A Look Back at One Young World 2023: Global Youth Leaders Champion Clean Cooking
From October 2-5, 2023, the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) sent a youth delegation to participate in the One Young World Summit (OYW), which took place in Belfast, UK. The annual summit brought together more than 2,000 of the brightest young leaders from more than 190 countries, spanning a wide range of sectors, all dedicated to accelerating social impact.
While at the summit, clean cooking delegates experienced four dynamic and transformative days of speeches, panels, workshops, and networking with global youth leaders. This year’s event saw keynote speeches from Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, disability activist Oscar Anderson, and world cup winner Francois Pienaar, among many others. The agenda tackled five main themes: education, climate, mental health, peace, and the food crisis.
CCA’s delegates attended OYW to ensure that clean cooking–an issue disproportionately affecting youth–was included in discussions about achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Ninety percent of the world’s 1.8 billion youth live in developing countries where 2.3 billion people still rely on polluting fuels and stoves to cook their food. From health consequences to safety concerns, the negative impact of traditional cooking on young people is substantial. However, the career opportunities that the clean cooking sector presents for young people are tremendous.
To highlight these critical messages, CCA led an interactive workshop, “Unleashing Youth Leadership for a Healthier and Cleaner Future of Cooking,” where young changemakers from different countries learned about clean cooking challenges, solutions, and opportunities for youth to become the sectors’ advocates, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Participants brainstormed new solutions in groups, drawing on their unique experiences and knowledge of climate, sustainable development, and clean cooking. “The clean cooking workshop was enlightening, engaging, and allowed for open, honest, and diverse perspectives about the clean cooking challenges across different regions,” said Debbie Braide from Nigeria. “I look forward to the Clean Cooking Alliance continuing its great work to take action on the innovative ideas discussed, especially around engaging youth at a grassroot level to be advocates for clean cooking.”
Miles Jonas Rouchotas from Germany had a similarly thought-provoking experience at CCA’s workshop. “The workshop on clean cooking was well presented and highly informative to an outsider to the topic, like myself,” he said. “What truly made it an inspiring learning experience was the interaction with fellow participants from around the world on a subject that everyone could relate to, but which seems to be overlooked when talking about solutions to tackle the environment and health challenges of our time.”
Ajay Mittal from India added, “There is so much that still needs to be done to ensure clean cooking access; as the world accelerates on its decarbonization journey, we must prioritize clean cooking to improve the lives of our people and the health of our planet.” The summit provided a valuable platform for sharing knowledge and igniting the innovative nature of today’s youth, in the spirit of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus’ famous words: “Imagine this, and this will happen.”
The CCA delegates, now One Young World Ambassadors, are committed to being the change the world needs through accelerating access to clean cooking to those who need it most.
To stay informed about CCA’s youth engagement initiatives, click here.
To watch the One Young World Opening Ceremony, click here.