Prince Harry was in Chicago on Tuesday for the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, an event organized by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
For Prince Harry’s segment on the first night of the event, the royal talked with Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, LLC, about all the ways that youth can help a community to achieve better engagement and development.
In the conversation, the Brit mentioned the impact that his mother, the late Princess Diana, had on his desire to be of service to others.
“I think she had a lot in common with everybody but also she certainly listened in a very, very short space of time,” said the prince. “In society we suffer from this illusion or this reality where some problems get so big that nobody wants to get involved. She was the one that changed that.”
He also added, “I will always look up to her as being my ideal role model.”
Harry also opened up about what inspires him, “The younger generation of the world has turned me into an optimist…they have the solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.” He added, “We have to listen to the younger generation because they are the cure to some of the world’s biggest problems—they are the cure of many communities as well.”
The summit features more than 500 speakers and performers, with community leaders participating alongside big stars such as the royal, Common, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chance the Rapper.
In addition to his session at the summit, Harry and Michelle made a surprise appearance at the Hyde Park Academy, a high school in Chicago.
“Mrs. Obama and Prince Harry surprised approximately 20 students at Hyde Park Academy, a high school across from the future site of the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side of Chicago,” said Caroline Adler Morales, Mrs. Obama’s Communications Director, in a statement. “They spoke about the importance of young people staying inspired and the power of students using their voices to change the world.”
They spoke about the importance of young people staying inspired and the power of students using their voices to change the world. pic.twitter.com/Ah1unCjBn2
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 31, 2017