Cameroon, 2015. Ismail Ebone, the son of a fisherman, is 25 years old. He enjoys going for walks along the beach in his village. He likes it here; he grew up here. But what he doesn’t like are the mountains of plastic bottles that swallow up the river and cover the sand. His country is poor; hardly anyone worries about natural conservation. Ismail decides to make a change. He founds Madiba & Nature, his non-profit organization. His goal: to increase awareness of environmental issues in his region and to combat the pollution in the ocean and rivers. He begins by collecting plastic bottles and tying them together to make boats. Three years later, the environmental engineer has built over 30 such boats. He sells them inexpensively to local fishers so that they can earn a living. It’s not the solution to the plastic problem. But it’s a start.
Audi at One Young World 2018
Each year at the One Young World Summit, around 1800 young people from around the world meet to discuss the upcoming challenges of the future. Audi joined them this year for the third time, where Annika Jochheim met with two participants.
Mexico, 2016. Fernanda Durán has her first day of work at Audi México. She originally comes from Northern Mexico, but she moved to the capital city of Puebla for her position as a recruiter. The plant where Audi produces its Q5 is located here — in San José Chiapa, a village about two hours away from Mexico City. Only 12.5% of the people living here have a high school diploma — far below average for the country. It is Fernanda’s idea to change this, to open new perspectives for the people in San José Chiapa. She wants to create a mentoring program for children in which Audi employees provide assistance and support children from the area. It is intended to be an initial step on the road towards a more social world.
One Young World 2018 begins
Netherlands, 2018. “It’s your world. You need not hold back on what you think you can do,” says John Major, the former British prime minister, as he greets the 1,800 young visionaries from around the world who have gathered at this year’s One Young World Summit. For four days, young leaders from around the world can exchange ideas, listen to inspirational speakers such as Bob Geldof or Lord Michael Hastings, and use the summit as a platform for their thoughts and projects.
Fernanda and Ismail also get to know each other here. They are part of the delegation sponsored by Audi, which is composed of 15 young Audi employees like Fernanda and an additional 15 ambitious and innovative thinkers like Ismail. For Fernanda, it’s already obvious on the first day: “The encounters here will leave their mark. We had never met before, but we have already become close friends. Everyone is open and tells their personal, moving stories.”
Stories like those from Miles Pepper. an American. He had seen a YouTube video in which a drinking straw was pulled from a sea turtle’s nose. It gave him the motivation to get involved. He gathered some money and founded a small company called Final Straw, which produces reusable straws. “It isn’t easy to create change. But the examples that we hear about here show us that it is possible,” says Fernanda. “You have to dare to take the first step, believe in your idea, find allies.” And, at One Young World, there are plenty to be found. “In Cameroon, no one worries about the environment. Most people have other concerns,” explains Ismail. “But here, people listen to me. They have tips for me, ideas about how I can take my project further. I want to build awareness and make my country more livable again.”
Fernanda, Ismail, Miles, and even the major speakers — within four days, they have all become part of a big community — a community that wants to be part of the change that this world so urgently needs. The next generation faces more challenges than ever before: The members of the One Young World community have accepted them.
Audi at One Young World Summit 2018: Sustainable ideas for the world of tomorrow
On its way to a sustainable future worth living, Audi is stopping off at the One Young World Summit 2018 in The Hague together with committed employees and external scholarship holders. From October 17 to 20, the young people there will discuss concepts for improved sustainability, education and environmental protection with a further 1,500 participants from a total of about 200 countries. The Audi Environmental Foundation will later turn selected ideas into reality worldwide.Read more
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