PITTSBURGH, Oct. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Business can be a force for good," said David Jones, co-founder of One Young World, as he introduced a special session on ethical business during the second full day of the One Young World Summit in Pittsburgh.
Antony Jenkins, Group chief executive, Barclays, led the spirited discussion. Panel participants included Will Hutton, author, Them & Us and former Editor-in-Chief, Observer; Sabine Zindera, VP Corporate Legal & Compliance, Siemens; Niel Golightly, VP Communications, Shell Oil Ltd.; and Doug Richard, entrepreneur and founder, School for Startups.
The session began with a commitment from One Young World ambassadors to promote more ethical business practices. The proposal included a three-point plan prompting businesses to understand their purpose, communicate and put it into practice with internal and external audiences, and, most importantly, hold businesses accountable to what they say to the public.
Following this announcement, a passionate discussion ensued with panelists debating the role of corporations in earning back the public trust. In addition, they debated the importance of going beyond "doing the minimum" in complying with laws and regulations while acting with ethical purpose. Richard argued that many businesses start out with core values, but as they get bigger, can become eclipsed by the sole purpose of making money. "I don't think businesses need to have a purpose - they need to not lose their purpose," he said.
Zindera cited strong, ongoing commitment by leadership as the only way to rebuild public trust after an ethical lapse, saying "the leading culture needs to walk the talk every single day."
Jenkins concluded the session by committing to return to One Young World in 2013 to provide an update on the process he's just begun at the Barclays Group to define the company's core values and purpose.
Also on Saturday, a Global Health plenary session addressed pressing international health issues, including HIV, AIDS and equality for people with disabilities.
Several delegate speakers from across the globe were guided by Counsellors Natalia Vodianova (model and philanthropist), James Chau (CCTV news anchor and UN AIDS Goodwill Ambassador), Miller Matola (CEO, Brand South Africa) and Doug Richard (founder, School for Startups). The speakers urged their One Young World peers to take action in improving equal rights and eliminating discrimination against those who are disabled.
"It is vital that people with disabilities are integrated into society - but people with disabilities are often isolated and don't have a voice at the table," said Josie Badger, current Miss Wheelchair USA and founder of the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network, a group of 2,000 young adults with disabilities who want to make a difference in the lives of youth in Pennsylvania. "We have to make those who are disabled understand that they can make a difference. One person can change a policy. One person can empower an entire community. And, one person can change the world," said Badger to rousing applause.
Although returning delegate Bishnu Hari Tripathi of Nepal was unable to attend the One Young World Summit in person because he was unable to secure a VISA, he provided a video update. Over the past year, Bishnu has been part of an effort to improve access for people with disabilities in Nepal at city facilities where there currently is none. As a result of Tripathi's efforts, ramps are now being built on several government buildings.
"That's a young leader - changing the world, making a difference," said Kate Robertson, One Young World co-founder.
Co-founders of Free the Children, Spencer West and Marc Kielburger, inspired delegates with their stories of affecting global change. Marc and his younger brother, Craig, started Free the Children after reading an article in a Canadian newspaper about a Pakistani boy who was sold into child labor and later killed for running away. Free the Children's mission is to empower youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens.
Kielburger, who is also CEO of Me to We, showed delegates an inspirational video about "We Day," Free the Children's signature event. We Day is a youth empowerment event that connects world-renowned speakers and performers with thousands of students and educators in a stadium-sized setting. It serves as the launch for a year of action for social change initiatives.
Free the Children speaker Spencer West, whose legs were amputated as a child due to a genetic muscular condition, shared his journey, both physically and emotionally, to raise more than $500,000 to support clean water, in East Africa by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
During a session on human rights, Counsellors Hans Reitz (founder and managing director, Grameen Creative Lab), Miller Matola (CEO, Brand South Africa) and Christine Ockrent (journalist and writer) served as mentors. Several One Young World delegates spoke to the importance of working together to ensure equal rights for those groups who commonly face discrimination, including minorities, women, children and members of the LGBT community.
"We, the young people, can definitely do something to make our planet a better place," said Hong Kong delegate Cheuk Kwan Chung, who addressed the role of using social media to rally supporters in the fight against discrimination. "When you see something, say something - share it on Facebook or send a tweet. Grab a friend's attention and encourage him to take action. Never underestimate your contribution in how you can affect society."
More information about the Summit is available at www.OneYoungWorldPittsburgh.com and www.OneYoungWorld.com.
High-res video clips of Antony Jenkins and Josie Badger are available by request.
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About One Young World
One Young World is a charity that stages an annual Summit, gathering together the brightest young people from around the world. At the 2012 Summit young leaders from 182 countries will share their vision, views and ideas to create practical and achievable commitments for positive change.
Unlike any other event, One Young World Summit gives delegates the kind of media platform afforded ordinarily only to those who lead countries and corporations. Delegates speak alongside global figures who this year include former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Bob Geldof KBE, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Kofi Annan, Jamie Oliver, Pete Cashmore and Fatima Bhutto many others.
The seven areas of focus for the 2012 Summit are:
-- Global Business
-- Human Rights
-- Leadership & Governance
-- Sustainable Development
-- Transparency & Integrity
Following the Summit, One Young World Ambassadors will deliver positive outcomes in these areas in their countries and communities and, using the lasting connections One Young World enables them to maintain, on a global scale.
Founded by David Jones, Global CEO of Havas, and Kate Robertson, UK Group Chairman, Havas Worldwide, the annual One Young World Summit is a unique event that offers international decision makers powerful insight into where our world may be heading.
One Young World Summit 2012 is taking place in Pittsburgh, USA, from 18-22 October.
For more information about One Young World please visit: www.oneyoungworld.com.
SOURCE One Young World
Web Site: http://www.oneyoungworld.com