The Race to One Young World 2015

Ashleigh Rolle

Bangkok Logo

Excitement is in the air. One Young World (OYW), the largest delegation of youth after the Olympics, is right around the corner and the world’s eyes are on its host, Dublin.

One Young World Ambassadors however have their eyes and ears peeled because bidding season for OYW 2015 has begun.  For months Ambassadors have been drawing their own conclusions on potential bidders for the 2015/2016 summits. Even though the city names have already been released I’m still hoping that somehow we magically gather in Bora Bora.

The cities bidding this year for the 2015 One Young World summit are Hong Kong, Kobe, Bangkok, and Ottawa. These combination of cities create the battle that I have coined “East vs. West”.

One Young World ambassadors are thrilled at the prospect of having the summit in an Asian country. Seeing as the summit has been hosted in Europe three times already, ambassadors believe that 2015 would be the perfect time to expand the summit and its experiences to an entirely different region and audience.

I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Pearly Ingkakul, The One Young World Ambassador who not only dreamt of having the summit in Bangkok but immediately worked to turn that dream into a reality. Here’s a snippet of our conversation.


How excited are you about potentially hosting over 1,000 young people in your city?

Off the charts, the positive feedback and support we are already getting is mind blowing.  People want to be involved in this so it is really an incredible ride. I have watched with admiration other ambassadors get involved and the positive attitudes of people around OYW, it is an honor to get the chance to host this many creative and inspiring people. I feel so passionately they need to see firsthand a country changing before their eyes for the better.

I remember when posting this bid was just mentioned in casual conversation and now it’s an all out flame? Are you feeling the rush? Has the adrenaline kicked in as yet?

Ha ha, my running times have gotten quicker at the gym, maybe that’s a side effect!  Luckily I have some good friends and support from really smart people to help make this a reality.  Already the plans on the table are larger and more exciting than anything we thought possible when we first started this, it’s amazing how many people want to see this succeed.


What sets Bangkok apart from all of the other bid cities?

I think in so many ways Bangkok is the poster boy (or girl!) of One Young World.  South East Asia is where so much activity is going to be happening over the next 50 years, every topic from One Young World is important for SEA’s development.  Bangkok sits at the center of this global economic shift at a moment in history where we can make a difference, here powerful rhetoric really can change the future.  One Young World talks of change and people getting their voices heard, if you can find a city more perfect tell me.

If Bangkok is chosen, what are some of the things we can expect from this potential host city?

For a lot of people the first thing to expect will be a rewriting of what they thought they knew about Bangkok.

The land of smiles is so much more and we are planning an event which not only shows OYW in a dynamic up and coming city but also adds the uniqueness of Bangkok throughout the proceedings.  I won’t go into more detail yet, I don’t want to spoil the surprise…Stay tuned! (

What would hosting One Young World mean to Bangkok and by extension, Thailand?

To host this event in Bangkok would simply be a defining moment in Thailand’s recent history.

I don’t say this lightly. 

For the past few years the media has focused on hiding what is good about Thailand and making sure people fear her without any understanding.  OYW’s visit to Bangkok will not only show the world a different side to Bangkok but it will give intelligent global influencers from multiple generations the chance to see the real Bangkok, to soak up its unique culture and to see what actually is going on here. 

Bangkok is changing before our very eyes, you need to come and see it for yourselves.

As a One Young World Ambassador and a young Thai what would hosting One Young World in Bangkok mean to you?

I think the answer for most ambassadors would be the same, just being part of this is incredible but to have the opportunity to shine a light on your own part of the world, to share that experience with people you have been in awe of your whole life, to see them come and discuss world changing ideas is just a dream I never dared to have. 

Something discussed less is the relationship building that happens at these events, the speakers get the limelight but I believe the real strength is in the next generation exchanging ideas, numbers and email addresses, these are not Facebook friends to be discarded in a few years, these are the people that will help change the world. 

Who wouldn’t want all that to come to a city they love!

The bid can clearly go in any direction but, it’s pretty safe to say that Bangkok is the city to beat. It’s an obvious race and there are a good percentage of Ambassadors that have a horse in it. We can only, contented with social media bickering as we wait for the results. Bangkok! Hong Kong!  Kobe! or Ottawa! Which lane is your horse running in?

May the odds be ever in your favor.