One Young World Summit 2012, Pittsburgh - Transparency and Integrity Plenary Session

One Young World Returning Ambassador Charlotte Murray reports on the Transparency & Integrity Plenary.

In the build up to Pittsburgh what I've realised is that this summit is truly one designed by One Young World delegates and ambassadors for one Young world delegates and ambassadors. I was lucky enough to take part in the planning for the plenary session on transparency, after opening consulting all Ambassadors on their thoughts about corruption and transparency in their country, we came together in London one evening, and with countries from Brazil to India represented in the room, we were asked to come up with a tangible action that we could ask Ambassadors to go away and help fight corruption and encourage transparency in their communities.

It is clear that young people see corruption as a big issue in their countries, and this includes those countries where it might not immediately spring to mind as an issue. In particular we’re concerned about the relationship between business and government. in fact 69% of Ambassadors are extremely or very concerned about the lack of transparency about these relationships.

So to the plenary session itself, counselors Bob Geldof, Jack Dorsey, Peter Balkenende, Peter Solmssen and Ken Roth introduce six inspiring delegates who all had different experiences of corruption and lack of transparency in their countries, communities or businesses.

The brilliant Anita Chan from the USA used the example of Enron, a business know for its unethical behavior which resulted in financial collapse. She advocated that there is a need for a re-focus on corporate ethics, she proposed a standardized global framework for integrated reporting so that companies ensure employee data and sustainability.

We also heard from George Makkoulis who believes that transparency could help to unite his native Cyprus one day.

Peter Solmssen, CEO Siemens, joined in the discussion and talked about how they have come through a difficult time with corruption scandals and have been ensuring their employees 'just say no'. A simple phrase that really will make all the difference to reduce corruption throughout the world. Our challenge is how we can not only say no within our interactions but how we can promote the reduction of corruption within our businesses, in particular creating an environment where people feel safe and supported to speak up against corruption.

We were so lucky to have Jack Dorsey as a Counsellor for this session, as the founder of the social media platform that is so key to this summit, he talked about how twitter is built around transparency and that Twitter demonstrates how transparency works from within the organisation, which he promotes through a weekly all staff meeting where they share everything that is happening within the company. What a revelation! If only more private, public and third sector organisations were transparent from within, I believe this would go a long way to promoting external transparency and accountability.

He challenged us to do something that epitomizes what One Young World is all about:  Ghandi's famous saying"Be the Change you wish to see in the world".