Out of the thousands of Ambassador-led initiatives, One Young World chooses 50 projects for evaluation each year. They are selected to represent all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 8 geographic regions – Europe, Asia, MENA, Africa, North America, Caribbean, Latin America and Oceania.
One Young World also monitors the action of Ambassadors working in the private sector, as young entrepreneurs work to create impact in sustainability-focused startups and young professionals work to embed social purpose in their workplaces and companies' actions.
The final selection of 17 Ambassadors featured in Annual Impact Reports are the 'Ones to Watch', outstanding initiatives tackling each Sustainable Development Goal predicted to create significant social impact in the coming years.
For every $1 of value invested, One Young World Ambassadors deliver $16 of social value, based on a Social Return on Investment analysis of 50 Ambassador-led initiatives addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2020.
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.
Search for projects by the following case study categories:
- Ambassador-led Initiatives: qualitative and quantitative analysis of the social impact of organisations or projects which are led by young leaders in the Community.
- Business for Social Good: written case studies for initiatives ran by Partner organisations, led by young professional Ambassadors, or entrepreneurs in the Community.
- Ones to Watch: brief summaries of some of the most exciting new initiatives working to achieve a particular Sustainable Development Goal.
- Covid Young Leaders Fund: detailed case studies of a selection 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.
To explore projects featured in the 2020 Annual Impact Report set the 'year' filter to 2020.
Tierra Grata - Colombia
Jenifer co-founded Tierra Grata in 2016 with a simple mission in her sights: guarantee access to clean energy, water, and sanitation to rural communities in Colombia. This is a pressing issue for the country, where 4.9 million people lack access to a decent toilet, and an astonishing 1.4 million people do not have access to clean water (1).
The organisation developed decentralised, low-cost, easy-to-install solutions that provide customers with a comfortable and dignified space for hygiene and sanitation. Each Tierra Grata installation can save up to 68,000 litres of water per year and avoids the contamination of surface and underground water sources. In addition, by receiving a controlled and accelerated treatment of organic waste, clients have a significantly improved quality of life. Since its founding 5 years ago, the team has already managed to install 891 of these solutions, providing tangible health and hygiene improvements to more than 9,200 people in under-resourced areas in Colombia.
In 2019, Tierra Grata was selected by RB as their Lead2030 Challenge Winner. This partnership came with a $50,000 grant to invest in expanding the organisation's operations and impact, and 12 months of mentorship which has extended beyond the guaranteed period due to the success of the collaboration for both parties. Biweekly meetings with the team of mentors helped monitor their progress and develop new ideas and strategies. The team also formed a sustainable model so the organisation will not generate dependence on donations.
Tierra Grata's work became even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to increased urgency for sanitation and good hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus in vulnerable communities. One Young World awarded the organisation two grants totalling $20,000 as part of the Covid Young Leaders Fund. Jenifer and the team utilised this money to distribute water filters, hygiene kits, hand washing stations, and eco-toilets to isolated communities. They also delivered practical workshops to instruct beneficiaries on how to effectively use the solutions, and also to provide general Covid-19 awareness. With additional support from other donor organisations and individuals, Tierra Grata managed to impact 6,282 people in 2020, when they were at their most vulnerable.
The Tomato Project
The Tomato Project - Switzerland
Matej Uher, Merten Witte, Laura Prestel, Frederick Puttemans, Emrah Mazi
Business for Social Good
At the One Young World’s Summit in 2018, a selection of DSM employees and scholars took part in a session to identify global challenges and solutions, during which they struck up a conversation with a scholar from Zambia who made them aware of the widespread Vitamin A deficiency in her country. They also discussed the huge level of tomato waste, caused by the seasonal overproduction in the country. These two issues, combined to form the germ of an idea.
This idea became “The Tomato Project”, a collaboration between 5 DSM One Young World Ambassadors and 6 other colleagues. The company encouraged them to take this purpose-led journey, and so they began the process of exploring the wider issue of malnutrition and the solution in more depth. Over two years of proactive engagement, they built a network of partner organisations including Sight and Life, a humanitarian nutrition think tank, who connected them with Nurevas, a nutritional innovation company based in Ghana.
Together with Nurevas, who are already well established in the market, the team joined forces to develop a nutritious tomato sauce enriched with minerals and vitamins to tackle SDG 2 & 3. For many African countries, tomato sauce is a staple food. DSM has expertise in food fortification to make food more nutritious, and tomatoes are often difficult to fortify due to high acidity levels. Therefore, the team decided to investigate the correct balance of the nutrient mix and the correct recipe of the tomato sauce. At the end of 2020, the tomato team finalised the recipe for the tomato sauce and received DSM`s internal approval of the nutrient mix for food application in Africa.
The outcome of their tireless efforts over the past two years is an affordable tomato sauce for the African market, which has been fortified with major vitamins and minerals to tackle malnutrition and help strengthen the immune system. The fortified tomato sauce contains essential micronutrients such as Vitamin A, E, D, B1, B2, B6, B12 as well as important minerals like zinc and iron to help optimize immune function and keep people healthy.
With the innovation stage complete, next comes the distribution of the product and the health impact it will have. In 2021, the product launch will take place in Ghana, with a plan to scale up distribution across the continent once it has received local certifications and approvals. In summary, the core recipe for success was to combine DSM`s science expertise with local innovators in Africa.
Penta Medical Recycling
Penta Medical Recycling - USA 1 [coordinating region]
"In the US it is estimated that 300,000 prosthetic limbs are discarded every year with no secondary market due to regulation. This high-value waste could be used to satisfy demand in the developing world where around 38 million amputees do not have access to prosthetic care (2). A team of Yale students founded Penta Prosthetics to bring high-quality, low-cost prosthetic care to developing countries while repurposing medical waste in the US. Penta was founded in 2016, and Kacha joined a year later as COO. He ran a volunteering programme to connect students with hospitals in Thailand to learn about healthcare and entrepreneurship. He manages partnerships with health clinics, hospitals, and universities in developing countries to connect them with demand, and with 100 US-based suppliers such as Hanger Clinic.
Through these partnerships, the team has managed to support amputees in 10 different countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Penta has rescued 4,000 prosthetics from premature disposal and fit 1,200 amputees who otherwise would not be able to afford high-quality devices. In Thailand, an imported prosthetic costs approximately 50,000 Baht and for a rural amputee in Thailand, it would take an estimated 6 years with no expenditure to afford this (3). The key environmental benefit to the project is avoiding the improper disposal and unnecessary production of an estimated 2 tonnes worth of devices. Additional support for the organisation has been provided in the form of grants, operational, and marketing support. However, in 2021, the organisation is transitioning to a more sustainable model of social entrepreneurship to reduce its financial dependence. Penta also increasingly lobbies to raise awareness and tackle stigmas against disabilities. In 2020, they worked with influencers and organisations in the amputee community to launch the Dance4Mobility challenge on TikTok and ran community events to promote sports like basketball and rock climbing for amputees.
Kacha also secured a fellowship through the Resolution Project at the One Young World Summit to develop a new initiative developing high-quality prosthetic ankle joints which generate power ‘passively’ through spring mechanisms rather than electronics, potentially reducing the cost from $10,000 per mechanism to $50."
GO TO-U - United States
GO TO-U, was co-founded by Lyubov in 2017 to make the experience of driving and charging an electric vehicle (EV) simpler, more comfortable and more accessible. Finding a charging spot and services nearby becomes a smooth experience with the GO TO-U application.
Road transport is a large contributor to the increase of both greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Despite improvements in vehicle efficiencies over past decades, today the sector is responsible for almost one-fifth of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from vehicles also lead to high concentrations of air pollutants above EU standards in many of Europe's cities (1). Gasoline and diesel car emissions are harmful to human, agricultural and ecosystem health. According to the International Council of Clean Transportation, there have been 300k premature deaths in 2019 and 85 million tonnes of grains lost between 2010-12 due to ozone depletion (1).
GO TO-U’s proprietary software technology enables to manage, operate and monetize EV charging infrastructure. Their unique reservation system provides more efficient utilisation of EV charging stations, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. The organisation is operational in 47 countries.
Ebatakar Inspiring Entrepreneurs
Ebatakar Inspiring Entrepreneurs - Afghanistan
Covid Young Leaders Fund
Farhad Wajdi is the founder of the Ebtakar Inspiring Entrepreneurs of Afghanistan Organisation (EIEAO), an NGO that empowers unemployed youth and underprivileged women to pursue social enterprises.
During the pandemic, Farhad’s organisation reinvented itself by converting Solar-Powered Food Carts into Solar-Powered Disinfectant & Sanitation Carts with support from the National Procurement Authority. The project offers a free handwashing facility and disinfection service to people who are vulnerable to catching the virus.
EIEAO has received two grants of 10,000 USD to implement two-month-long phases of the initiative. Each phase involved re-training and employing 80 unemployed food cart vendors to operate the carts, preparing and spraying disinfectant liquid on footpaths, streets and venues in Kabul, and running free handwashing facilities in 40 crowded locations throughout the city. The second phase also included the provision of free face masks to the public.
- 80 women employed to run handwashing and disinfectant carts
- 27,000 litres of disinfectant sprayed throughout the city
- 450,000+ inhabitants of Kabul given access to handwashing facilities
- 50,000 face masks distributed
Millicent Designs - Solomon Islands
Business for Social Good
Despite spending a decade of her childhood away from home, Millicent retained a strong connection with the Solomon Islands and the memory of being sat around the radio listening to traditional custom stories inspired her to pursue Millicent Designs. Millicent spent time in the Malaita Province and identified a disconnect between indigenous communities and state-distributed information. She designed a ‘custom story tool’, a method of using design and traditional story-telling practices to alleviate impediments to sustainable development initiatives.
The tool has been successfully used in two national general elections. Its innovative communication materials, which were used to introduce a new biometric system, improved civic understanding for target communities at a success rate of 3.7/4 compared to prior methods’ scores of 2.2-2.5. In the 2019 general election, Millicent Designs' innovative approaches produced 500,000 materials focused on boosting female voter participation indirectly resulting in history’s largest women turnout. Millicent Designs has also been contracted to alleviate land settlement issues amongst tribal communities to undertake two major infrastructural development projects. One example is a national renewable energy project aiming to provide access to electricity for 68% of the population (currently only 16% have access), and drive down the cost of electricity (currently almost double the average in the Pacific Islands).
SOCHAI - Nepal
SOCHAI is a youth-led initiative focused on improving health and nutrition for vulnerable people through education, innovation, and entrepreneurship. SOCHAI creates and implements educational programmes for different groups, like health workers, mothers' groups, adolescent girls and school children. Additionally, it has incorporated social entrepreneurship into its model by involving local artisans and women in making and selling Nutribead and Redcycle Bracelets, low-tech wearable education tools.
The Lead2030 partnership is focused on two main goals: programme monitoring and evaluation, and project management. This includes access to multiple mentors and training sessions within RB, such as connection with RB’s Social Impact Measurement Consultant, Fathma, who introduced SOCHAI to platforms for accurate impact data management, helping them systematise, understand, and quantify their impact.
The grant also helped to expand operations into hard-to-reach communities where intervention is vital, notably 2 new municipalities and 2 provinces. However, due to the implications of the pandemic, they redirected focus towards addressing the immediate impact of Covid-19. The team mobilised themselves on the frontline for food and hygiene package distribution, assessment for early detection of malnutrition and raising awareness in the community. They are also utilising existing digital platforms for mass education on home-based nutritional care and management. The diverse team of mentors at RB have helped them to reach a wider audience to increase the social enterprise’s revenue, and thus sustainability.
What was set to be a one-year mentorship has developed into an ongoing, mutually beneficial partnership. SOCHAI is deeply grateful to the expert support to which they now have access. With support from RB Asia, SOCHAI aims to expand across South Asia and increase the sustainability of its operations in the coming years.
- 1,429 individuals engaged with SOCHAI’s mission
- 684 direct beneficiaries from SOCHAI’s programmes
- 700,000 people reached by online and offline programmes
- 25 new organisations partnered with for project expansion
Deshi Ballers - Bangladesh
Despite success at the top level of sport, a very low percentage of the South Asian female population regularly participate in sport (1). This is troubling due to the physical, social, and psychological benefits including the development of ""self-confidence, independence, leadership"" (2). Gulnahar, and her former team member in Bangladesh's national basketball team, Ashreen, decided to rectify the lack of opportunities for women and girls in the sport they love.
The first activity Deshi-Ballers established in December 2018 was as part of a Surf Excel project hosted in front of the National Parliament Building in Dhaka. Space is dedicated to promoting healthy living and safe outdoor activities for children on the first Friday of every month. Deshi Ballers run monthly Car-Free Street sessions for between 80 and 100 children. They are introduced to basketball, but most importantly encouraged to exercise and socialise while the team speak to parents to raise awareness of sport's benefits. Other activities include the Leaders on the Court programme for intermediate female basket players, which develops their sporting ability but also their confidence and leadership skills. They also run outreach programmes and camps to reach girls who do not have access to the sport and to showcase women's basketball outside the main cities, decentralising female participation. Its flagship event is a tournament for female 3v3 teams held on International Women's Day. These various programmes have amounted to over 60,000 hours of basketball.
In the pandemic, Deshi Ballers had to adapt. They ran a virtual talk show with veteran basketball players to set an example for the girls. They also launched ‘Empower Girls and Women Through Sports & Fitness’, an online fitness contest and live panel discussion funded by PLAN International Bangladesh. Through this campaign, they celebrated the remarkable achievements of females in sport and called for action to address barriers faced by girls and women who want to have a career in sports, reaching over 340,000 people with awareness. In 2021, the group hopes to reinstate in-person activities, including the expansion of the 3v3 tournament which they want to increase in frequency to three per year. Long term, Deshi Baller's ambition is to found Bangladesh's first women’s league.
Project First Nations
Project First Nations - Australia
Business for Social Good
The rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases in Aboriginal young people in Australia are significantly higher than those non-Indigenous youth. Following his attendance at the One Young World Summit in 2018, Rory Duffy launched Project First Nations with the support of RB to help address this issue.
First Nations aims to improve sexual health outcomes amongst young Aboriginal people in Australia. To tackle this problem, First Nations is attempting to reduce rates of infection through education, testing and social mobility support.
The innovative youth-led pilot study will be driven by young Aboriginal people who are working professionally as trained health workers and community educators at the centre of Aboriginal youth STI control programmes and community-based health promotion.
This means the programme will be 100% managed, implemented and tracked by Aboriginal people themselves. Upon conclusion, there will be a full and thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of this programme so that best practices can be shared beyond New South Wales and help improve Aboriginal sexual health outcomes across Australia. With further funding agreed from RB, First Nations will launch in 2021.
Generation B - Switzerland
Jay O'Nien, Jessica Jones, Katharina Hilker, Yasemin Sharityar, Sorana Ionita
Business for Social Good
Generation B was established in 2017 as a grassroots movement within Bühler, by 6 delegates after attending the 2016 Summit in Ottawa. It was founded with the purpose of bringing employees together to create the company that they, and other colleagues, want to work for.
Generation B wants Bühler to be an attractive and diverse workplace, with a culture of trust, and engaged and motivated employees. The movement enables colleagues to take ownership of global problems (such as climate change), through initiatives established by Generation B Ambassadors to create long-term change. Ultimately, this movement aims to shape the future of Bühler.
Throughout 2020, Generation B reached over 1’600 people at their events. One of the flagship events in 2020, was the Virtual Climate week organised as an opportunity to discuss climate change while the pandemic took the majority of people’s attention, and to ensure one emergency was not ignored during another. There were over 500 participants from 34 countries, and from 76 different organisations.
It also continues to run long-term projects such as Women in STEM, the SWAP Program (see with another perspective), and being a sounding board to the company leadership. The impacts include 700 connections made in 2020 with the ‘Women in STEM’ initiative, where Generation B ambassadors encourage women of all ages (in particular school children) to pursue STEM careers. From the SWAP reverse mentoring programme, Generation B connects all 5 generations that currently work in the company, to encourage diverse thinking and exchange. Generation B also provides feedback to the leadership of Bühler on key topics and supports the company to deploy the long-term strategy.
As a grassroots movement, Generation B has 700 members. The events and long-term change initiatives are driven by 75 Ambassadors across 25 locations around the world. At the heart of this team, is an outstanding selection of One Young World Ambassadors helping to drive change in the company and society at large.
One Young World was the original catalyst to start the Generation B movement and continues to be a source of inspiration. Some selected contributions from Ambassadors:
- Jessica Jones led Generation B in Switzerland from Nov 2019 – Feb 2021
- Katharina Hilker part of the Women in STEM movement
- Yasemin Sharityar co-led the flagship event of 2020 the Climate week
- Sorana Ionita leads Generation B Austria
Wings of Empowering Pastoralists
Wings of Empowering Pastoralists - Kenya
Adrian Leitoro Lemaiyan
Covid Young Leaders Fund
Wings of Empowering Pastoralists (WEP) was founded with the mission to improve pastoralist peoples’ access to support, resources, and human rights in Northern Kenya. To make sure that the population is adequately prepared for Covid-19, WEP created the “Komesha Corona” project.
The initiative delivers hand washing stations to vulnerable villages in Marsabit South and sensitises local pastors on the problems of the pandemic in collaboration with local community health volunteers in each village. Prior to funding, WEP had delivered hand washing stations to 29 villages and trained 580 people.
With support from the grant, the team reached an additional 105 villages in Marsabit South with handwashing stations. As part of the installations, the team trained locally-based Community Health Volunteers who are tasked with ensuring the hand-washing stations are maintained, and equipped with reusable masks and hand sanitisers. The project also trained 2,100 community members on virus mitigation measures.
- 105 handwashing stations installed in 105 villages
- 315 water tanks with 630 soap bars delivered
- 2,100 new vulnerable households reached
She Writes Women
She Writes Women - Nigeria
Covid Young Leaders Fund
She Writes Woman (SWW) is a women-led movement, founded by Hauwa Ojeifo, which aims to raise awareness about mental illnesses in Nigeria and give people struggling with mental health a voice.
In response to gender-based violence increases amidst lockdowns, She Writes Woman partnered with Women At Risk International to provide broad-based group and 1:1 counselling services, as well as virtual support groups for survivors of gender-based violence. The intervention provided several solutions for survivors including personal empowerment, overcoming the demoralisation caused by social stigma, and preventing future mental health distress.
The first stream of the initiative was a virtual counselling service offering one-on-one and group therapy. However, difficulties with online engagement encouraged the team to launch a 24/7 toll-free helpline instead, supported by in-person counselling sessions held in the Kuchingoro Camp for internally displaced people. Women were supported through these various streams at a time of heightened vulnerability during the pandemic, helping them to deal with pressures of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
- 107 survivors participated in almost 65 hours of one-on-one counselling
- 67 survivors participated in over 15 hours of group therapy sessions
- 32 hours of counselling provided by Toll-Free Helpline
Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association
Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association - Mongolia
Business for Social Good
Nomindari has worked in the finance sector specialising in sustainable finance since 2013, starting off leading a project for the Mongolian Bankers Association. Nomindari identified the vast potential for social impact if she were able to mobilise the finance sector in a sustainable direction. Shen convened all 12 local banks to explore their potential role to drive sustainable development in the country in the absence of any public sector regulation. In 2015, the collection of banks committed to the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Principles a guiding framework on sustainable lending and internal operations. To eliminate explicitly unsustainable behaviour, they developed ESG risk models to establish self-imposed rules on all business loans over $25,000.
In 2017, Nomindari led the establishment of the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association (MSFA) as an independent organisation. To continue to improve green finance flows in the banking sector of Mongolia, the organisation developed the National Green Taxonomy to fill the gap left without a national labelling standard for green projects. This has been approved by the national legislature, and member banks now regularly report on their green loan statistics to the Central Bank. Expanding beyond the banking sector, MSFA is seeking to establish a green capital market. Thanks to these successes, MSFA is setting a global example, and sharing knowledge and best practices with countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Cambodia.
Co-Hope Foundation - Indonesia
Covid Young Leaders Fund
Yosilia is a medical student and healthcare advocate who co-initiated CO-HOPE in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This project is a social program that distributes Personal Protection Equipment to health workers who make direct contact with patients of the pandemic every day. They carry out screenings and care for the patients and yet lack the necessary equipment to protect themselves.
Initially, the project crowdsourced donations to fulfil PPE requirements in 240 hospitals across Indonesia. This reached over 12,000 health workers in these different facilities with vital protective equipment to protect their health.
However, as cases of Covid-19 exponentially grew, securing the grant permitted them to provide PPE for 40 additional under-resourced health facilities around Indonesia. This includes a mixture of equipment, ranging from protective gear like surgical masks and gowns to screening equipment such as nasopharyngeal swabs and PCR.
- 1,450 hazmat suits sourced
- 2,400 N95 respiratory masks distributed
- 1,751 face shields provided
- 4,000 pairs of medical gloves & 4,000 surgical masks donated
Leadership Story: Siobhan Gardener
Leadership Story: Siobhan Gardener - United Kingdom
Business for Social Good
Siobhan has long had a sustainability focus in her personal, academic, and professional life. She grew up in a mixed-race household, a farmer’s daughter and a strong advocate for diversity in STEM fields. From this foundation, Siobhan pursued a PhD on sustainable smallholder livelihoods and protecting ecosystems in Northern Madagascar, on completion of which she joined One Young World’s longstanding partner Unilever.
Siobhan became R&D manager for future flavours, and due to her sustainability background, became involved in driving the adoption of technologies and sustainable agricultural practices in sub-Saharan Africa. Due to her leadership in this area, Siobhan was selected to be part of the Unilever delegation at One Young World The Hague 2018.
Returning from The Hague, Siobhan participated in mentorship programmes, volunteered for One Young World-led SDG hackathons, and continued to attend One Young World community events. This sat alongside her day-to-day role as Senior Manager in Unilever’s Global Sustainable Technology programme. In recognition of her excellence in the field of sustainable development, Siobhan was selected for a Woman of the Future Award by the Chief Executive of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.
In January 2020, Siobhan began a new role leading the new Climate Change & Environment Studio at Deloitte (another long-standing partner of One Young World). Within Deloitte Ventures, Siobhan creates cross-industry tech collaborations between research bodies, start-ups, and large corporates to tackle global sustainability challenges. A snapshot of these initiatives includes AI in smart agriculture, remote sensing to monitor endangered habitats, and tracking blue carbon sequestration by protecting whale populations. This all sits within Deloitte’s global climate strategy to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 through driving responsible climate choices within the organisation and beyond.
Siobhan continues to develop her leadership credentials as a visiting lecturer on Food Systems at Cranfield University and mentor for the Conception X Deep-tech PhD Accelerator and is the perfect example of how young leaders can use their passion and expertise to create global impact for a better world within multinational corporations.