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UF/IFAS – saving the world one great idea at a time at ONE WORLD summit

CALS Challenge 2050 One World event is being held at the UF auditorium on Friday, Feb 19th, 2016.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Today’s students will be the world’s leaders in 2050, when the population is expected to reach 9 billion people; they will face issues like overcrowding, food security, energy and water management, and climate change.

The second annual ONE WORLD summit at the University of Florida addresses these issues by bringing together a diverse group of educators and students, Extension professionals, community development personnel, corporate partners and policy makers. The day-long event will take place Feb. 19 in the University of Florida University Auditorium at 333 Newell Drive, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

“ONE WORLD is like nothing you have ever seen, bridging social and hard sciences to create a foundation for saving the world,” said Tony Andenoro, assistant professor of Leadership Education, the ONE WORLD organizer and the Challenge 2050 Project director.  “Our students are our best chance to address the complex challenges facing our world due to our growing global population. ONE WORLD is an opportunity to connect our students with industry professionals, policy makers, community members, and university staff and faculty to develop innovations to address real change in our world.”

Four dynamic speakers and two teams will engage the attendees with presentations of their ideas, aimed at addressing the complex issues as the world prepares for 2050. Each presenter selected will receive $500 and have a chance at winning the grand prize of $1500. They are:

  • Krystal Dixon – born in Jamaica, she is a third-year international studies major. She describes herself as a global citizen who wants to shift the world into a trajectory of global cohesiveness;
  • Jared Blackburn – a second year political science major from Winter Haven, he has held internships in Sen. Marco Rubio’s office and the Department of State. This future law student has his eyes on education reform, the Florida governor’s office and the U.S. Senate;
  • Heather Ryan – a third-year student majoring in agricultural education with a concentration on leadership and communication. She hopes to put her faith into action;
  • Shelby Thomas – a marine science and microbiology double major from Daytona Beach, who hopes to save the world’s coral reefs and find medicinal cures from marine organisms;
  • Audrey Batzer and Avalon Hoek Spaans – both environmental science majors, who want to lead and become a part of a new generation of scientists, who not only value research but strive to put solutions into action;
  • Jack Yang and John Hursh – Yang is a Ph.D student majoring in agriculture and biological engineering, while Hursh is a chemical and biomolecular engineering student. Both are concerned with saving the environment.

ONE WORLD registrants are being asked to identify areas and topics they are passionate about addressing in the world. At “Innovation Stations” (breakout sessions) people will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with others who share these passions. From this, innovations aimed at addressing problems have the potential for development and implementation.

Organizations interested in sharing their company’s amazing ideas and innovations can register for a booth within the “Reality Check” area.  Surrounding the Reality Check, are “Connection Corners,” large boards with topics and issues to engage attendees. People are encouraged to share ideas and information on notecards and pin them to the board.

Attendees will also be encouraged to speak with corporate, non-profit and organizational entities converging at the University Auditorium during ONE WORLD, creating the potential to explore internships, employment opportunities, or a foundation for future successes and potential solutions for the world.

Sponsors of ONE WORLD include: Challenge 2050 Project, HM Clause, The New York Times in Education, UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

“Come share your perspectives and contribute to the conversation,” Andenoro said.

Photo caption: CALS Challenge 2050 One World event is being held at the UF auditorium on Friday, Feb 19th, 2016.

By Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, 352-294-3302,

Sources: Tony Andenoro, 352-294-1999,