SDG Impact Tracker
Interested in supporting impactful initiatives led by young leaders? Search this database of over 200 projects from the One Young World Community to find out more.
$ 1 : 16
For every $1 of value invested, One Young World Ambassadors deliver $16 of social value, based on a Social Return on Investment analysis of 39 Ambassador-led initiatives addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2021
Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Conservation Society - Laos
Manoly’s role at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Laos PDR Program entails providing strategic policy guidance on protected areas and wildlife management and protection, and supervising cross-cutting programmes on counter wildlife trafficking and One Health. Her dream is to safeguard intact areas of vast natural significance for Laos and the wider world. Laos protected areas support the livelihoods of several million people of multi-ethnic groups, yet they are increasingly threatened by human-induced processes.
Before attending the Summit in London, Manoly visited Nam Et-Phou Louey (NEPL) National Park, home to many critically endangered species. Manoly heard many issues that rangers, who are responsible for protecting the area, face including basic lack of law enforcement mandates, equipment, and personnel to sufficiently and effectively protect over 400,000 hectares. These discussions inspired Manoly to apply for the Mary Robinson Climate Justice Award, for which she was successful and received £3,000 to help increase her conservation efforts. Manoly returned to Laos and continued to drive advocacy work for conservation, including contributing to the drafting of new and revised legislation on protected areas, CITES implementation, wetlands and wildlife and aquatic resources.
WCS, in collaboration with the NEPL National Park Management Office, currently works with 10 teams of rangers, made up of local community members and government-provided military personnel for forest patrolling. Many of the rangers were once farmers and hunters who contributed to the damage they are now employed to prevent. With the grant, Manoly has funded new equipment for the rangers, including technology for the SMART patrolling system, boots and badges. This helps them in their work tackling illegal hunters and loggers. Local communities of over 30,000 inhabitants are becoming better educated and equipped to support the conservation of their environment. The threats from agricultural expansion, free range cattle raising, illegal hunting and logging remain high, but with collaborative management between government, INGOs, and local communities, biodiversity monitoring shows promising trends in the protection of endangered species and ecosystems.
“The Mary Robinson Climate Justice Award helped a lot to lift the conservation issue’s profile in Laos. Seeing a young woman from Laos as one of the speakers at One Young World and as a winner of the award somehow inspires and empowers the youth to think that they too can do this!”
Mission Zero Plastic
Mission Zero Plastic - Nigeria
Mission Zero Plastic is an initiative begun by Gideon Olanrewaju in partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation to simultaneously reduce plastic waste and build schools. Primary education is officially free in Nigeria but over 10 million children do not attend. Gideon is the founder and Chief Executive Director of Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi), an organisation running multiple programmes including Education in Bottles, where plastic bottles are recovered, processed, and transformed into school infrastructure. Mission Zero Plastic is one project operating within this programme’s overarching framework, which in turn is only one programme within the AREAi umbrella. Gideon’s partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation is focused on the recovery stage and has already accomplished much, while the transformation stage has not yet begun.
Gideon credits One Young World for helping to spur Mission Zero Plastic to new heights. They began by collecting plastic bottles and building small structures, but it was at the 2019 Summit that Gideon first heard James Quincy, CEO of Coca-Cola, discuss the problem of plastic. After making introductions, Gideon managed to secure a partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation to scale the project. The Summit also renewed his sense of purpose and solidified his belief in the potential of private-sector partnerships. Since then, Mission Zero Plastic has organised 600 young people, executed 18 different outreaches and gathered 261 tonnes of plastic waste.
By placing 60 bins in strategic locations around the country, Mission Plastic Zero has successfully reached 600,000 people indirectly. It has reached another million through social media channels, radio, and community outreach. The project has also recruited 120 women as plastic waste collectors and provided them with personal protective equipment and guidance on financial literacy. Mission Zero Plastic has also collaborated extensively with state environmental agencies.
"The One Young Would Summit renewed the sense of purpose that I have and always had when it comes to social impact. It also solidified the belief I had in the potential of private partnerships. The Summit taught me that there is magic in numbers as well."
PowerUp - Germany
Jacob Hamar, Sabrina Kolbeck
Business for Social Good
In BMW there is a regular internal accelerator programme, whereby employees participate in a 12-week course to identify new initiatives and solutions for a set topic. Once a year, this topic is “business for purpose”, and this was the beginning of Jacob and Sabrina's sustainability collaboration which also led to their participation in the One Young World Summit. At the Summit, the Ambassadors were given much-needed encouragement that they were on the right path. They exchanged knowledge with like-minded delegates on potential obstacles, gave a presentation at a BMW workshop on circular economy and participated in a workshop on battery second-life hosted by Audi that reiterated the potential for sustainable innovation in the automotive industry.
The two young employees come from different backgrounds within BMW, Sabrina working in financial planning, and Jacob an engineer and doctoral candidate. As a pair, they created and lead the PowerUp battery recycling initiative in BMW. Jacob’s initial idea for a sustainability solution was in the area of desalination, however, upon noticing the waste of highly valuable battery systems during the car development process he adapted his thinking to see how this could be leveraged to tackle the global energy crisis. With their shared expertise, Sabrina and Jacob were perfectly placed to develop this idea.
A team of volunteers within BMW, including engineers and project managers by trade, takes high-voltage batteries that are usually removed from prototypes and recycled, and repurposes them to provide energy access to under-resourced schools in low-income communities. PowerUp creates a powerful energy storage block out of six high-voltage batteries. These store solar power from the photovoltaic system on the roof and supply the school with 42 kWh per day of clean electricity. Not only does this address the issue of power outages and clean energy, but it supports education development due to vast energy savings made by the schools that can be redirected into resources for teaching.
The pilot programme in a school in Rosslyn, South Africa is already under construction. The PowerUp team hopes to expand using access from the MINI brand to new schools in need, to exponentially increase the initiative’s social impact.
“One Young World is a powerful community of change-makers. Each person we met at the Munich conference made it clear that we are the change, we have to be the change.”
“One Young World and their participants provide powerful insights and gave us ideas and hands-on solutions on how to scale our project.”
Pink Parliament - Barbados
Pink Parliament is an initiative by ‘Life in Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence’, an organisation founded by Ronelle King to challenge the pervasive discrimination and abuse faced by women in the region. Around 46% of women in the Caribbean have experienced at least one form of violence . Life in Leggings was founded as an online campaign in 2016 to bring attention to the prevalence of this issue, before it transformed into an advocacy organisation. Pink Parliament developed as an offshoot aimed at inspiring young women to pursue careers in politics and develop their leadership skills in order to advocate for the rights of women and girls in decision-making spaces.
Ronelle travelled to the 2019 One Young World Summit in London. She found working alongside other One Young World Ambassadors extremely useful for providing her with drive and much-needed support. The assistance she received on the more technical aspects of her projects helped build her capacity in those areas, and her membership of the One Young World Community opened the door to collaboration with other young leaders from across the globe. Pink Parliament also provides participants with a network of young female leaders, educating them on the necessity of female political representation.
The project’s goal is to equip young women with the knowledge and capacity to one day succeed in political office so as to institutionalise more robust and inclusive decision-making processes in Barbados. Pink Parliament has partnered with the Women and Development Unit of the University of the West Indies, as well as Open Campus, on scholarships, internship opportunities, and content creation. The programme has so far trained 80 girls in Barbados, engaging with the High Commission of Canada for mentorship. Participants have been invited to both houses of parliament, witnessing political procedures and meeting with senior politicians including the Prime Minister.
“Working along with other One Young World Ambassadors has given me drive and much-needed support which is necessary for any young leader. They've provided capacity-building skill development by assisting me with the technical aspects of my projects and advocacies.”
PakVitae - Pakistan
Pakistan is predicted to experience acute water shortages in the coming decades, a consequence of both climate change and poor governance. Yet 21.7 million Pakistanis already lack access to clean water, and the situation is exacerbated by the presence of millions of Afghan refugees. While studying in Florida, Usama Tanveer was introduced to polymeric hollow fibre membranes and their revolutionary potential in water treatment processes. After sharing a prototype he built with some friends in Pakistan, the group set out to tackle this problem.
Usama attended the One Young World Summit in 2019 in London. The Summit was an important networking opportunity for him, and he was able to attend sessions he was interested in and engage with like-minded young people operating in the same space as himself. A number of these people were able to contribute to PakVitae remotely, thereby building its capacity to reach vulnerable communities and assist in their water needs. Usama has also received training from implementation specialists from the UN, The Gates Foundation, and others, which helped the project get traction. PakVitae operates a research and development lab in Singapore for one of its emerging subsidiaries, Everywater, through which the team hopes to generate global impact.
Since beginning operations in 2017, PakVitae has managed to impact upwards of 15,000 people. Its water filters are usable for up to eighteen months with proper care, and local communities are trained extensively on how to get the most out of them. After three months, PakVitae carries out periodic screenings of random sampling tests to ensure the filters are working properly. The patent of the technology used in these water filters was recently accepted in the United States and PakVitae is well on its way to scaling the impact of its work.
“The most important and pivotal thing I got out of the One Young World opportunity was making connections. I was able to attend a lot of the sessions I was interested in, experts who were talking about development and who had 20 plus years of experience. I also met people who were able to add value to PakVitae remotely.”
The Sustainable Flight Challenge
The Sustainable Flight Challenge - The Netherlands
Business for Social Good
In KLM, there is a bottom-up initiative called ‘Bold Moves’ where a diverse group of bright minds came together in KLM to breed innovative new projects to push for change in the organisation. The Sustainable Flight Challenge was one of the successful ideas that resulted from this initiative and is being pushed forward by the company, to create much-needed sustainable development.
Having attended the 2019 summit in London and pondering the big questions of how to make an impact after returning from maternity leave, Robin noticed a vacancy in KLM’s sustainability team. She had been inspired by the event to drive transformative change within large companies, and the chance to lead the Sustainable Flight Challenge posed the perfect opportunity.
The project aims to open-source sustainability innovations that will transform the entire aviation industry. These innovations will be brought to life through a challenge where all participating airlines are operating their “most sustainable flight” and leaving a better planet behind.
Despite originating within KLM and being led by Robin, the competition is being run by SkyTeam, an airline alliance. To date, 17 airlines have committed, despite some not previously having sustainability teams. The pre-condition for participation is that all innovations will be open source. This is the beginning of a coalition of companies that Robin hopes will continue to grow after the Sustainable Flight takes place at the beginning of May.
Flights will be judged on 14 different categories, ranging from lowest CO2 emission to biggest reduction, to lowest food footprint and many more. The jury responsible for the decision will include a One Young World Ambassador to ensure youth voices are represented.
Having been launched in October 2021, there is already significant momentum with many suppliers looking to assist and collaborate with airlines to maximise the sustainability improvements. This challenge is the beginning of a long journey towards more sustainable aviation and hopes to build pressure for further developments in regulation and legislation to unlock the potential for sustainability in the industry, as well as educating, sharing strategies and tactics, and finding smart solutions to unsolved problems through collaboration.
“One Young World was a transformative event for me. By the end, I felt empowered, understood the power of raising your voice, building coalitions and realised that in order to make a difference in the world you don’t have to work for the UN or an NGO. One Young World influenced how we designed the challenge itself. Basic principles such as raising awareness, incentivising all forms of collaboration, and acknowledging that we cannot do this alone. This challenge has no individual winners, we are working together to make the planet win!”
Create Purpose - Mexico
Lead2030 Challenge Winners
Create Purpose is a social enterprise that supports orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Mexico, aiming to tackle the vast and growing threat to 400,000+ who are exposed to violence, trafficking, and exploitation. Edith co-founded a “Caretaker Nutrition Program” and “Garden-Based Learning Program”, to improve both the nutritional knowledge of caregivers in orphanages and improve the quality of meals provided to the children in their care. With her Lead2030 mentor, Julio Ordaz, and the rest of the AstraZeneca team, Edith has built upon the capacity of the initiative and developed as a leader to generate greater impact.
The benefits of the programme were immediate, with Create Purpose securing new collaborations with 8 new orphanages. This allowed them to reach a further 300 OVC with guidance and resources for good nutrition and health. Since that early success, the project continued to build with Edith’s leadership and with the resources of AstraZeneca, working with new institutions, partnering with new governmental organisations, and crucially supporting more and more children.
The $50,000 was invested directly into building a greenhouse to produce the fruit and vegetables for the programmes. This has allowed for revenue generation from selling produce that can be reinvested into the programmes to ensure the projects’ longevity. This commercial aspect will in future involve a commitment from every new customer to sponsor a child in one of the orphanages. Today, the programme operates in 3 states, and in 8 cities. The organisation has run 3 distinct programmes as a result of Lead2030, including 25 in-person workshops, 48 online sessions, and 50 personal orphanage visits.
- 1,532 children supported and educated in the year-long implementation
- 381 orphanage staff trained to provide nutritional care
Edith credits her mentorship from AstraZeneca with “exponential’ development in her leadership. It gave her an international perspective, and the trust of a multinational company has given her greater belief in her solution to the challenge. The experience of her colleagues at AstraZeneca was also a vital resource that taught Edith patience in executing her vision effectively and allowed her to develop better skills in communication.
“The Summit was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My work started way before that, but that point was when we were able to grow exponentially, both in terms of my organisation but also myself in terms of leadership skills. I had never gone outside of Mexico and the US, so to have that global view of the issues, of the solutions even, and to meet with other people and grow as a One Young World Ambassador.”
Pacific Village - New Zealand
Business for Social Good
Pacific and Maori unemployment rates sit significantly above national averages as sad indictments of the systemic discrimination that continues to plague New Zealand society. Whilst graduating from the University of Auckland, Saia set out to redress the balance and alongside his career as a digital consultant at PwC, he has worked tirelessly on a variety of initiatives to promote greater equality.
Saia has worked to drive progress in his own workplace at PwC New Zealand. He is co-lead of the Pacific Village alongside other Pacific leaders including Simoli Aati and Leo Foliaki, and under their leadership the number of Pacific members has grown from 10 in 2018 to 50+ in 2022 (and counting). The group advocates and shapes the way PwC approaches and engages with talent and representation in an inclusive manner, and builds relationships with non-Pacific allies.
Their work has encouraged the company to invest in people enabled solutions, with a particular focus on increasing the representation of Pacific staff at PwC, and building trust with Pacific communities. Saia also chairs a charity - Moana Trust - focused on upskilling Maori and Pacific people to bridge the digital divide, including teaching children how to code.
Upon joining the workforce, the realisation of Maori and Pacific under-representation was even more apparent to Saia. This drove him to inspire the community in their respective careers and connect them to opportunities in sectors where they are under-represented, for their own development. The first "Navigators of Success" event that Saia led was a careers fair attended by over 8 organisations, for Maori and Pacific students at the University of Auckland. This led to more major events throughout the years, attended by an average of 100 attendees each time.
In addition, Saia used his relationship with PwC and other companies such as Microsoft, EY, Warren & Mahoney, and Vend, to offer in-person tech experiences including tours of their offices for over 200 Maori and Pacific students. On the other side of the equation, he provided consultancy and guidance to prospective employees on talent recruitment from these marginalised demographics.
“One Young World provided the opportunity to expand my horizon in regards to leadership style, scalability of impact, innovation in action, leading with purpose and the importance of backing yourself! To date, the lessons from my One Young World experience continue to shape and influence my approach to leadership and delivering impact.”
Jessica Novia, Unilever
Jessica Novia, Unilever - Indonesia
Jessica’s first foray into social impact in the workplace was the Green Office initiative she started in Unilever’s Singapore office. Noticing the waste produced at mealtimes, she decided to intervene. Jessica convened her colleagues to run an environmental awareness event to educate employees to reduce single-use packaging consumption. She also established a partnership with local restaurants frequented by employees to secure a discount for customers who brought their own reusable cutlery and containers.
Soon after moving back to Indonesia, Jessica was selected as part of the delegation to attend the One Young World 2018 The Hague Summit. At a pre-Summit event in Jakarta, she met Bimo and Innandya, fellow environmental enthusiasts working at Johnson & Johnson and BP respectively. She shared her model for a green office with the two Ambassadors, which would form the start of a productive cross-company collaboration.
The event itself was a source of inspiration and pride, as she listened to then Unilever CEO Paul Polman promote corporate sustainability. It reinforced Jessica’s belief that corporate leadership has significant potential for social impact, and multinational corporations have a substantial role in the development of a more sustainable world.
Back in her day job at Unilever as a Brand Manager, Jessica was invited to speak at a company-wide town hall meeting. Her profile after One Young World had been elevated, and Jessica presented the Green Office concept which she had rolled out in the Indonesia office. This included the installation of jet hand-dryers to reduce paper consumption, and the removal of single-use plastics at office cafes, in the canteen and meeting rooms.
In January 2020, Jessica was promoted as a Global Brand Manager and this role has allowed her to explore solutions on top of packaging. She is looking to develop a beauty product that generates revenue that is invested directly into environmental protection and restoration, to encourage the preservation of the resources that are used within the products themselves.
In addition to her role at Unilever, Jessica built on her friendships and shared interests with Bimo and Innandya to found CarbonEthics, an organisation that aims to decarbonize the world through climate education, carbon calculation, and blue carbon ecosystem conservation. They also invest in the local communities directly impacted by coastal erosion to ensure climate justice for those most impacted. To date, the three Ambassadors have sequestered 4,000+ tonnes of CO2 and are supported by 100+ active youth volunteers.
“One Young World Summit has been a focal point of my sustainability leadership journey. I’m looking forward to actively shaping a brighter future of humankind and nature through my current and future role.”
She Starts Africa
She Starts Africa - Tunisia
Salmine worked as an incubator for social entrepreneurs in Colorado before returning to Tunisia, where she realised that there was a real need for incubator programmes for women in the country. Women account for only 28% of Tunisia’s total labour force, and face significant challenges as entrepreneurs due to social and economic discrimination. Salmine co-founded She Starts Africa in 2018 and began offering female university students workshops for free. Using the data and feedback they gathered during this initial outreach, She Starts Africa was able to develop an incubation programme to build women’s capacity in entrepreneurship.
The 2019 One Young World Summit in London gave Salmine more perspective on how she could help the cause of women entrepreneurs in Africa. She built a network of connections through One Young World which she maintains to this day, elevating her ability to co-create and collaborate with other innovators and entrepreneurs. She Starts Africa has managed to simultaneously develop programmes for women entrepreneurs who are only just beginning their entrepreneurial journey, and those who have experience with entrepreneurship but want to learn more about scaling their businesses and utilising digital tools to make that happen.
She Starts Africa has expanded across the continent, and is now active through university clubs in six countries. The organisation has an extensive list of partners and corporate CSR departments with whom they collaborate to design entrepreneurial programmes. The beginner workshops start with confidence-building exercises before tackling technical training. She Starts Africa’s initiation programme, known as The Labyrinth, lasts for six weeks with actionable outcomes, while the Female Founders workshop is aimed at a more established audience and is oriented towards specific market outputs. So far, the social enterprise has accelerated the entrepreneurship of 750 women.
“I still have my connections from One Young World, I still talk to and collaborate with them, especially in my scholarship. The most interesting thing is the relationships and the network, and the different aspects of the programme that make you think about what you can do better”
Brighter Tomorrow - Afghanistan
Pamir founded Brighter Tomorrow in 2014 with his brothers. Growing up as a refugee in Norway, he was able to take advantage of educational opportunities inaccessible to most Afghans. Around 3.7 million Afghan children do not attend school, with girls accounting for 60% of this number . With a strong urge to improve the education available to Afghan children, Pamir began reaching out to NGOs but was repeatedly told that he was too young. In response, he co-founded Brighter Tomorrow when he was 19 years old.
Pamir attended the 2015 One Young World Summit in Bangkok and immediately felt deeply inspired by the range of speakers and the power of their messages. He was able to pitch his ideas on education to several of One Young World’s Partners, which proved to be helpful for Brighter Tomorrow’s sustainable finance model and partnership-building activities. Under Pamir’s leadership, the organisation has since developed an offline-based education platform that teaches students to read and write in both Pashto and Dari through unsupervised game learning. What distinguishes the Brighter Tomorrow model from alternatives is its scalability; its educational programme is both comprehensive and available on every platform. The tablets are powered entirely by solar panels, ensuring that electricity blackouts do not disrupt the educational progress of the children using them. Each tablet has 16 hours of battery life and is regularly rotated amongst the students to ensure equal opportunity.
Since its founding, 2,000 children have received traditional schooling through Brighter Tomorrow. A further 600 have received ed-tech schooling, though due to COVID-19 only 200 of these were able to complete the programme. More recently, Brighter Tomorrow has partnered with a Norwegian NGO to resume its work in Afghanistan, with 60 students receiving ed-tech schooling in Kabul and Badakhshan.
“The Summit was filled with inspiration, there were such astonishing speakers with such powerful messages. It felt surreal to even be in the same venue as those inspirational people. And that is needed because in this sector you need that support. It was a huge help, the Corporate Partners that One Young World has.”
A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess - The Netherlands
A student of fashion and business economics, and having fled Iraq as a young child with her family, Naz founded A Beautiful Mess to solve two challenges she witnessed in Dutch society. Rapidly rising clothing production and consumption have created a global culture of waste, and currently, less than 1% of used clothing is recycled back into clothes. There is also an undersupported and underused labour resource in the form of refugees, who face various social, economic, and cultural challenges in integrating into the workforce.
A Beautiful Mess operates a 100% circular textile factory in the Netherlands, simultaneously creating jobs for refugees with a background in tailoring, and in turn minimising the substantial negative environmental impacts of the fashion industry. The social enterprise has worked with companies ranging from Tommy Hilfiger to Google, to produce fashion collections that recycle waste textiles and 'dead stock', and provide gainful employment to refugees struggling to break into Netherland's labour market.
Since 2019, the organisation has worked on 40 different collections with funding partners, turning over 8,000 metres of textile waste into 15,200 high-quality products whilst giving regular employment to 15 refugees in the 'Restart Programme'. An additional 25 refugees have received training to help them contribute to and profit from the labour market. The organisational structure is set to evolve in the coming months, shifting more to a B2C model whereby the factory produces collections sold directly through stores in the Netherlands and Belgium, and more to be opened elsewhere. A Beautiful Mess will be rebranded as Twenty Fifty, a name chosen to reflect its commitment to sustainability goals. It will launch its own fashion brand producing unisex collections from fully biodegradable regenerated cotton and recycled fabrics.
Aligned with this work and reacting to the pandemic, Naz co-founded "Mondmaskerfabriek", a social enterprise running a surgical mask factory in the Netherlands. Employed by the Dutch Government, the organisation produced a staggering 48 million masks, continuing to produce 1-2 million masks every week. Crucially, it employed 52 refugee workers via the Restart Programme throughout the challenging pandemic period.
‘’As an Ambassador, I gained a huge network of young like-minded people from every corner in the world doing amazing social impact work with whom I can share my experiences and exchange knowledge. From attending the London Summit in 2019 to speaking at the CogX Conference, being able to share this journey and grow together is a privilege.”
El Derecho a No Obedecer
El Derecho a No Obedecer - Colombia
Colombia has experienced a large influx of Venezuelan refugees in recent years, with 1.7 million Venezuelans now residing in the country, 32% of the total number of Venezuelan migrants on the continent. In a climate of increasing hostility, Alejandro has led an initiative called ‘Your Flag is My Flag’ to promote the social and cultural integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees across Latin America. They do this through organising conversational spaces, artistic projects, and community mobilisation to combat xenophobia.
Alejandro and his team also developed the Xenophobia Barometer, a platform that analyses online conversations around migration in Latin America with the goal of providing policy-makers with information on public perception in real-time. Your Flag is My Flag has reached 115,000 refugees, migrants, and people from local communities, organising 5 national campaigns, community-based programmes, and anti-xenophobia training. Along with his other projects, Your Flag is my Flag is a part of El Derecho a No Obedecer, which is an independent initiative existing within the wider organisation, Corporación Otraparte.
The 2019 One Young World Summit in London opened professional doors for Alejandro. AstraZeneca nominated him to be part of the first cohort in their partnership with UNICEF, where he became the lead point for advocacy and young people in the air pollution space. In this way, the Summit experience helped to scale his work. In 2018, Alejandro co-founded the National Citizen Network for Air Quality in Colombia, and since then they have successfully mobilised 1,500 people around issues related to air pollution. His project has also opened a school called New Airs to further mobilise young people and to monitor air pollution in 9 cities using low-cost equipment. They have so far trained 130 young people, and have expanded into Ecuador and Peru while influencing local development plans in Medellin and Cúcuta.
“The One Young World Summit opened doors. It gives so many references on how to become a better advocate. I had the opportunity to choose which people I wanted my advocacy to be inspired by."
Come Mejor Wa'ik/Eat Better Wa'ik
Come Mejor Wa'ik/Eat Better Wa'ik - Guatemala
Bibi la Luz Gonzalez
Bibi founded Eat Better Wa'ik as a pilot project shortly before attending the One Young World Summit in 2015, at which she spoke on the social cost of corruption on food. Food insecurity is an issue in Latin America that has only become more pressing and damaging since that time. Guatemala currently experiences the sixth highest level of chronic malnutrition in the world and also a pressing triple burden of malnutrition, with undernourishment, obesity, and non-communicable diseases.
Bibi started Eat Better Wa'ik with the aim of addressing this challenge by merging food security, climate sustainability, and human rights. The objective is to generate food awareness and provoke action to reduce malnutrition through education, economy, agroforestry transformation, consumption, and technological solutions. This takes the form of various initiatives that support not just people in extreme poverty, but engage with those from low, middle, and high-income backgrounds. This is done through creative education, services, and products, connecting local communities with global policymaking. Direct intervention in the form of over 8,500 "improved food baskets" have been a crucial food response to humanitarian crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The team also delivers educational workshops to provide nutritional knowledge to promote healthy behavioural change. Eat Better Wa'ik runs, and provides content for, awareness-raising online and in-person events.
The scale of Bibi's work has grown consistently through the years, and in mid-2019 she re-shaped the organisation after stepping away from her other role with the World Food Programme. This has allowed her to scale up the impact of Eat Better Wa'ik. Bibi and the team have spread sustainability education and impactful operations beyond Guatemala, from Thailand to Uruguay, and the USA to the UK. Through international coalitions, the organisation contributes to shaping global policy on food, climate, and human rights.
“The One Young World Summit was the first opportunity we had to speak about Wa’ik and what we were doing, since it was only 3 months old by that time. It allowed us to connect with One Young World Partners, to collaborate or just be present. It gave me skills, of putting myself out there and participating.”
Fluence - The Netherlands
As a recent graduate engineer, Marek was searching for a career in sustainability when he found himself fired from his first job at the height of the global recession. This gave him a chance to reset, pursuing an industry-based doctorate on the challenges of integrated renewable energy to the electricity system. Ultimately, this early career pivot led to him becoming the Managing Director and founding member of a leading global energy storage technology and services company.
Fluence is a company that unlocks a key part of the energy transition by solving intermittency issues around renewable energy. Fluctuations in the generation of renewable electricity mean that surplus energy needs to be stored somewhere to maintain a consistent supply. Thus, innovative hardware and software products such as those made by Fluence help renewables to compete with and displace fossil fuel-based power. The company develops energy storage products that work with a range of battery chemistries and that form standardised building blocks but can be personalised in order to suit almost any customer need. Fluence, which began as a joint venture between Siemens and AES in 2018, has emerged as an industry-leading technology and product company that has delivered the world’s largest fleet of battery-based energy storage. The company recently completed an IPO that raised around $1bn on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Marek is currently responsible for growing business in the UK, Ireland, the Middle East and Africa where he oversees a team responsible for originating and contracting energy storage products, software and services sales. Fluence continues to grow rapidly, facilitating the clean energy transition with more than 150 projects ongoing in 30 global markets.
“One Young World gave me a gigantic platform to share my message on the role of technology to improve our lives and wellbeing. Addressing the Environment Plenary Keynote in 2017 to an audience of 1200 delegates was a huge honour and something I will never forget. Ultimately, it led to a number of other opportunities, such as being asked to give my TED Talk “Batteries Not Included” the following year.”
How to use to the SDG Tracker
Search for projects by the following case study categories:
- Ambassador-led Initiatives: qualitative and quantitative analysis of the social impact of projects which are led by young leaders in the Community.
- Business for Social Good: written case studies for initiatives ran by corporate partner organisations, led by young Ambassadors/employees.
- Leadership Stories: short biographies of Ambassadors who are growing into influential leaders for social good in some of the world’s largest companies.
- Covid Young Leaders Fund: detailed case studies of grant recipients from One Young World's 2020 funding opportunity for projects tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lead2030: detailed case studies of the Lead2030 award winners and how their projects have generated impact from participating in the programme.