Leading the next generation

Asked to send its best, Australia chose UNSW student Tanvir Uddin to attend the inaugural One Young World Global Leaders Summit in London, hosted by Sir Bob Geldof, Kofi Annan and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Tanvir uddin inside

UNSW student Tanvir Uddin has attended the inaugural One Young World Global Leaders Summit in London to address global issues affecting youth. He is one of only two Australian selected to attend the event.

The global initiative hosted by Kofi Annan, Bob Geldof and Archbishop Desmond Tutu brought together 1500 young leaders from 192 countries to create a unified voice for the next generation.

In the lead up to the event Archbishop Tutu appealed to countries "to send the best they have - delegates who want to see a peaceful, caring and compassionate world".

The key issues addressed at the three-day Summit included developing political leadership, global business, interfaith dialogue, the environment, media, and global health.

Uddin, an Arts/Law Scientia Scholar and former Goldman Sachs Global Leader, said the summit provided a unique opportunity to participate in global discussion and voice the opinions of his generation.

"I was the first person to suggest an amended resolution in the plenary session on the environment led by Sir Bob Geldof, which is something I'd never imagined I'd have the chance to do," said Uddin.

Highlights of the Summit included an address by Nobel Peace prize winner and founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, who explained his concept of 'social business' as a way to decrease poverty, and a BBC-hosted lunch with Nelson Mandela's former lawyer and UN Director of Politics, Nick Haysom.

The One Young World Summit relied entirely on social media for publicity and to engage delegates from around the world.

"I heard about the Summit through Facebook and then gathered sponsors and support through my Facebook page," says Uddin, whose trip was made possible by contributions from friends, family and sponsors.

"I've never seen so many young people directly or indirectly - through social media - calling for social change and committing to it."

Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | 04294 16070 | fran.strachan@unsw.edu.au