In less than a year, Australia will host the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) 2014 Summit so the countdown is on. This year, the plan was to show the world what Australians have to offer when it comes to creativity and innovation, and we did just that.
It’s June 17, 2013, the third and final day of the G20 YEA Summit Moscow 2013 and our Australian delegation of twenty took some time out to reflect on the past three days of speakers, breakout sessions and panels with the purpose of creating a plan for 2014 to present to the other countries as part of the final days proceedings.
That’s no easy task for any group but imagine sitting down with twenty young amazing and diverse business owners all wanting to make a difference, all wanting to be heard and all used to being the decision maker.
For the three hours that followed huge ideas came from all directions as Blue Chilli Founder Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin took to the whiteboard madly scribbling away while simultaneously trying to maintain the order and focus.
Key to any event is making it relevant to the target audience. In this case, the leaders of the G20 countries along with the many young entrepreneurs worldwide demonstrated their desire to build better businesses and support a growing network of others just like them.
The main areas of focus included deciding the objective for 2014, identifying strategies for getting the other nineteen countries involved and creating some structure around how the event would effect change and make it a summit to remember.
While the details are still to be finalised and the ‘who does what, how and when’ is yet to come, it was clear that this group of 20 young entrepreneurs are more than just successful business owners attending a summit on ‘entrepreneurship’.
Every delegate in the team exuded a commitment to encouraging and supporting the growth of young entrepreneurs.
At a time when the International Labour Organisation (ILO) reports that almost 13% of the world’s youth – close to 75 million young people – are unemployed, the group focused their discussions on this issue and then considered ways the 2014 summit and the promotion of entrepreneurship can work towards solving the problem.
Only days earlier serial entrepreneur and arguably the events most engaging speaker Jeff Hoffman defined entrepreneurship as ‘the art of problem-solving,’ so it was hardly a surprise to see a room full of twenty entrepreneurs do exactly that.
When the time came for the handing over of the torch from the host country Russia to Australia, all twenty of the delegation took their place on the stage as a short video played including picturesque shots of Australian scenery followed by an address from the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
Australia’s team president, Jeremy Liddle and Sherpa Aaron McNeilly delivered an impressive presentation, harnessing the energy and ideas of the group meeting that happened only hours before.
It wasn’t the standing ovation we received after that that convinced me I was part of the greatest team at the summit, but it certainly didn’t do anything to harm my opinion.
What I realised after three days, some amazing speakers, twenty countries and 400 of the worlds best young entrepreneurs, is that Australia really is an amazing place for driving creativity, innovation, encouraging women and men in business and making things happen.
Our delegation truly held their own on a world stage and Australia should be proud of the team that went to Russia to represent their country.
I know I am sure proud to have been part of it and can’t wait for what we deliver in 2014.