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One Young World Conclusion and Reaction to Pittsburgh

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1,300 delegates from 182 countries are departing Pittsburgh for home after the conclusion of the One Young World Summit. Pittsburgh was the first U.S. city to host the event; the previous two were held in Zurich and London.

The young delegates debated and discussed potential solutions for the pressing issues facing their countries and the world. Helping to guide the delegates were a group of counselors including former President Bill Clinton, musician and political activist Bob Geldof, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, singer Joss Stone, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who tried to provide inspiration, support, and guidance to the 20-29 year olds.

Steven Sokol, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, said the summit gave Pittsburgh a chance to “shine.” The young leaders were exposed to various Pittsburgh locations like Heinz Hall, the Clemente Bridge, and had “home dinners” at about 100 venues around the city Saturday evening.

“What we really tried to do was create a couple of opportunities for the delegates to meet people from Pittsburgh and actually spend some time talking with them as well,” Sokol said. “It’s a little different from some conventions where people just see an airport, a hotel, and the convention center, and kind of talk amongst themselves.”

Sokol said the delegates’ reaction to the city of Pittsburgh has been positive.

“When I asked what their first impressions of Pittsburgh were, they said things like ‘this is an incredibly clean city,’ and ‘we’re blown away by how friendly people are.’” Sokol said. “By the end of the summit, what I was hearing over and over again was just how friendly and welcoming this community has been.”

Sokol said the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh will continue outreach in schools and communities in the Pittsburgh area through organized conferences and events about global issues.

“Now it’s kind of back to my day job at the World Affairs Council of organizing lots and lots of events for the community on foreign policy issues,” Sokol said.

Sokol added the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh will be holding one of those events tonight: a presidential debate watching party at August Henry’s in the Cultural District.