‘Your time is now’: Meghan Markle inspires student leaders in Manchester

Describing herself as ‘the girl from Suits’, Meghan opened the One Young World Summit 2022

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attended the Opening Ceremony of One Young World (OYW) 2022 in Manchester.

Meghan delivered the keynote address at this years opening ceremony. She was introduced by co-founder David Jones, as “an incredibly powerful voice for gender equality”. Other speakers included Lemn Sissay, Bob Geldof and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

One Young World is a global platform identifying, connecting and promoting young leaders. OYW works with over 13,700 Ambassadors to create a fair, sustainable future by taking action to solve the world’s big challenges.

The Duchess was first invited as a OYW counsellor in 2014, four years after the organisations’ inception. Other counsellors include Justin Trudeau, Sir Richard Branson, and Jamie Oliver.

Credit via One Young World

Meghan reflected on her first OYW encounter as a “pinch-me moment”, describing herself as “the girl from Suits” whilst being surrounded by inspirational world leaders and activists. She was “thrilled” that her husband was able to join her at the summit this year. This is the couples’ first public appearance since returning for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

She ended her speech by declaring this year’s One Young World Summit officially open.

Credit via One Young World

Kate Robertson and David Jones, co-founders of One Young World said: “We are proud to bring the Summit to Manchester this year. This city is a hub of activism, home to some incredible young people making a difference on issues that really matter to young people worldwide – from homelessness to climate change to gender equality.”

The co-founders welcomed Andy Burnham to the stage and thanked him for his “unwavering support” of the summit. “The media call him the King of the North but to Mancunians, he’s just Andy,” David said. Kate described him as the “most amazing mayor” and admitted to being “a big fan”.

Andy Burnham officially welcomed everyone to Manchester declaring it the “greatest city in the UK without a shadow of a doubt”. Andy said: “We are empowering young people in our city to lead change, we believe in young people here, we back them, we invest in them”. These, he said, are the reasons that make Manchester a fitting host for the summit. Andy added: “We have a saying in Manchester, ‘tables are for dancing on'”encouraging attendees to have some fun whilst in the city.

Credit: One Young World

This year’s Summit explores a range of themes including conflict prevention, gender equality, health, oceans and ethical leadership. Partners of the organisation include AstraZeneca, Audi, BMW, Coca-Cola, Dior, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, L’Oréal and Pfizer.

Since 2010, summits have been held annually (excluding 2020). This years summit in Manchester will be the fourth time the UK has hosted the prestigious event.

One Young World Summit is taking place at Bridgewater Hall between Monday 5th and Thursday 8th September. Follow along on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. 

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