Havas and One Young World⎯Teaching the Importance of Giving Back

One Young World (OYW) is a charity organization focused on bringing young adults worldwide together to learn, collaborate, and develop ideas and action plans for inciting change in today’s world.  Each year, OYW holds a summit; this year’s was hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa. Counselors like Kofi Annan, Arianna Huffington, and Sir Richard Branson joined the ambassadors and delegates to discuss hot topics ranging from education, to disease and gender roles.

At the summit, I was among 1,300 ambassadors, including representation from several big Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Unilever, Barclays, etc. Each company’s selection process differed; at Havas Health/Havas PR North America, applicants had to submit answers to various questions about what would make them a valuable delegate.  From there, 20 people were selected, and from those 20, 5 were randomly chosen to attend the summit.  I currently work as an account coordinator at Havas Life Metro, and I felt honored to be selected as a delegate.  I was especially excited to represent Havas, because OYW was co-founded by Havas Worldwide’s very own Kate Robertson and David Jones.   Through the ambassador’s passionate speeches, Arianna Huffington’s session on the “Third Metric,” and a trip to a self-sustained jewelry shop outside of Johannesburg, I learned that we are no longer defined by job titles or day-to-day work, but by the changes we are making and want to see made in our world.

This reinforced my belief that what I choose to do from nine to five is about much more than just gaining work experience, or receiving a salary and benefits. It’s about the unique position of being proud of what you do based on what you accomplish, and also what your company does to “give back” for the greater good. I am lucky to work at Havas, where we are empowered to give back. Here, in our Chicago office, employees volunteer to mentor students, while other Havas offices around the world contribute in other ways. I believe it is pivotal to choose a job you love, in a place where your reach goes beyond the requirements of your role, but extends to have a positive impact on society, and the greater world – something I intend to continue advocating for in the Havas family and beyond.

Link to a highlights reel of the 2013 summit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Kq8-0GWf4