Ottawa Tourism

One Young World – One Amazing Success!

Putting the WOW in YOW!

Putting the WOW in YOW!

The One Young World (OYW) 2016 Summit was one of the most prestigious and unique international gatherings ever hosted in Ottawa. Winning the right to host the event back in 2014 was the result of a concerted and creative community effort led by Ottawa Tourism. Planning and staging the event was a massive two-year undertaking that could not have happened without the support and participation of individuals, groups and organizations across the city and beyond. So it was with great pride that the Capital welcomed 1300 bright young leaders from 196 countries, along with noted world leaders and over 200 international media outlets to an impressive Opening Ceremony on Parliament Hill during the evening of September 28.

Highlights Video >  

Read More about the Opening Ceremonies > 

View the summit image gallery > 

A Global Focus

A Global Focus

This year’s OYW Summit Plenary Sessions focused on global issues related to Education, Global Business, Health, Human Rights, Peace and Security, the Environment and Indigenous Reconciliation. Through plenary sessions, external and internal breakout sessions, moving presentations by delegates, and a line-up of seasoned counsellors, which included Professor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, the past Secretary-General of the UN Kofi Annan, first female president of Ireland Mary Robinson, political activist Bob Geldof, Oscar-Winning Producer of Avatar and Titanic Jon Landau, Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and actor Emma Watson and many others.

Taking It Into the Community

Taking It Into the Community

On Friday September 30, organizers enlisted the support of the community to host External Breakout Sessions where local partners facilitated in-depth discussions and experiences for delegates outside the main Summit venue. The feedback from delegates regarding these sessions is outstanding. We would like to thank all of the breakout hosts below for their contribution to One Young World and its delegates. Thanks to these partners for participating!

Algonquin College

Bell Media

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Canadian Museum of History

Canadian War Museum

Carleton University

Collège La Cité

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Embassy of Costa Rica

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Ernst & Young

Global Vision

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Impact Hub Ottawa

International Experience

Kind Canada

Kind Village, Youth Services Bureau and Friends


Laureus Foundation

Michelle Valberg

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO


RBC Dominion Securities

Refugee 613


Siemens Canada Limited

SokJok Inc/Champion A Campaign

Supreme Court of Canada

Susan R. Eaton

Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

The National Gallery of Canada

TiE Ottawa

Tourism HR Canada

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Wesley Clover

Young Diplomats of Canada / US Embassy

Yow City Style

A Taste of Home

A Taste of Home

On the Friday evening of the Summit, Ottawa Tourism invited members of the Ottawa community to participate in and contribute to the One Young World Summit in a fun and unique way— by hosting delegates for dinner in their homes or at a restaurant. The local community hosted 135 dinners that offered an unforgettable experience for delegates. We have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback regarding our community events and we are thankful for the overwhelming support of all who helped make it possible.

It Takes a Community

It Takes a Community

An event of this scale would not have been possible without an amazing legion of volunteers and a committed and engaged Advisory Board. OYW delegates were taken aback by the kind welcome and support they received from our outstanding community. Ottawa Tourism will be forever grateful to the members of the Advisory Board for their guidance and support. And we heartily thank members of the Local Organizing Committee, who went above and beyond to make this event happen.

Advisory Board

  • Rob Ashe – Co-chair – Independent Director & Advisor (Former CEO, Cognos Inc.)
  • Mayor Jim Watson – Co-chair – Mayor of the City of Ottawa
  • Mark Monahan – Executive & Artistic Director, RBC Ottawa Bluesfest & CityFolk
  • Mark Sutcliffe – Broadcaster/Writer, Great River Media Inc., Ottawa Citizen
  • Nina Kressler – President & CEO, Shaw Centre
  • Mahesh Mani – Partner, KPMG
  • Jackie King – Hill & Knowlton
  • Michael Crockatt – CEO, Ottawa Tourism
  • Harley Finkelstein – COO, Shopify
  • Robert White – Chartered Accountant
  • Gary Zed – Tax Market Leader – Canada, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Jayne Watson – Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Centre Foundation
  • Jeff Westeinde – Founding Partner, Windmill Development Group
  • Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte – President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University
  • Cheryl Jensen – President & CEO, Algonquin College
  • Alain Doucet – Assistant Dean External Relations, Telfer School of Management
  • Lise Bourgeois – President of La Cité Collégiale
  • Marc Seaman – National Director of Corporate & Public Affairs, Microsoft Canada
  • Jay Rosenzweig – Founding Partner, Rosenzweig & Company
  • Geoffrey Hall – PMO


Local Organizing Committee

Glenn Duncan – Co-chair

Lesley Mackay – Co-chair

Adam Moscoe

Alex Pugh

Andrea Wagner

Andrew Horsfield

Angela Scanlon

Antoine Pouliot

Blair Patacairik

Carole Saad

Christine Kincaid

Christina Amos

Karen Lovett

Karen Wiersma

Katie Dolan

Katie Miller

Lizzy Low

Loretta Briard

Margaret McLaren

Mark Millar

Martina Buchal

Mary Sayewich

Megan Peckford

Michel Carriere

Monique Quail

Nathalie Carrier

Christine O’Grady

Courtney Merchand

Danika Grenier

David Puff

Dawn Porter

Desiree DeWaal

Dolores MacAdam

Florence Houlahan

Heruka Kumararatne

Jantine Van Kregten

Jasmeet Matharu

Joel Tkach

Pat Kelly

Paul Akehurst

Rachel Paquette

Rebecca Trafford

Riccarda Galioto

Roslyn Smith

Roslyn Smith

Rym Ben Berrah

Shawna Page

Sylvie Theriault

Tanya Oakes

Taras Stojkovic

Getting Social

Getting Social

Ottawa Tourism hired Destination Think! to monitor online conversations, support OYW delegates with destination-specific queries, and flag pertinent conversations with appropriate members of Ottawa Tourism’s internal team. In total, Ottawa Tourism engaged in more than 335 conversations during the reporting period, earning 135,000 impressions.

TWITTER: There were more than 4,000 Tweets including either @Ottawa_Tourism or @OYWOttawa, averaging 355 tweets per day (14 per hour), and an average of 2,115 impressions per second. Total Twitter impressions achieved was over 91,000M.

INSTAGRAM: Many of the delegates posted on Instagram. There were 3100 posts achieving over 4M impressions.

FACEBOOK: The three Facebook posts about #OYW earned a total of 1,025 engagements and were seen by a combined audience of nearly 65,000 potential visitors.

Passing the Baton

Passing the Baton

The much anticipated One Young World (OYW) Summit in Ottawa officially closed at the Shaw Centre on the evening of Oct. 1.

At the official Closing Ceremony, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson wished about 1,300 delegates from 196 countries a safe trip home. “We hope you go home from Ottawa with lasting memories and friendships,” Mayor Watson said. But though he wished delegates farewell, Mayor Watson invited everyone to come back to Ottawa for 2017; Canada’s 150th anniversary year. “We want Canada’s Capital to be a window to Canada’s 150th birthday,” he said. Mayor Watson then passed on the OYW baton to Bogotá, Colombia, who will be the summit host for 2017.

Prior to accepting the baton however, performers from Colombia treated OYW delegates and observers to a lively display of Colombian culture with traditional music, colourful dancers and more. The Bogotá summit is scheduled to take place from Oct. 4-7, 2017.

One of the Closing Ceremony’s highlights was a performance by international Hip Hop artist and award-winning peace activist Emmanuel Jal, who sang his song entitled ‘We Want Peace.’ Now a One Young World Counsellor, artist and activist, Jal was born into the life of a child soldier in South Sudan. He remained in this war-torn life until he was rescued by a British aid worker.

At the Closing Ceremony, Jal encouraged the crowd of young leaders to forgive those that they may currently have conflict with. “If you’re angry with someone, just forgive. Just let it go,” Jal said. “If you stay mad at them, you become their prisoner.” He also encouraged young leaders to go out and make the world a better place. “Always make the next person you meet ten times happier than when you found them,” he said.

One Young World Another ceremony highlight was an appearance by legendary award-winning artist Cher, who said jokingly: “I wish I had known there was singing. I would’ve brought some music.”

A One Young World 2016 Counsellor, Cher used the summit in Ottawa to make young leaders aware of the plight of animals, particularly the plight of elephants. “People might think, ‘Wow, she’s like a crazy cat lady with all of her animals,’” Cher said at the ceremony. “But this is very important to me.”

Cher then encouraged delegates and observers to think about how what they might want or like – for example, bacon – and how that item may affect an animal’s life. “How much do we want something that we’ll have it even when it causes pain to something else?” she asked.

The Closing Ceremony followed a busy four-day summit that saw delegates attend interesting sessions with speakers such as Emma Watson and Community Dinners with local companies and families, among other activities. And, based on the traffic on the OYWOttawa social media pages, delegates enjoyed their time in the city as many sent thank you messages to Ottawa afterwards.

Siwapiwe Madubela from Johannesburg, South Africa tweeted: “Thank you so much Ottawa! I will be back. SA, see you soon.” On Instagram, @vaibharar said: “OYW bids adieu to Ottawa! The “Kind Canada” was a perfect host :-)” Even Emma Watson herself extended a thank you to Ottawa, posting to Instagram on the morning of Oct. 3: “Thank you for having me, Ottawa. Had such a wonderful time in your beautiful city.”

Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, said the OYW Summit was the largest ever undertaking by Ottawa Tourism.

“Our staff outdid themselves in preparing and executing the event; from securing permission to host the Opening Ceremony on Parliament Hill, to organizing breakout sessions with dozens of local partners, to feeding 1,300 delegates in a series of community dinners,” Crockatt said. “The logistical challenges were immense, but were successfully tackled.”

Crockatt said the entire Ottawa community came together like never before “to give One Young World delegates incredible memories of visiting Canada’s Capital, just on the eve of our celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.” He added: “We hope to see many of the delegates (and their friends and families) return next year!”

One Young World – The Home RunThe 2016 OYW Summit unofficially began on Sept. 27 with The Home Run; a 5K run to benefit Refugee 613 and raise awareness to the causes of refugees as well as those who are stateless.

The run, which was organized by Canadian OYW Ambassador and Ottawa Tourism staffer Katie Dolan in collaboration with Run Ottawa, saw about 140 delegates participate along with various local community members.

On the summit’s closing day, Dolan noted that The Home Run had gone “really well.” According to Run Ottawa, Dolan said, The Home Run had the most countries EVER represented in a running event in Ottawa. “There were even more [countries] than Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend,” Dolan said. Each May, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend sees more than 40,000 runners compete in various events, including the grueling Ottawa Marathon.

At the end of the Closing Ceremony, all the delegates became OYW Ambassadors by writing their future hopes and goals on a white ribbon. The ribbons were then joined together, becoming part of One Young World’s ribbon ball that contains all the hopes and dreams of delegates since the first ever OYW Summit.

Upon the summit’s official end, OYW Co-Founder Kate Robertson told delegates: “You are all our hope. Where you lead, we will follow.”