One Young World for Titanic Belfast’s Stephanie Craig
At TBL International we value our staff as one of our key assets and reasons for success – and as such, we are passionate about developing them into leaders of the future in whatever career path they ultimately chose.
As a world-leading management company we look to provide opportunities for our staff to engage with other world leaders, and that’s why we were delighted to give one of our Titanic Belfast Hospitality team members, Stephanie Craig, the chance to attend the prestigious One Young World Summit in London in October 2019!
One Young World is an organisation that “identifies, promotes and connects the world’s most impactful young leaders to create a better world, with more responsible leadership”, believing that the new generation is the most informed, most educated, most connected generation in human history. Each year One Young World hold a summit which brings together the brightest young talent from every country and sector of employment, working to accelerate social impact. The delegates get the opportunity to be counselled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders.
This year some of the counsellors were Richard Branson, Bob Geldof, Mary Robinson Former President of Ireland and James Quincy CEO Coca-Cola to name but a few. Once the summit is over, delegates become One Young World Ambassadors, going back into their communities and organisations with the means and motivation to make a difference.
We spoke to Stephanie, who works in Event Planning Support at Titanic Belfast, about what it was like to travel to the London summit alongside 19 other young people representing Northern Ireland.
Tell us a bit about your experience of One Young World…
“It’s easy to say it’s amazing and was probably one of the best weeks of my life but to fully articulate the whole experience of OYW? Well it’s just impossible!
The trip was pretty full-on; from 6am wake up calls to 3am goodnights (because you spent 4 hours post-dinner debating Brexit with people from every continent!), to lunches on the run between workshops so you didn’t miss anything and banquet dinners served in Google’s London headquarters, we were powered by copious amounts of coffee to keep us going – yet every second of it was incredible.”
What was your main highlight from the trip?
“The opening ceremony set in the iconic Royal Albert Hall! I sat down between a Spanish aeronautical engineer from Airbus and an American research and development biologist from Johnson and Johnson. This was only the start of meeting an abundance of friends from across the entire globe from all walks of life. The opening ceremony has the 2nd largest flag procession after the Olympics and it’s safe to say never before had I been in a room with representatives from so many countries, and it is likely I never will again.
As the counsellors were welcomed to the stage, I sat in disbelief that I was actually there in the presence of so many world leaders, celebrities and global activists – one of which was the Duchess of Sussex! It was a pinch me moment if ever there was one and the evening was topped off by a fabulous event at the Natural History museum.”
Tell us a little bit about some of the speakers…
“The keynote speeches were awe-inspiring – some leaving you in fits of laughter and some in floods of tears. We heard from many different speakers, including CEOs like Richard Branson, world leaders like the First Lady of Columbia, celebrities such as Ellie Golding and North Korean escapee Yeonmi Park.
One of my favourite keynotes was from BP. The exhibition hall at One Young World was a vast hall filled with some of the world’s largest companies, including BP who were encouraging you to discover your carbon footprint. Knowing that I am partial to holiday and driving my car far too much to avoid public transport, I was a prime culprit. As it turned out, my carbon footprint is estimated to be more than 585% above the world average and BP were trying to make me feel guilty about this!
I went along to the keynote speech by the CEO of BP because I thought – how can you have the audacity to tell me I’m ruining the world with my carbon footprint when you’re the leading producer of fossil fuels?! However, it was interesting to discover how little I really knew about them as a company…
One thing that stood out is the CEO admitted he knew BP were, and still are, part of the global climate crisis problem but as a company they recognise that they also need to be part of the solution. For example, BP offset every flight from those attending the OYW summit and are also investing billions into renewable energy sources.
They encouraged us all to take a pledge to offset your carbon footprint when you take a flight or to try to avoid 1 or 2 journeys a week in your car. Small steps make a big difference!”
Did you take part in any interesting workshops?
“Yes! I loved my workshop with the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC). We had 20 minutes to come up with a 1-minute pitch on your idea for a new disaster fundraising campaign. Sounds relatively easy – until you discover you’re pitching to the CEO of Oxfam, CEO of Action Aid, CEO of CAFOD and the CEO of the DEC!!
The aim of the project was all about encouraging young people to give, as from the DEC’s research they know that young adults aged 18-30 are the least likely to donate when there is a global crisis.
In our group we concluded this was because young people didn’t trust charity. Myself another delegate were allocated the role of delivering the pitch – and yes, I was terrified that I was now about to stand in front of 4 of the world’s largest charities CEOs and tell them we didn’t trust them! Luckily, every other group doing the workshop said the exact same thing, so we were not alone in our approach and they took it rather well considering!
It was incredible to have the opportunity to stand up in front of a panel featuring so many globally recognised companies but also to know that our ideas and suggestions were going to be used throughout their next campaign strategies.”
Can you share any inspiring quotes from the event?
“The youth do not need to be empowered. The youth are the power.” – Maria Juliana Ruiz, First Lady of Columbia
“Even with small changes, you can make a huge impact.” – Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW
“There is only one race; the HUMAN race” – Mohamed Amersi, Emergent Telecom Ventures
“Be true to what you truly believe. Be clear on who you are and why you are there. You need not hold back on what you think you can do” – Sir John Major
Sum up your One Young World trip and what you are taking away from it…
“One Young World is best summed up in 2 ways. One, I got the amazing opportunity to meet thousands of young people from across the globe with a similar mindset and the same goal of a better world for us all to share, and two, we all had the opportunity to be inspired to return to our home country with a positive mindset, believing that you can make a difference and achieve more than you ever dreamed.
My week was filled with inspiration, admiration and most of all hope. We really do not appreciate how lucky a card we have been dealt in life and it took One Young World to really drive that truth home for me.”
Looking to the future, Stephanie summaries how she is still going to be connected to One Young World…
“My One Young World Experience is not over. One of the reasons I was fortunate enough to attend One Young World is that hopefully one day Belfast will be the host of this incredible summit. After attending OYW, I can safely say, for Belfast it would be an honour to be able to host such an event with some of the most incredible people from across the globe. I’m delighted that my One Young World journey isn’t ending with my trip to London but instead I will be working alongside 16 other OYW ambassadors who went to the 2019 summit to help win the city bid for 2023/2024.
If you ever have the opportunity to attending One Young World grab it with two hands and don’t let go. It truly is the experience of a lifetime and certainly one I won’t forget as long as I live. I was honoured to represent Titanic Belfast and Northern Ireland and will forever be grateful for the opportunity I was given.”