Tuesday 24 October 2017

Rugby legend Francois Pienaar to fly in for launch of One Young World summit

South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar. Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland
South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar. Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland


ICONIC rugby legend Francois Pienaar is to launch the One Young World summit, which takes place in Dublin this year. He will be in the capital next month to officially kick off the event, which last year took place in Johannesburg.

A host of international names are set to take part in the Dublin summit, which takes place from October 15 to 19.

The summit attracts support and endorsements from business and political leaders such as former US president Bill Clinton, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Paul Polman of Unilever, Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn is hosting a breakfast launch this Wednesday in the Mansion House, to invite the business community to participate in the Dublin welcome. The official media launch will take place next month with Pienaar at the helm.

He is most famous for skippering the first South Africa team to win the World Cup. The iconic image of Nelson Mandela presenting the sportsman with the trophy while wearing a Pienaar jersey was circulated around the world.

Pienaar was portrayed by Matt Damon in the movie Invictus.

The global event for the young leaders and business chiefs will see an influx of almost 2,000 delegates into the capital.

Aside from the Olympic Games, One Young World is the only youth-dominated organisation to bring together up to 2,000 people from 190 nations to openly discuss and debate international issues in a formal setting.

Venues including the National Convention Centre, Croke Park and Trinity College will be swarming with delegates over the course of the conference and a security operation of military precision will be put in place as men and women excelling in fields such as business, politics and entertainment fly in to contribute and inspire the next generation of thinkers.

The Irish bid committee beat off stiff competition from Hong Kong and Scotland to host the 2014 summit, and with Dublin proving a successful base for a string of multinational corporations including Twitter and Facebook, as well as being the home of 25 per cent of Nobel Laureates awarded for literature, there were considerable pull factors in securing our chances on the grand stage.

Clara Kelleher, Valerie McGrane and Bob Coggins led the Dublin bid, highlighting the city's youth, creativity and innovation, and spoke of the importance of the upcoming conference, which attracts young delegates aged between 18 and 30.

"The event is incredibly well represented and over the course of the event everyone thrashes out ideas and ways to make local and national change in their areas," Ms Kelleher told this newspaper.

Sunday Independent

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