Day 1 – 190 Nations – One Soul

Mihael Plut, one of our GE delegates, was selected as the sole bearer of the Croatian flag during the opening ceremony. He gives his take on the choice of London as the conference location and his unique experience on representing his country.

“I was privileged to be chosen as the flag bearer for Croatia. The electrifying excitement started at the rehearsal and exploded in the full concert hall several hours later. It wasn’t the jitters of performing in front of an audience but rather the idea of having this diversity under one roof so engaged and determined to work together no matter what color is the tint in our flags.

Prior to the One Young World 2019, London hosted only one event comparable in number of different nations participating – the Olympic games in 2012.

In the Royal Albert Hall, more than 190 nations were represented by the 2000 One Young World delegates. Delegates of different cultures, languages, religions and views have joined a unique quest to create a better world.  

And there couldn’t be a more fitting, multicultural city to host such an event other than London. Over 250 languages are spoken in London, making the capital the most linguistically diverse city in the world. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, celebrated these differences in his speech and how we can leverage them to grow, united.   

Similarly to the Olympics in the highlight of the opening ceremony, each of the nations was represented by its own flag bearer.

There may have been 190 flags but they were all moved by one soul of the new generation.

The flag is a symbol of a country’s heritage, identity and pride. The flag bearers have paid respect to their own flag by waving them, high, in front of the whole world to see. The enthusiasm and the energy with which they have cut through the heated atmosphere of the Royal Hall was only trumped by the plethora of national dresses that the flag bearers wore. 

There may have been 190 flags but they were all moved by one soul of the new generation. A generation that is the most informed, most educated, most connected generation in human history.

Let’s learn from our past and instead of fighting our differences, let’s take advantage of them to build a better tomorrow, together!

Post written by Mihael Plut.

Mihael is an EEDP alum with GE Renewables. Mihael has been involved in social impact with GE through a buildOn trek to Senegal and is passionate about education and political inclusion.

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