Teen motivated by Malaysia summit
'It was really, really exciting'RUBY HARFIELD
Missing out on meeting United States President Barack Obama did not ruin the experience for one Invercargill youth who has just returned from an international business summit.
Former James Hargest College student Joshua Harrington was one of 10 people chosen to attend a special roundtable event at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit last week.
Thesummit, held in Kuala Lumpur, had speakers from throughout the world discussing ways to empower entrepreneurs.
The 17-year-old was also one of 500 young people worldwide to take part in the Global Startup Youth Programme, a key side event of the summit that had participants working together to solve world issues.
A big highlight of his trip was finding out he had been chosen to attend the special roundtable event, which featured speeches from Expedia founder Rich Barton and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, he said.
They chose the 10 people that stood out the most, Joshua said.
He said he was the only person from New Zealand at the roundtable event and he was really proud to represent the country.
He found the summit slightly disappointing because he had been looking forward to listening to US President Barack Obama, who had not been able to attend because of the US Government shutdown.
However, the people who represented him did a really good job, Joshua said.
The youth programme was an intense three days during which teams of 10 had to design business models to solve world problems such as health and education.
Joshua's team created a model for education that involved a way to crowd-source funds for people who could not afford education, and for teachers wanting resources to teach in poorer countries.
His team did not win but was pleased with its work, he said.
"We were quite happy with what we did."
The main focus of the programme was to encourage participants to bring their experiences back to their countries and share them, Joshua said.
The exposure had given him many good ideas that he hoped to use in his businesses.
"It was really, really exciting to be able to get different points of view."
He said he planned to keep in touch with the other people in his team and hoped to work with them in the future.
Joshua left high school a few months ago to concentrate on building his businesses.
He started his first website when he was 10, and had his first web-based business by age 13.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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