A few weeks ago, I received a facebook message from my friend and former mentor, Sara, asking me if I wanted to attend an opening reception for the One Young World summit. One Young World brought together young people from across the world seeking to discuss important global issues like global warming, religious tolerance and peace. All in all, it seemed like a very cool event!
Not one to turn down a party or a chance to take tons of photos, I agreed to attend and was given a special press pass. (Apparently, tickets to participate as a delegate cost something like 3,000 euro!) Though I was invited to sit in on the sessions as well as the opening ceremony, I had to pass on the sessions due to an abundance of school work. This meant I didn't get to meet Kofi Anan or John Kerry...
BUT, I did get to hang out with journalists and photographers with intense cameras. It was great to pretend I was part of their group, simply because I had a press pass and a relatively large Nikon lens. I managed to speak with one of the delegates, a 17-year-old boy from Holland, but spent most of my time snapping photos. Unfortunately, I forgot to follow my dad's most important piece of advice (no, not "never refuse a breath mint): always bring an extra battery.
Of course, my camera managed to die right before speeches from Desmond Tutu and Bob Geldof, as well as a performance by Corrinne Bailey Rae. Needless to say, I was VERY unhappy with myself. Well, I'll let this be a lesson to myself- if I want to be a serious journalist, I need to come prepared.
My favorite speaker was definitely Desmond Tutu. He reminded me of a cute little grandfather. I desperately wanted to give him a hug. (Check out his amazing facial expressions.) Tutu managed to remain positive even when talking about major world issues. In my opinion, that makes a great speaker.
To be quite honest, I didn't really enjoy Geldof's speech. Unlike Tutu, who remained very positive, Geldof seemed to use the fear approach. One of his main points was that we spend way too much money on frivolous things...such as our pets. According to him, this is unnecessary, because everyone, including these pets, will die due to global warming.
How cute are these little kids? They're all from London, but represent over 80 different nationalities. Additionally, they were amazing singers. Watching them reminded me of watching my mom's students perform- they were just so cute!