Technology Analyst Lilian Okorokwo is committed to being the change she wants to see in the world after representing Accenture at the 2017 One Young World (OYW) Summit in Bogotá, Colombia. She shares her motivation and inspiration by being part of a group of innovative young leaders who are leading in the new.
It was an honor to represent Accenture at OYW and to be a flag-bearer in the opening ceremony for Nigeria. Apart from screaming in excitement and telling my colleagues about it when I heard the news, I obviously informed my family, who are my biggest supporters. Having previously participated at Global Shapers’ events at the Abuja, Nigeria, hub, I knew I wanted to be part of the One Young World summit. I want to be part of the change-making discussions surrounding the world’s problems and to be part of the solution.
David Aoneka Lawrence, Wilber Tupua and Lilian Okorokwo
This may sound cliché, but the young leaders I met made the experience exceptionally unique. I was moved, motivated and inspired by every single person I met and the causes they commit themselves to. Accenture gave more than 1,400 young leaders the opportunity to commit to changing the world around them while we were in Bogotá. By the time (Accenture’s Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer) Ellyn Shook summoned us onto the stage for the Inclusion Starts With I (ISWI) presentation and video, there were no dry eyes in the audience. We all became aware of the need for us to belong in our place of work and to foster a more inclusive environment.
It was truly such a moment. It made me feel like I was part of something bigger—driven by purpose. It showed that we, the people of Accenture, are truly “Greater Than” in our day-to-day work, as well as in what we do as part of the Accenture family. When Ellyn said, “Inclusion and diversity are not enough; it’s about belonging,” it struck a chord. The ISWI movement brings all that together. It means that I play a part in making sure that I belong and that other people I work with feel the same, no matter where they come from.
I committed to “be the change I want to see.” As simple as this commitment is, I take it quite personally. Often, we expect the change to come externally, when it should start with “I.” Once we begin to change, I wonder, who else we can influence?
There were many speakers at the summit that touched my heart. I was particularly inspired by Nobel Peace Price winner Professor Muhammad Yunus and his message around Three Zeros: Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Net Carbon Emission. I see it as a challenge for our generation to tackle these issues, and, like he said, “define the world we want, and make it happen.” He taught us how business and technology can be a tool for good and function with purpose. I was also touched by Akit Garg’s message about how his vision impairment didn’t stop him from the work he does. He showed that nothing is indeed impossible, and he moved the room to tears with his resilience. Hearing Kofi Annan speak to young leaders on peace and reconciliation and the part we play in citizenry topped it all for me. His message was a resounding, clear call for young people to step up and play their part in leadership in their different spheres of influence.
As a young leader, it gives me a profound sense of responsibility to take charge, to be a solution architect and implementer of solutions to the issues facing the world. I also believe it’s a privilege to now have a network of 8,000 bright minds I can easily tap into on a variety of topics, from business and technology to economic and environmental development.
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