Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Our students mix with world leaders at One Young World Summit

Wed Oct 15 16:40:00 BST 2014

Two of our students will travel to Dublin this week to play a key role in the latest 'One Young World Summit', attended by current and aspiring world leaders.

Students Alex Polkey and Nipuni Perera

Out students Alex Polkey and Nipuni Perera will attend the One Young World Summit 2014 in Dublin


One Young World is a preeminent global forum for young leaders, aged between 18-30, bringing together people from around the world with a view to create lasting connections and develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues.

At this year’s Dublin Summit, over 1,000 young delegates will mix with an array of world leaders and eminent activists, including Kofi Annan and Sir Bob Geldof. Former Irish President and current UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, Mary Robinson, will officially open the four-day Summit on Wednesday 15 October.

Second-year Politics and International Relations student, Alex Polkey, has been selected to speak during the Summit’s Peace & Conflict session, talking about his experiences growing up in Northern Ireland and his recent volunteering at the Corrymeela Community – an organisation concerned with peace and conflict resolution in divided societies. At 19, Alex will be the youngest speaker at the Summit.

Commenting on the opportunity, he said: "My goal is to represent the amazing work being done by Corrymeela. What I try to say in my speech is that peace-building has to happen from the bottom up. You have to create safe spaces and involve whole communities. Corrymeela provides a really good model of how to do that.

"It will be incredible too to meet and learn from so many inspiring young people. I think the Summit is a brilliant idea and I’m so honoured that the University is sending me."

Nipuni Perera, 22, originally from Sri Lanka, has been selected as the flag bearer for her country during the Summit’s opening ceremony. Nipuni, who studies Politics with Economics at the University, will use the Summit to build new connections and friendships around the world and to further her aspirations to forge a career in business sustainability.

She said: "I am very excited to meet delegates from all across the world at this week’s One Young World Summit in Dublin. By connecting with driven and innovative thought leaders from various fields, I’m looking forward to discussing responsible solutions to pressing global problems and how we create the change we want to see in the world."

Professor Ian Butler, Dean of our Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences which has supported Alex and Nipuni in attending, explained: "It is great to know that so many of our students aspire to being young leaders and contribute to social change. We felt that Alex and Nipuni could both contribute significantly to the Summit and we are proud that they will be representing the University."

Alex and Nipuni will share their experiences during the Summit online via Twitter. In November, they will also brief fellow Bath students on their experiences as well as future projects which emerge as a result of the event. To follow them on Twitter see @OYWBath.

Following last year’s One Young World Summit in Johannesburg, our delegate Jenna Logeais, helped establish the Cube Movement, an international campaign to fight modern day slavery.