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Young Global Leaders Summit kicks off with Dignity Day visits to Vancouver schools

Vancouver, Canada - The second Annual Summit of the Forum of Young Global Leaders kicked off in Vancouver, Canada, on Thursday with visits to schools across the city and a reception attended by Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia. Nearly 200 participants have made the trip to Canada for the four-day Summit, held for the first time outside of Switzerland. The participating Young Global Leaders represent 49 countries and are rising stars from business and politics, leading academics, artists, activists and journalists all under the age of 40. The Summit, Innovations 4 the Future, will explore the newest ideas that will shape our world.

Dignity Day, a creation of the Young Global Leaders community, is the initiative which saw Young Global Leaders fanning out into nine schools across the Vancouver area to share their personal experiences and knowledge with students on issues ranging from global dignity to climate change, to overcoming adversity and combating racism. The Global Dignity Project is a larger initiative launched by a group of Young Global Leaders in 2006 that seeks to promote the five principles of global dignity. For more information see www.globaldignity.org.

Students at King George Secondary School heard John Bryant, Founder of Operation Hope, recount his childhood in South Central Los Angeles. “You cannot have a rainbow without a storm,” he told a captivated young crowd. “Dignity is allowing everyone to have a chance,” said Caroline Casey, Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Ireland-based Aisling Foundation, who is legally blind and who recounted her dream of driving a car, a dream she finally fulfilled. “As you walk through life, don’t give up at first failure,” echoed Scott J. Freidheim, Global Head of Strategy at Lehman Brothers.

“Dignity Day was a great opportunity for Young Global Leaders to share their experiences as leaders, inspire the next generation and show them that it is possible to make change happen. And the enthusiasm from Dignity Day will certainly energize our work over the next few days,” said Nicole Schwab, Director of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, at a reception attended by Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia.

"The Province of British Columbia is honoured to welcome the Forum of Young Global Leaders to Vancouver for a discussion of issues that touch the lives of people here in Canada as surely as they do the lives of people all around the globe," said Gordon Campbell. "In a city as diverse as Vancouver and a province that sits at Canada's gateway to the Pacific Rim, we're very conscious of the role we all have to play in shaping our shared social and economic future. I look forward to seeing the ideas that come forward at this Summit and to exploring how they can apply to the future we are building here in British Columbia."

The Annual Summit of the Forum of Young Global Leaders from 8-11 June will focus on four themes, each associated with one of the ancient elements of Greek science and philosophy (Air, Water, Earth and Fire). Within each theme, participants will analyse the business, social and human implications of future developments. Leading experts will put forward new insights and brainstorm on unconventional ideas and impending challenges.

 


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).