Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus opened the One Young World Summit 2015 in Bangkok on Wednesday, addressing an audience of 1,300 young leaders from around the world.
The summit was founded in 2009 by David Jones and Kate Robertson, a UK-based non-profit organisation that gathers together the brightest young people from all countries around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change.
The One Young World is hosted this year by the governor of Bangkok and the Bangkok metropolitan administration, Yunus Centre said in a statement yesterday.
In his speech professor Yunus told the young people that they are the most powerful generation in the history of humankind, according to the statement.
He said the young people had all the power and creativity to create a world with three zeroes - zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions.
The other two keynote speakers at the opening were former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and rocker turned poverty activist Sir Bob Geldof.
Yunus, Annan and Geldof were joined on stage by the counselors to the young delegates from around the world, including Avatar-famed Hollywood producer Jon Landau and legendary cricketer Steve Waugh.
This year's summit focuses on social issues such as environment, women's empowerment, education, youth unemployment and role of global business.
Young leaders from 196 countries across the world, including a 10-member delegation from Bangladesh, are attending the summit, Yunus Centre said.
Nine members of the Bangladesh team are young women, who were selected by the Yunus Centre through a competitive selection process organised over several months.
They work in different fields, including youth development, climate change and human rights.
Lamiya Morshed, executive director of Yunus Centre, is leading the delegation, according to the statement.
This is the third year that the summit has sponsored a 10-member team to attend the event with Professor Yunus.
On the second day of the summit, Yunus will address a special plenary session on social business.
There will also be presentation on social business plans by four teams of Thai social entrepreneurs who were the finalists in the Thai Young Leaders Programme organised by Thai Social Enterprise Office. The programme included more than 100 social business designs from around the country.
Professor Yunus and his team have been invited to judge the social business competition to choose the winner who will be awarded two million baht to initiate their social business.