Kayvon Asemani, Wharton junior and aspiring music mogul, met his most imposing audience yet on Tuesday, Aug. 16: over 1,400 people from 193 countries at United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Asemani’s performance came as part of the International Young Leaders Assembly, a 10-day conference that invites 50 distinguished young leaders from 25 countries to learn about social impact and international relations.
Asemani’s journey to the auditorium of the UN General Assembly began on a recommendation from Wharton and Engineering junior Robert Dowling, who arranged for him to speak at a panel for the Penn Diplomacy and Policy Council, which Dowling founded, on Saturday, Aug. 13.
Asemani took advantage of the opportunity and spoke on the panel about how music brings people of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds together.
Among the nearly 60 attendees present at the Penn Law School was John Dickson, chairman of the Global Young Leaders Academy, an elite leadership development program that selects highly qualified young adults from across the world to participate in various programs, including the International Young Leaders Assembly.
The next day, Dowling received a phone call from Dickson, who requested to have Asemani perform at the United Nations High Level Plenary Session on Tuesday in New York.
Dowling immediately asked Asemani if he would be willing to perform. “Are you in or are you out?” Dowling asked. Asemani did not hesitate.
“Of course I’m in,” Asemani replied.
In the packed General Assembly auditorium on Aug. 16, Asemani addressed United Nations delegates, international diplomats, CEOs and experts from the private sector, along with students selected to attend.
Asemani went on stage last following two Grammy Award-winning producers, Jimmy Jam and Terri Lewis, and performed a medley of three songs: one to represent his life story, one representing the message of peace and unity and an unreleased single.
“It was a great way to kick off the Penn Diplomacy and Policy Council,” Dowling said. “We proved that we had the student side of things down, but also we have a professional side.”
For his part, Asemani was happy to spread his music and message of unity.
“We were all brought here to make a difference together,” Asemani said.
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