“One Young World” (OYW) is the name of a network of young talents and executives from all over the world. Annual conferences focus on topics such as the climate crisis, freedom and civil rights. And a Brucker also gave a speech there.
Fürstenfeldbruck – Recently, the Munich Olympic Hall was the scene of an OYW meeting with 700 participants from over 190 countries – some of them connected. Lorenz Narku Laing (29) belonged to the hand-picked circle of speakers. His topic: fairer and more diverse economic systems. “Our economic system creates injustices in the distribution of access and opportunities,” says the political scientist. “Too often, academic and professional success depends on the success of parents.”
Laing knows what he is talking about. The son of a Jamaican and a Ghanaian, he was born in Mainz. His father had a company, but it went bankrupt and turned the family into Hartz IV recipients. The fact that Laing studied sociology and law as a minor in Frankfurt as well as history religious studies, politics and international relations at London’s King’s College, that he was a research assistant at the LMU Munich and wrote his doctoral thesis – he owes this above all to the youth work in a sports club. Laing played American football for the Wiesbaden Phantoms as a student. “My coaches encouraged me and helped me find my way to university. Without this support, my educational biography would not have been possible.”
A central theme in Laing’s scientific work is racism. As a German with black skin, he already had bad experiences with it as a child, up to and including physical attacks. Meanwhile, no one comes too close to him, but resentment still meets him daily. With his Bruck-based consulting firm “Diversity Projects”, Laing fights with 15 employees for an inclusive, open society. His clients include large companies up to Deutsche Bank. His workshops, seminars, trainings and panel discussions deal with all forms of discrimination – racism, sexism, homophobia. It makes sense to tackle the topic in its entirety, the father of a young son knows. “The freedom of one is the freedom of the other.”
One Young World had become aware of him because of Laing’s doctoral thesis. “Black people still experience a lot of discrimination in the education system,” says the 29-year-old. “Therefore, it is unfortunately still unusual for a black person in Germany to complete a doctorate.” The Brucker considered the invitation to speak at the conference to be a special honor, as personalities such as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, actress Emma Watson and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were among the speakers.
The weekend in the Olympic Hall touched Laing deeply. “You meet people from all over the world who are fighting for a good cause.” He met a Syrian swimmer who saved people from drowning and a Namibian woman who, like him, passionately fights against racism. “The conference has once again made it clear that the struggle for a just world is a united force across borders.” os
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