ALEX LIEDERMAN GUEST WRITER
During alternatives, I went to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the One Young World summit. One Young World is a London based charity that hosts an annual summit where young leaders start leading. The Johannesburg summit had over 1,250 delegates from 190 different countries debating and formulating solutions to the worlds’ most pressing issues. I was asked to take photos for the Huffington Post and the One Young World Facebook page, which gave me access to all of the counselors. I seized this opportunity by meeting them, taking photos with them and asking each of them the following question: “What specific advice would you give to a high school student at the American School in London?” These are their answers.
“Never stop dreaming. Everything about leadership is vision.”
Francois Pienaar, Former South African Rugby Captain (Invictus)
“Keep pushing the boundaries of what you believe is possible and what you believe you are capable of.”
Lily Cole, Model and Philanthropist
“Throw yourself into life, spend lots of time meeting other people. Have fun, get to know the UK, go explore it, fly Virgin.”
Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
“Ask your parents to get you a rail pass and see the world. When I was a senior, my parents let me go to Europe on a rail pass over the summer and it changed my life. Trains are best – they give you time to meet people, to think and be communal.”
Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS
“The best battle you have to fight is to educate yourself. Information is power.”
Emmanual Jal, Hip Hop Artist and Former Child Solider
“Find out about yourself.”
Muhammed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Founder Grameen Bank
“Understand the environment in which you are receiving your education.”
Elio Leoni Sceti , Former CEO of EMI
“Learn the culture of Europe.”
Zafar Siddiqi, Chairman CNBC
“You must work hard to make it.”
Christine Ockrent, Journalist
“Get an Oyster card.”
Sir Bob Geldorf, Musician and Activist
“The importance of an education is so important. Do not neglect it, even if you are an athlete. It helps you navigate all sorts of obstacles in life.”
Ryk Neethling, Gold Medal Olympian from South Africa
“Believe in yourself.”
Lauren Bush, Founder and CEO, FEED
“Do not listen to what they tell you in school. You are special in your own right, so do what you are good at and not what they tell you to do.”
Mo Gowdat, Head of Innovation Google
“Don’t worry if you’re the odd one out of school.
Remember that just means that you’re unique.
Everyone is special to someone.
Even someone you may not like.You don’t have to like everyone.
But you should try and respect everyone.
Reach out to someone you think may be in pain.
Often you will be right (and appreciated for it).
But not so focused that you are unaware of what is going on around you.
Be ambitious, but don’t be pushy.
And always be mindful that between you and your ambition may be people who still need to be considered.
Be in love.
Seventeen is waiting.”
James Chau, Journalist, News Anchor and UN Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDs
“Use the stability of your position to do something incredible… Map out a plan for an outrageously ambitious goal (don’t set a goal you know you’ll achieve, because then you’ll never know how much further you could have gone). You’ll be surprised how far you go (and how much of a difference you can make) by the time you graduate.”
Parker Liautaud, Polar Explorer
“Be bold and make sure you stretch your potential.”
Carole Stone, Chair External Advisory Board of YouGov-Cambridge