DIT students participate with world leaders at One Young World Summit

Posted: 23 October, 2014

DIT, our students, staff and graduates played key roles in this year’s ‘One Young World Summit’ attended by current and aspiring world leaders.

One Young World is a non-profit organisation that gathers together the brightest young people globally, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. Their annual Summit was this year held in Dublin for the first time and over 1,000 young delegates had the opportunity to mix with an array of world leaders and eminent activists, including former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson; former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan; and musician, founder of Boomtown Rats and humanitarian, Bob Geldof.

DIT was heavily involved in the event and over 400 students from across DIT also had the opportunity to attend select events.  In addition our Ballymun Music Programme was invited to perform as the opening act for the Summit. Congratulations is due to DIT Graduate and former President of DITSU, Bog Coggins,  for leading the Dublin bid to host this year’s Summit and Dublin won the honour against strong competition from Hong Kong and Edinburgh. 

DIT Student Ben Finnegan shares his experience of being part of One Young World 2014

by Ben Finnegan

Last week, myself and seven other DIT students joined the One Young World social media team for the annual summit in Dublin’s Convention Centre.

One Young World is an organisation that gives young people (aged 18-30) a platform to voice their opinions for change in the world.

The One Young World summit was brought to Dublin by a team of people, which included Bob Coggins, former President of the DIT students union.

Overall, it was an incredible week; I think everyone who worked on it with me would agree that it was totally life changing. The long days (7am-11pm) may have made us delirious and I still haven’t recovered from it.


Grayce Leonard and Ailbhe Ní Riain with Joanne O'Riordan

Some of the speeches were amazing, especially Yeonmi Park, who defected from North Korea. She told of how she escaped from the “prison”, which is “terrorising North Koreans”. Yeonmi received a standing ovation from the auditorium that was like nothing else of anything that had happened that week.

Even to pass that woman in the corridor made me speechless, everything she had gone through, and yet she still carried the North Korean flag at the Opening Ceremony.


Grayce Leonard, Ailbhe Ní Riain and Ryan Nugent with Yeonmi Park

There were other inspirational delegates at the summit, like Molibongwe Xaba, who has written a book called ‘All things are possible’, which he wrote entirely on his smartphone. Or Amir Ashour a gay rights activist for Muslims saying that, “ISIS does not represent all Muslims.”

Even to bring the issue closer to home, former IRA member Sean Murray and UDA member Jackie MacDonald sitting side-by-side on stage urging all the countries around the world who are fighting to “engage your enemy to make peace.”

One Young World rolls onto Bangkok next November for the 2015 Summit, and if anyone gives you an opportunity to go, I urge you to take it!


Ryan Nugent with Kirani James

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