Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) alumnus Troy Ngyuen had the privilege to attend the One Young World Summit in Bangkok and shares his experience with us.
“It’s been four months since I attended the One Young World summit and yet it feels like just yesterday. The experience is etched forever in my memory.”
When Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) alumnus Troy Nguyen found out that he was going to attend the One Young World summit in Bangkok, Thailand, he was naturally excited. OYW is after all one of the most established global event that brings together bright young leaders from around the world, empowering them to discuss some of the world's most pressing issues such as climate change, human rights, peace and security.
He knew attending the summit would change his perception of the world, but little did he expect it to change his approach to the way he ran his business as well. We caught up with him to find out more about his experience at the OYW Summit.
Could you tell me more about your cafe business?
I had the idea to open D’Alice as I saw potential for the establishment of themed bakeries and teahouses in Hanoi, where I live. Vietnam is known for it’s coffee and ice blended drinks and with the Vietnamese society becoming more affluent, I felt there was an opportunity to elevate the café dining experience by offering customers quality pastries and tea in a quirky setting. Keeping this in mind, I designed the café with an Alice in Wonderland theme.
The business has been doing well and D’Alice is becoming more popular among locals and tourists looking for a different dining experience. We are in the midst of opening our second café branch and also looking to expand the business in Ho Chi Minh.
How would you describe your experience at the OYW Summit in Bangkok?
It was life changing.
Before leaving for Bangkok, I did a lot of research about the event and thought I was well prepared to understand the issues that would be discussed at the summit.
“What I didn’t expect was to become personally inspired and motivated myself. It was such a privilege to meet and get to know young people who were determined to make a change in the world we live in.”
I remember a speech by a delegate, Oscar Anderson, a 14-year old disabled activist who was born premature in Vietnam and developed jaundice that was left untreated. As a result, it damaged his brain and he lost the ability to speak and walk clearly. Despite his condition, Oscar gave a moving speech about his struggles to get a proper education and wanting to live his life to the fullest. Hearing speeches like his was what truly inspired me to want to make a positive impact in the world.
What was the most memorable experience you had at the OYW Summit?
It would have to be hearing the speech by Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, who spoke about how in order to change the world, we need to change ourselves first and start by helping the people around us – our family, friends and neighbours. Even if it’s a small gesture it might make a big impact on their lives.
How has OYW inspired you for the future?
Attending the OYW Summit in Bangkok made me realise the importance and power of education. When I first started my business I was very focused on making a profit and expanding my business. After attending OYW I am more determined to use my business as a platform to give back to the community I live in.