When I began the graduate programme and training contract with EY in 2011, I never envisaged that I would one day represent ICAS and EY at the second most internationally represented event after the Olympics, the One Young World (OYW) summit.
I am part of the delegation from Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW) and will be joined by delegates from other leading Chartered Accountancy bodies including Ireland, England and Wales, South Africa and Australia & New Zealand.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the start of the conference since I first found out I would be attending the event. Now that I have arrived here in Thailand, the sheer size and scale of this One Young World Summit very quickly has dawned upon me.
I counted over 25 OYW billboards on my way to the hotel from Bangkok airport and was also greeted by an OYW advertisement on one of the tallest towers in Bangkok. The 2015 One Young World Summit will bring together 1,300 leaders from 196 nations.
"Now that I have arrived in here Thailand, the sheer size and scale of this One Young World Summit very quickly dawned upon me."
As I sit in the hotel lobby waiting to check-in to my room, I think about what I want to achieve at the OYW summit and more importantly what I can contribute. A comment made by OYW co-founder, David Jones at the UK&I delegates royal send off in September immediately springs to mind.
He said: “Charities usually have the right ideals but don’t always succeed with effective execution. Successful businesses usually have effective execution but don’t always have the right ideals."
I realise that my role as a trustee for Khalsa Aid, which provides humanitarian aid in disaster zones and as an economist providing analysis of the economic and social impact of private sector clients, is directly applicable.
Being actively involved in the not-for-profit sector, I can share best practices from the business world and in turn encourage more professionals to engage with pro-bono activities. At EY, I can help clients better engage with and understand the social impact of their business and CSR activities.
More widely, as a Chartered Accountant attending the summit, I have a broad set of skills which are applicable across all the major themes that OYW is exploring this year, whether that is exploring the approach to ethical business practices or the implementation of renewable energy around the world.
"Being actively involved in the not-for-profit sector, I can share best practices from the business world and in turn encourage more professionals to engage with pro-bono activities."
The Global Business session at OYW will be hosted by OYW Counsellor and Chartered Accountants Worldwide member, Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefonica. This session will directly highlight what we and our members can do and should be doing and I look forward to attending.
You can also listen to me on the One Young World Ambassador podcast.