December 13, 2018

Dispatches from the One Young World Summit

by William Turner in News

by Catherine Clements, Havas PR assistant account executive

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to represent Havas PR at One Young World 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands. Held in the international city of peace and justice, the Summit welcomed young leaders from over 193 countries and global leaders known as One Young World Counsellors from a variety of industries, including business, technology, politics and philanthropy.

Catherine ClementsThe summit was comprised of three-and-a-half days of dialogue around the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs). Counsellors and delegates discussed some of the most pressing issues around human rights, education, economic development, the environment and healthcare—and delegates shared with us the initiatives they’re leading to solve these global issues in their own communities.

It was incredibly motivating and inspiring to hear what these delegates have accomplished already. Whether it was running for government, starting a nonprofit or revising policies within their company, these individuals were determined to make positive changes—despite the odds stacked against them.

Now, you might be wondering how I got involved with One Young World, but first I have to tell you about Havas PR’s deep roots with the organization. In 2009, our very own Havas colleagues David Jones and Kate Robertson founded One Young World and began having summits two years later.

In 2012, the team at Havas PR Pittsburgh put in a bid to bring the summit to our city—and they won. Many of the colleagues I work with today were there to help bring that summit to life.

This year, I got that same opportunity—nearly 3,800 miles away. Extremely excited and unsure of what exactly to expect, I packed my bags and hopped on a plane to The Netherlands.

Upon arrival, I received an orientation of everything that would be happening at the summit: executive presentations, delegate speeches, community dinners, side-stage presentations, an expo and more. The entire experience was an incredible lesson in event planning, public relations and marketing. Even the logistics of the event were staggering—they coordinated visas, hotels, meals and transportation for over 2,000 people.

During the summit, I served as a volunteer for the social media and news team with about 15 others, each of us from a variety of backgrounds, industries and countries. The main goals for our team were to recreate the summit experience online—both on One Young World’s social media channels and website—and to capture content that can be leveraged throughout the year.  To achieve these goals, we had to capture content and turn it around in real time. We had photographers on the ground, typists taking notes, photo editors branding the images, copy editors drafting tweets and news writers producing articles.

The way the summit facilitated shareability was truly remarkable—and something to think about for my clients. The entire summit was live streamed on the organization’s website, live Tweeted and captured in daily wrap up articles (authored by yours truly). We even drafted social media posts for partners and counsellors. It was incredible to see their content process—and how it had been perfected to a science.

After the summit, the One Young World team continues to push out articles, videos and social media posts to keep the conversation going until the next year.

Attending this summit made me think about how as both businesses and individuals we have a responsibility to drive the SDGs forward. This also brings me to the last piece of my experience abroad—connecting with our colleagues at Havas Lemz. Located in the city center of Amsterdam, Havas Lemz is a Havas Village that serves around 80-90 team members across the network. As a part of the global new business team, I wanted to take to advantage of the opportunity to meet the team face-to-face.

During my visit, I was able to share about my experience at One Young World—which was especially relevant as one of their clients is a continual supporter of the summit. We exchanged ideas about the importance of using the SDGs to drive business communications and how each person has a cause they relate to most.

I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. Attending One Young World helped me to realize that whether you’re an individual, an organization or a business, you can make a big difference. You just need to start.