Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dining with One Young World Delegates

One Young World brought more than 1,300 young adults to Pittsburgh from over 180 countries for a four-day summit designed to bring a youthful perspective to important global issues. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh did an amazing job organizing the One Young World Pittsburgh Partnership event. Thanks to the hard work of Melanie Gulasy and Steve Sokol the event truly showcased Pittsburgh.

The delegates had a chance to interact at dozens of breakout sessions with their peers to discuss health, education, business and human rights issues, to name a few. One Young World brought global leaders to guide their deliberations, including a kick off on Thursday night by former President Bill Clinton. The summit, held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, wrapped up on Sunday with a series of speakers, including former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Confluent Translations took part in hosting one of the many community dinners held around the region on Saturday, October 20th. Delegates from Finland, India, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States joined us at Café Zinho for a truly memorable dinner. Their enthusiasm and excitement proved why they are considered the emerging leaders of the world.

The food was incredible and the conversation was lively. There were many different types of fish on the menu and describing them proved interesting. We shared some Pittsburgh fun facts and answered the delegates’ questions on how Pittsburgh was able to reposition itself as a leader in health, education and technology. The delegates shared with us their perspectives on the discussions they took part in, such as business ethics that are common to EC countries and the United States but are non-existent in countries where there is bribery and even death threats.

We asked what surprised them most about Pittsburgh and overwhelmingly it was how friendly Pittsburghers were. The young women from Spain and India marveled over the beautiful colors of our fall foliage. Interestingly, the delegates from the United States and the United Kingdom were surprised by how clean the city was, still having the impression of our steel-town heritage. Special thanks to volunteer Janine Hannan, who was responsible for the group’s logistics. We were affectionately calling her the delegates’ den mother by the end of the evening.

The One Young World Summit will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2013. We wish them continued success in grooming our young leaders of tomorrow. It was a once-in-a-life time opportunity to help showcase Pittsburgh and meet those shaping the course of the world.

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