One Young World was founded in 2009 and is a UK-based not-for-profit organisation that gathers together the brightest young people from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. They stage an annual Summit where the most valuable young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organisations are joined by world leaders. At the Summit, delegates debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.
Colombia will be the first country in Latin America to host the Summit, when more than 1,200 young leaders aged 18 to 30 from over 194 countries will gather in Bogota in 2017, before the baton is passed to fellow bid winner The Hague, who won the right to hold the 2018 Summit. Bogota warded off strong competition in the bidding process, which also included submissions from Paris and Belgrade.
By hosting the annual One Young World Summit, Bogota will welcome delegates from almost every country in the world – in a gathering that brings more nations together than at any other major event other than the Olympics. It is estimated that the four day Summit will boost the local economy by approximately $4 million and attract media coverage from more than 200 global outlets including the BBC, CNN, Reuters and Al Jazeera.
The successful bid from Bogota set out a vision for a remarkable One Young World Summit in 2017, with the main Summit set to place at the newly built Agora Convention Centre. The Colombian bidding process, which started in April, was led by the Conventions Bureau of Bogota & Cundinamarca and had full government backing of ProColombia, the Council of Bogota, the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Office of the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. Alongside the young delegates, Bogota will welcome the One Young World Counsellors, a distinguished list of global leaders who have in recent years included: Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan; Former US President Bill Clinton; musician and activist, Sir Bob Geldof; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus; entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington; chef and food campaigner Jamie Oliver; Unilever CEO Paul Polman and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson.
Kate Robertson, founder of One Young World, said: “Each year at One Young World we aim to push the boundaries of what is possible, to ensure that our global Summit continues to be the world’s principal gathering for young leaders. We were humbled to see the outstanding passion and determination of the Host City proposals from all cities, but Bogota and The Hague really stood out in presenting their plans for the Summit, which capture both the spirit and ambition of One Young World.”
Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of ProColombia commented "Bogota has become a key destination for hosting international events in Latin America; it is the gateway to Colombia for tourists and an important regional and global business centre. The awarding of the One Young World Summit demonstrates that Bogota is a city with world class infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce and as a destination that welcomes visitors with open arms."