Bogotá recently hosted this year’s One Young World, the world’s most important summit for young leaders and the second largest in terms of attendance after the Olympic Games. The event brought together 1,400 young people from 196 countries to discuss, develop and share innovative solutions around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The most important issues on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development debated by the young attendees and ambassadors were peace and security, the environment, education, leadership, government and poverty reduction.
22 young employees from seven countries (Colombia, Argentina, Germany, Ecuador, Chile, Spain and Brazil) made up the Telefónica delegation. Their participation was very valuable, as they contributed innovative ideas with a view to finding solutions for the main global problems.
Alfonso Gómez Palacio, CEO and Chairman of Telefónica in Colombia, was one of the advisors who accompanied the chief figures at the summit, together with other important leaders on the world stage, including Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Muhammad Yunus and Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and the actress Cher.
Telefónica's delegation shouted out: “Together for a sustainable future!”
Learn more about Telefónica’s role
On the first day (4 October), the Telefónica delegates met at a workshop to debate public positioning issues such as privacy, transparency, security, education, investment in infrastructures, the future of the Internet and new technologies.
Alfonso Gómez then joined the workshop to welcome the young employees and offer them some words of encouragement. Our CEO announced the different initiatives the Company is launching to promote compliance with the SDGs, more specifically in areas such as education, social innovation, the environment, Big Data and Smart Cities. He concluded by declaring:
“ I feel proud to be at One Young World, proud that our Company is taking part and proud that there are leaders from Colombia and 22 Telefónica delegates at this eventI.”
One Young World 2017 Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony was held in Bolívar Square in Bogotá and attended by Alfonso Gómez, Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia, Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá, Nobel Peace Prize winners Kofi Annan and Muhammad Yunus, Caroline Casey from #Valuable, Mónica de Greiff, Director of Bogotá Chamber of Commerce and the singer Fonseca, among other participants.
Flags, colours, culture and music were the predominant elements, reflecting the universal character of One Young World. Kofi Annan highlighted the following: “Colombia has made remarkable progress in the difficult transition towards the search for peace, something which has been an inspiration. This proves something we have always believed in: Changing to become better is possible. Everyone makes a difference.”
Technological partner of OYW
Movistar was the summit’s technological partner, providing Wi-Fi connectivity to all the attendees at the convention centre and in Bolívar Square, where the opening ceremony was held, as well as in the Simón Bolívar Park, where the event came to its conclusion. In addition, Movistar set up a stand where delegates from all the countries received SIM cards with 1GB of browsing data, so that they would always have the very best connectivity, thereby giving them the chance to communicate and publicize their experiences at the event.
Plenary session on education
On 6 October Telefónica Movistar made its most important contribution. After Kate Robertson, founder of One Young World, gave her talk on “How can we prepare young people for jobs which don’t exist yet?”, several ambassadors took the stage, including our Chairman and CEO.
In his speech he spoke about the challenges facing education, including the divides existing between developed and developing economies. In addition, he warned of similar gaps between rural and urban areas and the genders.
“Education enables nations to grow. Spending on coverage and high-quality education will help us to bridge the gaps and reduce poverty. This will also mean greater quality of life and progress in terms of justice and democracy.”
“Academia, the private sector and the government must join forces to help to improve education. Three out of every four professions we will need in the next two decades don’t exist yet, as they are still being created. These are robotics, artificial intelligence and data science.”
He continued by publicizing Telefónica’s commitment to young people by means of developing their skills and providing them with digital education to overcome the professional challenges of the future: “With Telefónica - Profuturo “Digital Classroom” our goal is to educate at least ten million people around the world by 2020.”
Finally, Alfonso Gomez reflected: “All the great changes in the history of humanity have arisen from ideas which seemed crazy at first. Your promoters and inspirers were young people like you. Don’t forget that the true power of transformation lies in action.”