To empower the Global Youth Development Action Plan, the World Youth Development Forum dispatched key members to participate in the "One Earth" Sustainable Development Summit

On March 25th, 2024, the "One Earth" Sustainable Development Summit was held in Hong Kong, China. The summit invited experts, scholars, and entrepreneurs from around the world who are focused on sustainable development, aiming to gather global forces for sustainability and promote a transformative blueprint for achieving zero emissions and a positive transformation of nature.

To expand the partner network of the Global Youth Development Action Plan and provide platforms as well as resources to empower its core members, The Secretariat of the World Youth Development Forum, after preliminary selection, dispatched Josephine Adeti Otieno, a key member of the Action Plan for Global Youth Development from Kenya, and Liu Xi, The Project Director of the Secretariat, to participate in the summit as observers.

(Photo of Josphine Adeti Otieno with Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in China)

Here are Josephine Adeti’s Experience at the One Earth Summit

By: Josephine Adeti, Co-founder & CTO, Radava Mercantile.

My journey to the One Earth Summit was like stepping into a bustling hub of ideas and inspiration. Picture this: 500 leaders from around the globe, all focused on one mission – making our planet healthier. It's not just about saving the Earth; it's about helping people, organizations, and the planet itself thrive together. That's what this summit is all about!

Thanks to the World Youth Development Forum, I got the chance to be part of this amazing event. They sponsored my trip as part of their Action Plan, which was like a dream come true for me. My goal? To dive deep into conversations with top sustainability leaders, soak up their wisdom, and share my own experiences. Plus, I wanted to explore how my work in agriculture could join forces with others to make an even bigger impact.

The summit took place in Hong Kong, a vibrant city buzzing with energy. From dawn until dusk, we were immersed in a whirlwind of sessions led by over 100 incredible speakers. Can you imagine? Fifteen different discussions covering everything from water solutions to urban development. It was organized by the Institute of Sustainability & Technology and co-hosted by the World Economic Forum – talk about a powerhouse partnership!

You see, I was handpicked as one of the 100 youth leaders for the World Youth Development Forum Action Plan back in 2023. So when the opportunity to attend the One Earth Summit came up, I didn't hesitate. I crafted an email that poured my heart out, and guess what? I got selected! It felt like winning the lottery!

Imagine the excitement as I stepped into the summit venue, ready to absorb every bit of knowledge and inspiration. The atmosphere was electric, filled with eager minds and passionate hearts. Each session was like unlocking a new door to understanding and possibility.

And let me tell you about the connections I made – wow! From fellow sustainability enthusiasts to industry experts, I met people who shared my passion and opened my eyes to new ideas. It was like being part of a global family, united by our desire to create positive change.

But the best part? Realizing that my voice mattered. In sessions about agriculture and sustainability, I shared my insights and learned from others. It felt empowering to know that together, we could make a difference – one idea, one action at a time.

Before jetting off to the summit, I made sure to do my homework. I researched everything – from the topics on the agenda to who would be speaking. It was important for me to be prepared, especially since I was traveling all the way from Kenya to Hong Kong. I even made sure to pack plenty of business cards and choose which sessions I wanted to attend ahead of time.

The journey to Hong Kong was smooth sailing, with a quick layover in Doha, Qatar. It was a new stamp in my passport and another adventure under my belt. Once I arrived at the Regal Airport Hotel, I was impressed by how seamless everything was. The room was cozy, and the bathtub was just what I needed after a long flight.

Liu Xi (Pictured above), the Project Director of World Youth Development Forum came along to the summit. She ensured I had everything needed to make my stay comfortable and my participation efficient.

On the big day, I woke up bright and early, eager to dive into the summit. I couldn't wait to hear from global leaders like Prof Klaus Schwab and Mr Ray Dalio, who were expected to give some inspiring speeches. And let me tell you, they didn't disappoint! Hon John Lee, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, set the tone with his powerful words about creating a more sustainable future for generations to come.

After some insightful luncheon remarks from The Hon Christopher Hui Ching-yu, it was time for Prof Poman Lo to take the stage. Her words about uniting the world to save our planet really struck a chord with me. It made me realize just how important our collective efforts are in fighting climate change.

Then came the sessions – panel discussions on everything from climate research to sustainable finance. My favorite? The one on the future of sustainable technology. As the Chief Technology Officer of Radava Mercantile, I was fascinated by how technology can be used to tackle global challenges like climate change. It got me thinking about how I can apply these ideas to my own work in agriculture.

During lunchtime at the summit, they brought the food right to us while the event kept going. I thought it was a great idea because it meant we didn't waste any time. It got me thinking about how I could use a similar approach when I organize training sessions for farmers. While we ate, we got to hear a quick remark from The Hon Christopher Hui Ching-yu, who's a big deal in the Hong Kong government.

After that, we had a session on "Insights on Transformative Leadership" with Mr. Chavalit Frederick Tsao and Prof. Poman Lo. It was really interesting to hear their perspectives. Then came a 30-minute networking session where I got to chat with four other sustainability leaders from Hong Kong. I noticed something cool about how they networked—they shared their business cards right away, even before starting a conversation. It's different from what I'm used to, but I think it's a smart move.

In the afternoon, there were three sessions happening at the same time. I chose to attend the one about Water, Food, and Agriculture for a Sustainable Future because it aligns perfectly with what I do at Radava Mercantile. We talked about some amazing ideas for making agriculture more sustainable. I learned about new farming techniques and technologies that could really make a difference. One thing that stood out was the need to give farmers incentives to try new things, something we've been struggling with at Radava Mercantile.

After that session, there was something called the future Unicorn Exhibition where up-and-coming innovators pitched their ideas. It was inspiring to hear about their work, and it gave me some great ideas for my own pitches, especially as we're looking for funding. One of the founders had even been featured in Forbes! It got me dreaming about seeing Radava Mercantile on that list someday.

I also made a new connection during a session on Circular Economy and Industrial Decarbonisation. I met Naveen Jesly Fernandez, who works with Deloitte. He told me about his friend Mark Cheng, who's really into impact investing and might be interested in what we do at Radava Mercantile. It was a real "aha!" moment for me, and I'm excited to keep the conversation going after the summit.

Later, I hung out with some other leaders over drinks, swapping stories about business and life in Hong Kong. They even gave me some tips on places to visit during my short stay. Then, it was time for the gala dinner, which was amazing. The diverse cuisine showcased Hong Kong's vibrant culture, adding another layer of richness to the experience. There were six different sessions, including engaging discussions on sustainability and impact investing, providing valuable insights to carry forward.

As the summit drew to a close with closing remarks from Mr Chavalit Frederick Tsao and Prof Poman Lo, I reflected on the many connections I had made and the knowledge gained. Exiting the event, I left with a plethora of new LinkedIn connections and a renewed sense of purpose to drive positive change in sustainability.

Key Learnings and Insights

From this one day summit, I learnt the following:

Interconnectedness and Collaboration:

●The summit emphasized the interconnectedness of personal, organizational, and planetary well-being, highlighting the importance of collaboration in addressing global challenges such as achieving net-zero emissions.

●Through interactions with sustainability leaders and attending sessions on diverse topics, I gained a deeper understanding of how collaboration across sectors and regions is essential for driving positive change.

Importance of Preparation:

●Prior research and preparation played a crucial role in maximizing the summit experience, from understanding the summit's agenda and themes to familiarizing myself with potential speakers and topics.

●This experience reinforced the importance of thorough preparation in making the most of opportunities for learning and networking at international events.

Leadership and Vision:

●Keynote speeches and panel discussions showcased visionary leadership committed to creating a more equitable and resilient future for all.

●Insights from leaders like Prof Poman Lo and H.S.H. Prince Maximilian von und zu Liechtenstein underscored the importance of transformative leadership in addressing global sustainability challenges.

Integration of Technology and Sustainability:

●Sessions on the future of sustainable technology highlighted the potential for technology to drive positive environmental and social impact.

●As a Chief Technology Officer in agriculture, I gained valuable insights into leveraging technology to mitigate climate and nature crises, fostering sustainable farming practices, and ensuring food security.

Networking and Collaboration Opportunities:

●Engaging in networking sessions provided valuable opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and potential collaborators.

●Building connections with individuals like Naveen Jesly Fernandez and exploring potential collaboration avenues demonstrated the significance of networking in expanding impact beyond organizational boundaries.

Inspiration and Aspiration:

●Exposure to innovative ideas and impactful projects during sessions and exhibitions fueled inspiration and aspiration to contribute more significantly to sustainable development.

●Learning from emerging innovators and successful entrepreneurs inspired a desire to enhance pitching skills and aspire to recognition on global platforms like Forbes 30 Under 30.

Cultural Exchange and Appreciation:

●Experiencing the diversity of cultures, cuisines, and networking etiquettes in Hong Kong provided valuable insights into global perspectives and practices.

●Appreciating the diversity and richness of experiences fostered a deeper appreciation for cross-cultural collaboration in addressing global challenges.

Commitment to Action:

●The summit concluded with a call to action, urging participants to translate insights and connections into tangible initiatives and commitments.

●Reflecting on the summit experience, I am committed to integrating key learnings into my work at Radava Mercantile and actively contributing to global sustainability efforts.

These key learnings and insights from the One Earth Summit underscore the significance of youth engagement, collaboration, and innovation in driving progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Outcomes of the Summit

The One Earth Summit yielded significant outcomes and achievements that will undoubtedly contribute to global sustainability efforts.

One of the tangible results of the summit was the establishment of new connections and collaborations. Through networking sessions and interactions with sustainability leaders, I forged valuable relationships with individuals and organizations committed to driving positive change. These connections present opportunities for future collaborations and initiatives aimed at addressing climate change, sustainable agriculture, and other critical issues.

Additionally, the summit enhanced my understanding of the intersection between technology and sustainability, particularly in the context of agriculture. Insights gained from sessions on sustainable technology and discussions with experts have equipped me with new knowledge and perspectives to integrate innovative solutions into my work at Radava Mercantile. From leveraging agricultural technology to mitigate climate risks to exploring sustainable farming practices, the summit has expanded my skill set and capabilities as a leader in the field.

The experience has ignited a renewed sense of motivation and determination to contribute to global initiatives. Engaging with visionary leaders, learning from emerging innovators, and witnessing the collective commitment of participants to creating a more equitable and resilient future have inspired me to amplify my efforts and make a meaningful impact. I am more committed than ever to translating the insights and connections gained from the summit into tangible actions that drive positive change in my community and beyond.


The One Earth Summit was an invaluable experience that provided me with insights, connections, and inspiration to contribute meaningfully to global sustainability efforts.

●The summit's focus on interconnectedness, diversity, and inclusion created a vibrant atmosphere conducive to collaboration and innovation.

●The lineup of distinguished speakers and thought-provoking sessions covered a wide range of topics, offering comprehensive insights into pressing global challenges and potential solutions.

●Networking opportunities allowed for meaningful interactions and the establishment of valuable connections with like-minded individuals and organizations.

●The organization of the summit, including logistics, venue, and scheduling, was commendable and contributed to a seamless and engaging experience.

It is my desire to see more Action Plan for Global Youth Development members sponsored to life changing events like this.

(editor: )

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