On my third day at the OYW Summit, fatigue is starting to kick in, but I easily find the energy to keep going as the sessions and delegates around me are so inspiring. In this post I cover two more sessions that I found particularly inspiring.
The session was co-hosted by Li Xiaopeng, a four-time Olympic Gold winning gymnast holding 16 world titles, more than any other Chinese gymnast. He was joined on the panel by Steve Waugh, former Australian Cricket captain and Hope Solo, US National football goalkeeper.
The session explored a number of topics including youth engagement in sports, female engagement in sports, leadership in sports and the development of skills in sports that can be applied to business and everyday life.
"With sport, good or bad, you know how to become stronger."
I found myself relating to a lot of the discussion points as I had spent considerable time in Thailand competing in Muay Thai (Thai boxing) at an amateur and also at professional level. I could very much relate to how sport is so character building and how it helped to develop my core values of commitment, perseverance and patience. These really developed during my sporting endeavours and now apply to all aspects of my life.
Li Xiaopeng summed up his experience with professional sports beautifully when he said: “With sport, good or bad, you know how to become stronger”.
The ethics of international business
This was an external breakout session run by Chartered Accountants Worldwide and hosted by Ronan Dunne, the CEO of Telefonica UK/O2.
The room was filled with over 50 delegates and it was wonderful to see people from a variety of professions and industries coming together to discuss the importance of ethics in today’s world.
Ronan talked broadly about the meaning of ethics, the responsibility of Chartered Accountants to uphold ethical standards and recent instances where ethics have come into question in the public press.
"People do business with brands and companies they trust, so having an ethical mindset is key to that."
Delegates in the room shared experiences of ethical dilemmas they encountered at work and how they addressed them. It was great to see the healthy discussion and debate in the room. The geographic and gender diversity helped to provide a range of perspectives on issues that are often very grey areas.
As one of a number of Chartered Accountants present including Ronan Dunne, it was a great opportunity to share the code of ethics that is used within our profession. We also discussed the difference between the principles-based approach to ethics taken in the UK with the more rules-based approach adopted in the US. Listening to comments from people in the advertising industry, NGOs and even artists on their views of the profession and ethics of business was refreshing.
Something Ronan said summed up the session well: “People do business with brands and companies they trust, so having an ethical mindset is key to that.”
The long-term impact of the One Young World summit for me is becoming clear as I meet delegates from South Africa and Cote d'Ivoire. They have already made plans to visit myself and others in London in 2016 to further grow their social enterprises.
I am making friends and connections here that will extend past this summit and could potentially last a lifetime. I have met so many like-minded individuals here. Who knows what the future will bring. One day we might end up working together to change the world or simply remain great friends. Either way I am grateful for this amazing opportunity.