that would solve youth unemployment along with solving one other issue in a community. My plan was focused on developing composite fertilizer out of domestic waste products in a village of Bangladesh and market that to farmers of that area in very low cost. This would also solve environmental pollution problems caused due to chemical fertilizers as well as creating employment for youth in the region. We had to present our business plans and defend it. The best defenders were selected to be a part of Dr. Yunus’s 10 member delegation team. Later, I was appointed the delegation leader based on my performance throughout the selection stages.
I have to admit the whole selection process was quite competitive. For a pure science background person, social business was only something I have heard about, I never thought given under any possible circumstances I can come up with a social business model, but surprising I did!
During the final round of the selection process I realized what Dr. Yunus always says in his speeches is an absolute fact. Human beings are entrepreneurs by nature.
As far as social business is concerned, I realized it is very inter related with social work and social development. Someone who has an interest or passion for either of these can initiate or support a social business that addresses a problem or a challenge in a particular community. The beauty of social business is, it keeps solving that particular challenge/problem and develops the community as it grows. It is like a healthy plant; the healthier the plant is more oxygen it can give out!
Once we got to the summit it was an unreal experience! The best part about the summit was the energy in everyone around me! The urge to make a change! Youth leaders of conflicting countries were sitting together discussing what can be done to improve situations. It felt like the world is going to change right now! The presence of counselors like Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson, Dr. Yunus etc was a cherry on the cake!
There were two very strong personal realizations at the summit though.
Realization 1: I am extremely lucky that I was born in Bangladesh. I met youth from various countries in the world where people are fighting to survive each moment, where people are still fighting modern day slavery. I had the satisfaction that my country has at least gone beyond these basic survival challenges.
Realization 2: There is much more to do. We have a huge number of young population which is not being utilized. Thus, human resource wasted. When I talked to youth from various developed nations and many under developed communities where changes have been led by solely by youth I realized there is so much that the youth of my country can do to change the fate of the nation other than just running behind jobs.
In short, One Young World Summit 2014 was like a wakeup call, shouting in my ears saying, “You can do much more than that for your Country! Don’t wait for somebody else to take the responsibility because that somebody might never come! It has to be you! It has to be now!”
2. Shazeeb M Khairul Islam, the CEO and founder of Social Business Youth Network, student from Dhaka University
One Young World is an intellectual forum for young people that creates lasting relationships and inspires young minds to start thinking about and working towards the most pressing global predicaments. It was an amazing opportunity for me to be a part of Professor Yunus’s delegation at the One Young World. It provided me with an international platform where I could exchange ideas with young likeminded individuals, develop friendship with them, hear and be heard by global leaders.
After joining the summit I realized that one does not necessarily have to travel around the entire world to understand the world better but simply attend the OYW conference. We were welcomed heartily at the Dublin city. It seemed as if the entire city was decorated with lights, banners and colours. I was mesmerized by all the beautiful performances and inspiring speech that was being delivered at the grand Opening Ceremony. When all the Counselors welcomed the delegates, I felt privileged to be a part of the 1300 bright young minds. Former Irish president Mary Robinson’s appeal to young people to act towards sustainable development and climate change has influenced me a lot, which I believe will help me in the future a lot since I am passionate and enthusiastic to work for a better world.
The flag ceremony sent everyone a single message: we are united. The gala dinner of the opening ceremony happened to be my first opportunity to converse with other delegates. There were hundreds of delegates from big corporations, NGO’s and different organizations. But I was more eager to talk to individuals who were social entrepreneurs and were interested in social business. And I was glad that I met so many of them.
The second day of the summit was full of sessions. Discussion on Circular economy by D E MacArthur was an eye opening session for me. She explained how almost everything could be recycled and that consumers should not pay for products, rather they should pay for the service. She also identified how corporations are making profits by providing one single innovation and making the consumers go for it while their last investment is completely wasted.
Hearing about the stories of few young entrepreneurs worked as an inspiration for me. After the session I also talked with few of them and got to know the amount of hard work they had to do to shape their startup properly. However, the global business session was the one that I have been waiting for all through out the summit. All the speakers were so intellectual and inspirational. How technology can impact business and our day to day life was the key area of discussion. This session introduced couple of technology led initiatives, which motivated me to implement those when I would run my organization. The very day I also got to meet one delegate from Peru who is a social entrepreneur. I was amazed by his stories and his work and have had a great time with him. We are still in touch with each other and are looking forward to working together.
During the 3rd day of the summit I attended most of the sessions and I tried to attend different sessions with delegates from different countries. Lecture by Unilever CEO Paul polman was indeed interesting and attention grabbing. He talked about RMG industry of Bangladesh, Rana Plaza scandal and sustainability of that sector. I really wanted to ask him a question but the organizers did not allow it due to shortage of time. But just after that session I got to meet Mr Kofi Anan and greet him. That evening all the delegates went to 1000 Dubliners tour which provided us with another opportunity to interact with each other and I made good friends who were from Germany, India, USA and Netherlands.
The next morning I attended the ceremony at Dublin City University were Yunus Sir received highest honorary degree from the university. Entering the auditorium I could see a piece of Bangladesh there. There were hundreds of Bangladeshis attending the ceremony. I also had the privilege to speak about Social Business with few people who have been doing charity for the last 20-25 years of their life. I was so happy to see that, they agreed with me that Social Business could have greater impact than charity. After this we returned to CCD and attended the sessions that were mostly about Social Business. It was a very special day for me as I got a chance to ask a question to Prof Yunus and also because in the internal breakout session I got to work as one of the facilitators. There were 18 delegates in that group and I was honored to let them know about Social business and lead them solving the assigned case.
One Young World Summit 2014 was an amazing journey full of knowledge, friendship and a motivation to work for better world. We were also welcomed to meet again in the next conference that would be held in Thailand. The summit has had a great impact on me. It certainly has changed me and has motivated me to work harder. I am very grateful to Yunus Centre for providing me this splendid opportunity. I am also very thankful to Yunus Sir and Lamiya Morshed mam for having faith on me. I will definitely dedicate myself to creating a greater impact among the younger generation of our country and thus help them solve social problems through Social Business.
3. Habibur Rahaman, Entrepreneur, Habib Dairy Farm (Social Business), Founder, Baroykhali Students Welfare Association, student from Dhaka University
I attended to One Young World summit 2014 in Dublin, Ireland, which aims to address the numerous global challenges. This congregation brings together young leaders from 190 countries. Just imagine a global showcase for those who will march on to help solving some of the world's greatest challenges. These young leaders are to become prime minister, or become the founder of a global charity, or someone who are to make solidarity with the people for preserving their rights who can't.
When I attended to that conference I felt that I am watching the whole world. I got the chance to participate to that conference as a delegate of Dr. Professor Yunus delegation team. I personally got the idea about world recent burning issues i.e- sustainable Development, leadership and governance, Ebola attack & human rights violation in many parts of the world. I knew professor Dr. Yunus in my country before but I explored him differently in that conference in the respect of how much influence on the young people he has! Really I didn’t have idea before participating there that how many people have great enthusiasm about Social Business. I was very much excited observing the enthusiasm of the young generation to the conception of social business over the world & also I am an entrepreneur & my project name “Habib Dairy Farm” managed under the social Business by the finance of Grameen Kalyan, a wing organization of Grameen group of companies. That’s why I had a chance to explain the key conception of social business to at least 150 young people. Even interestingly some friends from many countries didn’t forget that discussion about social business already they have expressed their satisfaction of that discussion concerning to social business over the phone, Facebook inbox, even some of them posted on my Facebook timeline also.
Actually One Young World inspired me on my personal mission, and after returning from the Summit, I established an association named “Baroykhali Students Welfare Association” dedicated for the backward people of our society. They might be poor & drop out students, helpless people & marginalized women. By and large it is to unite the young generation & motivate them to do the social work under the auspices of social network.
4. Kazi Jawoad Hossain Third Year, Bachelor of Science (Hons.), Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
The Hogwarts Express
In boyhood i was confused of existence of the fictional Hogwart Express. But i imagined i would go somewhere where i can meet a set of extraordinary people from all over the world and learn amid of them. On course of Dublin, i had that weird feeling i am on Hogwart Express bound towards Hogwart Castle. The fun we had together as a team convinced me existence of Hogwart Express. Well, it may be surrealistic to read but the people who were in One Young World Summit are definitely wizards who are facing from their own sectors with a demon called ‘problem’.
I do not think people enjoy hearing bizarre information about places when they pass over by the plane. But i was lucky this time because my co- passengers or our team members were somehow attentive listeners what i knew bit of something while afloat 11000 Ft above the ground. I am never shy of expressing but become pessimistic while people get bored of listening something that won’t carry any value. Like a cartographer i tried to share why the Tip of Persian Gulf on Arabian Peninsula not owned by UAE or Hydrogeographic duality of Strait of Bosphorus and so on. Though terms like Lunch on Alps, listening Mozart over Salzburg, Watching ‘Hotel Transylvania’ while passing Hoia Baciu Forest were just few examples how i enjoyed my first ever Europe bound Journey. Everything i read about places and people were just moving in Brownian motion in front of my eyes. I do not know everything but there were moments when i could commemorate almost everything i know. The stories i shared with fellow delegate won’t become a Booker Prize winner Novel like Michael Ondaatje, but to my own the feeling was similar to discovering Neolithic pictographs of ‘The Swimmers Cave’ described in the Novel ‘The English Patient’.
Although in Chittagong, we are drenched overwhelmingly during monsoon, the Irish shower seems quite cold even for me. The wind was unexpectedly strong. The cloudy clumsy atmosphere by Day was pathetic. But looking at the Trinity’s Carpets or Willow rows by Liffey you can’t help amaze yourself by the beauty of Irish Nature. Perhaps there were more Concrete, Glass and Steel in the Urban City Center but at the Far end, the Scenery of Wicklow Mountains was no less than Table Mountains of Cape Town. That definitely implies why this Nation gave birth Four Literary Genius of English Literature who won Nobel Prize. But Nature alone without Human has little value in depicting through words. Each and every Irish people we met were Best Strangers. Their polite, amenable behavior and helpful suggestions in some cases were too convincing for me to fantasize Ulysses by myself.
The Day You Lived Forever
There was a complex excitement playing all over my mind while i was crossing the Harp Shaped Cable Stated Samuel Becket Bridge through its pedestrian ways. The nearer i reached to the Convention Center Dublin more lovely faces were welcoming me. Seating in CCD with fellow delegates has seemed very Normal. But the Glaze of Opening Ceremony was so amazing, i was really thinking how privileged i am for being here. From the Fiery Speech of Bob Geldof or sensible voice of Ms. Robinson, weight of Achievements of people sitting on Stage, the amazing young people shining all over amphitheater- everything seemed so perfect that may be dreams won’t be so fantastic. The Melody of Ballymunner Kids, Shamrock of Ryan Sheridan, Soothing Tune of Bodhrán, rhythm and melody of Irish Traditional Dance gave us a unique enjoyable evening. The waving flags of 190 Nations in harmony was probably the most amazing sight a human can ever watch in lifetime. In Dine, my appearance on Authentic Bangladeshi apparel paid off as a Great Pitch for making new friends and featured in Photos.
The Truth about Outliers
People who changed the World, People who changing the World and People who will change the World- all have a single things in Common; They are all ‘outliers’. You heard me right. You definitely do not require an IQ of 190 or even more to be an Outlier. All you need is to possess a great heart, sympathetic to identify problems and provide tangible solutions by using creativity. That is the recipe of Changing the World, a recipe that can be implied in anywhere in the World. This was my realization after listening Delegate Speakers who are in a Mission for creating a Better World.
Recalling Quotes of Delegate Speakers
'I wish the gun was a pen and the bullet was a pencil, I wish there were more educated people and far fewer refugees'- Eddy Musoke
'You can't see me now, but you can never see autism.'- Adam Harris
'Just because I come from a disadvantaged community doesn't mean I am disadvantage'-Malibongwe Xaba
'You need to fail to succeed! Have a vision and go after it'- Michelle Phan 'No human being deserves to be oppressed because of their birthplace'- Yeonmi Park
'To truly foster peace, our basic human rights have to be fulfilled.' - Jennifer Kamara
SpeakersOn The Top Of The World
For debaters Public Speaking is something very close to hearts. We enchant a day when we can move a mass of people with words. In One Young World the Counsellors spoke in such frequency that they form a perfect residue on polemic side of my mind. The depths of the message and strengths of the voice inspired my soul like Genesis.
Recalling Quotes of Speakers
'Don't accept the way the world is, you change it.'- Professor Muhammad Yunus.
'Are we the "Go To" bank for the rich? Let's prove Professor Yunus wrong. Let's innovate to truly serve the unbanked.' -Anthony Jenkins
'We have to put pressure on our politicians because we don't have a plan b, we only have One World.'-Mary Robinson
'Things are happening in world that are upsetting, and they cannot be solved by the businesses that create them.'- Professor Muhammad Yunus.
'Reasonable people are boring and reasonable people don’t change the world – be unreasonable'- Doug Richard
'The world needs capital, it doesn't need capitalists.' - Doug Richard
'Thanks God, there were not those black flags for the murders in IS.'- Sir Bob Geldof
'When leaders fail to lead, the people can lead and show them the way! '- Kofi Annan
'I believe it is possible to live in a world where we educate every child & eliminate poverty & climate change' - Ron Garan
'Be a leader in whatever you choose' - Alejandro Toledo
'The world is wasting one third of the food produced because people don't know the real shelf life.' - Elio Leoni-Sceti
Eighteen to Thirty is probably the most happening time of a Human beings life, these twelve year window decide and stage so many events of individuals life that it remains the most important junction.Nevertheless for One Young World Delegates it turns out a crucial step not for indivudual rather what an individual can offer for the World. It broadens someone’s vision beyond Hubble. Takes your dreams in different dimensions since you rediscover yourself and your capabilities.
Being able to interact with citizens of almost all over the world was not a new experience for me. But in other forums i was hesitate because of inferiority complex that i experienced. I felt the racist dominion by Superior Country Nationals against me. But One Young World was something very different. I was welcomed among discussions and people heard myvoice because i was contributing in discussions. I can recall my talks with Turkish Delegation about access of Kurdistan among other Nationals in the forum and it’s probable intentions. Not to forget briefing to Delegates of Ireland and Northern Ireland about activity of Grameen and Professor Yunus. There we also discussed about Freedom, Living in Separation, Unification as other delegates from Barcelona, Germany, Palestine, Cuba and Scotland joined with us. We had a diplomatic debate in artificial Turf. I can still remember when i was delivering my point of view about Independence from perspective of Bangladesh how a Pakistani diaspora from Denmark noting my speech in her Note 4!
Bearing a Tag from Professor Yunus Delegation allowed you to act as ‘Social Business Pedia’ per se for a while. Because most people asks you about Social Business although you already mentioned you are Science UG. One interesting encounter was with a Group of Mexican and British Delegation where i was asked about Compartamos Banco, the Mexican formerly microfinance corporation that derailed from it’s course. It was pretty tough to convince Finance and Economics Graduates about that wrecked Banking tycoon. But a Barclays Employee brought some amazing examples of System Defaulters in Banking History that saved my Explanation.
Knowing ample is such an advantage for engaging in effective discussion. It gives you comparative edge in talking to the point and forge effective solution. My Experience in External Breakout Session in Intel was an ever enchanting moment. May be a thorough Chemistry background was enough to brief in podium about Importance of Minerals in Tech Industry but while talking about Trans Uranium Elements that happened to be extracted from the most conflicted zone i need to have a good command over geo politics, history, supply chain. Probably i played it well because after the Session i was greeted and asked couple dozen questions. And on top of that Intel’s VP added me on LinkedIn- what a SWAG!
Tales Of Dungeon
We live in a World where sunrise doesn’t guarantee you will have a great day or sundown doesn’t mean a secure Sleep. We hear stories of War, Crime, Death, Torture. But we feel sympathetic but as we are not victim of it we can never understand the sorrow of a victim. This One Young World gave me the rare opportunity to feel the pulse of people with untold stories. Yes we only listened the Story of barbaric Kim’s from beloved Yeonmi Park. But i have the Honor to consolidate a South Sudanese Delegate who lived her entire life as Refugee. Fact is i know what happened in Kordofan Valley but while she describing her misery and how they recovered, those emotional eyes took me back in edges of Sahara where Villagers running for saving life without knowing if they gonna survive. Feeling the pain while listening stories of Genocide, Rape and Ransack was very heart touching experience. I also heard from a Brazilian Delegate how his cousin were Kidnapped and murdered by Drug Cartel Gangs. A Chilean Delegate told me the Story of Price of Democracy their Family paid during Pro US Junta took control of Government. Illegal Miners gang rape at DRC, Sex Trafficking in Thailand, illegal sex-selective abortion in China, Life as a Immigrant in France these are few examples how my interaction with people ratified my beliefs about different parts of the earth.
Crystall Ball Projectation
Michiel Mol from XCOR and Ron Garan both believes Commercial Space Travel is the future. But i respectfully disagree. Not because it’s fancy for me to feel the gravity flying from Las Cruces, NM. Because the more i talked with delegates, the more i am convinced about the Future of Social Business or the Future is Social Business. The passion and energy i saw among Young People for solving problems of people by creative acumen was amazing. It might take more time to break the conventional systems or making the word Unemployment unemployed- but i strongly believe change is inevitable, probably within my life span. The promise i saw in Internal Break Out Session at Room 2A of CCD, doesn’t require me to be the Wizard of Oz to tell the future looking at Crystal Ball! Because i am the future, and when i see hope in my generation, the Elders can hope too.
The Week Professor Yunus won Nobel Prize, a poster of him Spreading his Hands was circulated with a Major National Daily. I never asked my Mom why she attached the Poster over the Wall of my Reading Table. Perhaps i will never do. Because the psychologyof individuals are so complex that the reason behind their acts are logically imprudent. But these irrational behavior describes reality that we face everyday. The person who was never been in the list of my Childhood Heroes has become a catalyst in shaping my ideologies. People receives inspiration from acts of successful predecessors. But life is so melodramatic you never know whom you choose to follow. This One Young World Summit gave me the opportunity to walk in alleyways with some of the most amazing minds of Today and Tomorrow. The experience i earned in my small life may be nothing compared to many other delegates. My life is full of mistakes and disappointment. In some moments, i regretted because i can never be the one who would change the course of the History. May be it’s true in some aspects but what i realized my background, retro lifestyle don’t define limits of my potentials. I have a lot to give to this world and i have to embrace my destiny where it is taking me. Perhaps when time comes i will set sail in search for Another World. A world with no Poverty, no Climate Change, sustained world peace and enough of everything for everyone. Searching this World won’t be easy, but the World inside my soul has a geomagnetic compass that helped make way for others in Dublin, and i will do it again.
5. When we met the world, Apurba Jahangir, Daily Star Megazine
Stepping out of the airport, the first things to grab my attention were the gigantic banners all over the city saying 'Welcome OYW delegates'. Every corner of the city was filled with the white and blue of OYW, welcoming young minds from all over the world. There was no doubt that the biggest youth summit was taking place in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland.
On October 15, I had the privilege to be a part of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus' delegation to the One Young World Summit 2014 held in Dublin. I was accompanied by nine brilliant young minds of our country. The team included Tanzila Mazumder Drishti from Volunteer for Bangladesh-Chittagong district; Shapla Koli from Grameen Caledonian Nursing College; Shwazeb M Khairul Islam, the CEO and founder of Social Business Youth Network; Nazmul Islam Apu, entrepreneur and a BUET student; Kazi Rubaya Islam, online entrepreneur; Kazi Zaowad, student of Chittagong University and a brilliant debater; Habibur Rahman, social business entrepreneur; Meghna Alam, founder of Ekotro Foundation; and Syeda Lammim Ahad, a student of EEE in BUET who is also involved with various youth organisations.
6. তারুণ্যের বিশ্ব, সৈয়দা লামমীম আহাদ, A Student of EEE in BUET
সেখানে আমরা সবাই সমাজ বদলে দেওয়ার প্রত্যয়ে অঙ্গীকারবদ্ধ। আমাদের এই প্রত্যয়ের সারথি বিশ্বের ১৯০টি দেশ থেকে আসা এক হাজার ৩০০ স্বাপ্নিক তরুণ। বলছিলাম ১৫ থেকে ১৮ অক্টোবর অনুষ্ঠিত ‘ওয়ান ইয়াং ওয়ার্ল্ড সামিট’-এর কথা। সম্মেলনটি অনুষ্ঠিত হয়েছে আয়ারল্যান্ডের রাজধানী ডাবলিনে।
তরুণদের অগ্রযাত্রাকে শাণিত করতে যেখানে উপস্থিত ছিলেন কফি আনান, বব গেল্ডফ, ড. মুহাম্মদ ইউনূস, ম্যারি রবিনসনের মতো পৃথিবী বদলে দেওয়া ৩৬ জন ব্যক্তিত্ব। সম্মেলনে বাংলাদেশ থেকে অংশ নিয়েছিলাম আমরা ১০ জন। আমাদের দলের নেতৃত্বে ছিলেন তানজিলা মজুমদার। তিনি স্বেচ্ছাসেবী সংগঠন ভলান্টিয়ার ফর বাংলাদেশের চট্টগ্রাম বিভাগের ১১টি জেলার জনসংযোগ সমন্বয়কারী হিসেবে কাজ করছেন।