It’s time we listen to the next generation of leaders, so let’s see them represented in the media.

Banner showing Rana Hajirasouli and Nicholas Kee giving Delegate Speeches at the One Young World Summit Belfast, 2023

It’s time we listen to the next generation of leaders, so let’s see them represented in the media.

To celebrate the Vanity Fair x One Young World Global Goals List, we are exploring why it’s important that young leaders are represented in the media. 


The year 2030 is fast approaching, and we are looking to the world's leaders to guide us towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, it is young leaders who are forging the way forward. During the One Young World Summit Belfast, 2023, we collaborated with Vanity Fair to spotlight 17 of these leaders, showcasing their innovative work to elevate their profiles on an international level.


"Sir - I'm absolutely terrified - I feel like a deer in headlights!" Admitted Rana Hajirasouli, Founder and CEO of The Surpluss and One Young World Ambassador. Rana is the representative of SDG 12, responsible consumption and production, on the Vanity Fair Global Goals List. Her experience of being photographed for the article was unlike anything she had experienced before. “I was slightly in shock as I saw the calibre of people lined up to be photographed, and like many young women, I felt a sense of imposter syndrome,” Rana readily admitted. “This was quickly washed away when I had the opportunity to expand on the work that we are doing at The Surpluss, and I came to realise how much I had sacrificed and the incredible opportunity that One Young World had presented to me.”


What is the Vanity Fair Global Goals List?


The Vanity Fair Global Goals List showcases 17 trailblazing young leaders who are forging the way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It gives Ambassadors in the One Young World Community a unique opportunity to showcase their initiatives and reach new audiences. “I hope I can reach a community of people that can genuinely extract value from what we are doing at The Surpluss,” says Rana, “potentially even attract new partners that could empower our mission, and us theirs, to contribute positively to achieving social and environmental goals in new contexts.” 


Vanity Fair Global Goals List full photo with One Young World Counsellors and Ambassadors


Visibility is the key to success. 


Today, young leaders are creating innovative solutions to the insurmountable challenges that our world is facing. That said, they don’t always have access to the resources needed to take their initiatives to the next level. 


“A lot of the things that we're doing aren't really exposed from a global perspective, and so they, within the global north, have a hard time relating or even finding projects like ours to fund and continue to support,” says ocean regeneration pioneer Nicholas Kee.


Nicholas is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kee Farms. This organisation trains local fisher folk to operate their own ocean farms while tackling climate change and the food crisis in Jamaica. Despite only starting Kee Farms in 2020, Nicholas has already removed three tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere whilst creating job opportunities for over 50 fisher folk. But he has ambitions to push his work, and more importantly, his impact, further through working with decision-makers.


“I'm more into getting the work done and pushing the agenda forward,“ Nicholas admits. “[Through being featured in Vanity Fair] I hope to be at least more relatable to decision-makers so that they have the opportunity not just to see the work that's going on in my community but be open enough to explore other projects that could be partnered with, to push a lot of the work and impact forward in whatever we're doing, especially in the global south.”


Nicholas Kee for the One Young World Vanity Fair Global Goals List


Providing hope and inspiration to a generation of leaders 


We are constantly bombarded with negative messaging, whether it be about the climate crisis, corrupt politics, or global conflicts. It’s unsurprising that, according to the World Health Organisation, over 301 million people worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder. At a time when it is easy to feel hopeless, we need to hear the voices of young leaders who are actively changing the world and be inspired by their work. 


“In this modern day where we are constantly bombarded with sound bites and climate anxiety, [seeing young leaders spotlighted in the media] can help relay that age is not a barrier to making a significant contribution to society,” says Rana. “It also helps encourage a culture of empowerment and engagement amongst younger generations and build the momentum we need to locate adequate solutions, fast.” 


Rana Hajirasouli for the One Young World Vanity Fair Global Goals List


A glimmer of hope for the future


The young leaders of our world are the individuals pushing us towards achieving the SDGs. They are inspirational and provide a glimmer of hope for a fairer and more sustainable future - you only have to read the Vanity Fair Global Goals List to see that. “There is never a one-size-fits-all solution for complex, interconnected challenges,” explains Ranas. “If you look a little closer, you will see the depth and commitment of each of these leaders [on the Global Goals List] and how closely each UN SDG overlaps, compliments and empowers one another - much like the people on the list.”


“If you're unsure, or if you're just unaware of some of the things that are going on in the world and you want an indication that there is hope that work is being done, the Vanity Fair Global Goals List is where you should be looking,” concludes Nicholas. 


Read the Vanity Fair Global Goals List


Published on 28/03/2024