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.
Workability Initiative - United Kingdom
Eleanor Eisenstadt, Katrina Budesha
Business for Social Good
In October 2019, Eleanor and Katrina learnt about the inspiring work that is being carried out by One Young World Counsellor, Caroline Casey. Caroline challenged business leaders to raise their game in terms of disability inclusion by launching The Valuable 500. Eleanor and Katrina have since led Roche’s commitment to place disability inclusion at the heart of its corporate agenda by signing up to the movement.
Following through with this commitment, Eleanor and Katrina launched Roche Pharma UK’s first disability inclusion initiative, Workability. Before the initiative was launched, they started by having conversations with thought leaders in their new One Young World network and identified that education and increased awareness would be key to Workability’s success.
To spread the initiative more effectively and maximise its reach, they have formed a network of over 50 Workability Champions driving disability inclusion. Champions can sign up to receive and share news on accessibility, inclusion, and Workability updates. This has included colleagues with disabilities sharing their experiences in company-wide virtual ‘[email protected] Sessions’. These sessions have gained over 300 on-demand views, with even more colleagues dialling-in live to ask questions and learn how to become better Allies. Workability Champions have joined as mentors, supporting adults with neuro diversities in the local community. Others will lead shadow days around their relevant business areas when colleagues are back in the office. Each Workability Champion is raising awareness within their business area and many are part of working groups shaping inclusion and accessibility at Roche.
Katrina and Eleanor were also determined for the initiative to have an external focus to help reduce the disability employment gap. In 2021 Roche Pharma UK will deliver its first Workability Academy, in partnership with Exceptional Individuals. The Academy will take a small group of neurodiverse adults looking for employment and support them in understanding and shaping their talents, building tailored CVs, and developing their employment skills, amongst other themes.
As Caroline Casey says ‘corporations can be the tipping point for change when it comes to unlocking the social and economic value of people living with disabilities.’ These two young leaders are driving Roche Pharma UK’s commitment to change.
Liven Tech - Brazil
Business for Social Good
Victor attended the One Young World Bogotá Summit in 2017 as part of the Siemens delegation, where he worked as an engineer. He was inspired by the content and the young leaders he met, and their example encouraged him to pursue a lifelong dream of entrepreneurship. Victor leveraged his technological expertise to co-found Liven, a company that creates tailored digital solutions for businesses with a social purpose. As a guarantee of its dedication to these partnerships Liven invests equity in its clients.
One of the first cases was with DuLocal, for which Liven manages the technical operations. DuLocal connects organic farmers with community cooks to prepare and deliver gastronomic dishes to customers. Liven has helped the company make data-driven decisions through the Business Intelligence Liven solution. It has also structured the platform of Mosty, an image consultant platform, to ensure quality scalability. Liven also worked with Eu Vô, a platform providing accessible and safe transportation for people with reduced mobility, and the Natural Agriculture Association of Campinas, trading the eco-based products of 20 organic food farmers. Via the 40 interfaces it has developed to date, Liven has contributed to the generation of more than 150 jobs.
Invictus Corporation - Netherlands
Business for Social Good
Ajatshatru is a dedicated social entrepreneur. He started the Praan Foundation which has mobilised philanthropic organisations in India and the UAE to fully-sponsor 127 children’s education, and BookXpress, a platform through which students can exchange and recycle educational materials. In 2020, Ajatshatru launched his latest social enterprise, the Invictus Corporation. It is an independent, non-partisan research institute and think-tank committed to creating and promoting high-quality research through comprehensive tools and data-driven methodologies.
Invictus Corporation conducts research in two main areas: security challenges at seaports, and emerging technologies and law. The research assists individuals, organisations, and governments to develop effective measures to address issues in these fields. To date, this has come in the form of seven separate publications, and the team is in the process of publishing an additional twenty. One such report is being produced in collaboration with the Dutch customs authority to explore illicit drug trafficking in food shipments. To ensure the sustainability of the enterprise, Ajatshatru and his team are developing two core, revenue-generating solutions: an illicit firearm tracking service, and an autonomous shipping index.
LaTrenda Consulting - USA 1 [coordinating region]
Business for Social Good
LaTrenda has long been socially-engaged, participating in a variety of initiatives that promote equity and justice in the Pittsburgh region. This engagement helped LaTrenda to build a pool of expertise, based on which she founded her own consulting firm Common Cause Consultants (CCC). CCC pushes organisations to build strategies and coalitions so that they can communicate effectively and transparently with stakeholders. Her firm supports a number of education and criminal justice matters. CCC has worked with clients to create an engaged ecosystem of stakeholders, to run effective grassroots community outreach, and to fill capacity gaps in project management.
In addition to this business, LaTrenda has worked tirelessly as a role model developing her leadership skills. She has formalised this in the form of a second enterprise, LaTrenda Consulting. Through this organisation, LaTrenda designs tools and products to help people develop professionally and make the transition from a 9-5 into a position of autonomy and authority in their career. Her work is empowering young consultants to better market and value themselves in the gig economy. LaTrenda’s signature programme, consultant for hire, helps consultants better understand how to package their expertise, price their services, and propose work to potential clients.
PlasticFri - Sweden
Business for Social Good
Allen, in collaboration with his brother Max, founded PlasticFri to end the plastic pollution catastrophe by offering environmentally-friendly products as viable replacements. PlasticFri is a GreenTech company based in Sweden. It has developed a revolutionary technology that uses renewable resources for making a plant-based material that looks and works like conventional plastics. The raw material primarily comes from agricultural-waste and non-edible plants. The non-toxic products, including shopping bags, drinking cups, and waste bags, are 100% compostable and can be used as fertiliser within 90 days. The CO2 emissions are 90% lower than carbon alternatives and save oil, water, and energy in the production process.
To date, PlasticFri has provided its products to a staggering 1.7 million people, who would alternatively have used damaging plastic bags, cups, or other items. This equates to approximately 21 tonnes of PET which has not been produced and thus disposed of, reducing the burden of this consumption on the environment. Each tonne of PlasticFri product saves approximately 26,000 litres of water, 1,400 litres of oil, 4,200 kWh of electricity, and 3.52 m3 of landfill space. The company has been certified by the European standard EN 13432 to approve the product as 100% biodegradable, compostable, and non-toxic.
Stowelink - Kenya
Business for Social Good
Established in 2016, Stowelink is a registered youth-led social enterprise with the primary vision to inspire healthier communities by providing information on non-communicable diseases to all, at all times, and in an accessible format. The solutions integrate innovative community projects, technology and disruptive communication approaches.
In 2020, Stowelink has innovated to provide new and impactful solutions to people struggling with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and to prevent the rise of such illnesses. The organisation’s flagship programme is the NCDs 365 PROJECT. This collaboration of 311 volunteers across 8 countries in Africa has helped to spread awareness about NCDs with daily messages reaching more than 2,400,000 people. Another core initiative was the IPAB Project in Vihiga County, which offered diagnostic services to 3,877 people and helped to reopen 4 clinics serving more than 80,000 people. Additionally, the “Coz I’m Happy” project explored the mental health implications of the Covid-19 pandemic via the medium of poetry in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. These projects represent a snapshot of the far-reaching health literacy work being carried out by Stowelink.
The Ocean Project Seychelles
The Ocean Project Seychelles - Seychelles
Karine Rassool, Zara Pardiwalla
Marine pollution is an urgent threat to the environment and the blue economy. The impact of this blight on the oceans is especially hard-felt in the Seychelles and the general region, where not only is devastating damage occuring to marine and coastal eco-systems but vast finances and labour are being invested trying to prevent the build up of plastic pollution (1). Zara and Karine, two passionate, Seychellois environmentalists, co-founded The Ocean Project (TOP) Seychelles, a non-profit organisation that aims to protect the oceans from plastics pollution. It began in 2016, with the Marine Debris Challenge whereby 300+ participants worked across 4 islands to prevent plastic pollution from entering the oceans.
TOP runs ocean clean ups, engaging participants from community groups, non-governmental organisations, schools, and businesses. Each activity takes on average two hours, and helps to educate the participants on the need for environmental action. To commemorate World CleanUp Day, in collaboration with LWMA and the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation, TOP hosted the “Seychelles’ Biggest Beach Clean-Up”, the biggest NGO and private sector collaboration in Seychelles that saw 700+ people cleaning 27 beaches across 7 islands, collecting over 3.5 tons of rubbish in the space of 1 hour. The accumulation of these activities have, to date, managed to collect approximately 14,000 kg of waste from beaches and waterways across the Seychelles islands.
In March 2019, TOP also partnered with the Islands Development Company (IDC) on the Outer Islands Clean Up, another first in Seychelles, where volunteers, posted on 8 outer islands of the archipelago, simultaneously conducted beach clean ups over 10 days. As successful environmental advocates, the team at TOP launched The Last Straw Seychelles campaign in July 2018, supported by the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme, to reduce the use of plastic straws in Seychelles through individual commitments to stop using plastic straws and commitments from venues to stop serving them. Other key activities of TOP have been the Plastic Art project, a partnership to create art installations made from plastic debris to raise awareness about the threats of marine pollution. TOP is also implementing a 3-year marine litter monitoring programme funded by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association to establish baseline data against which the efficacy of management and mitigation measures can be assessed. It has also hosted screenings using film and art to educate students and the general public in mattetrs of marine plastic pollution.
5th Element Group - India
5th Element Group - India - India
As the world still catches up with the fourth industrial revolution, Pratik claims to be creating the fifth through 'servant-driven leadership"", and is a keen champion of the Sustainable Development Goals. He wants to use the new technology and innovations in business for the betterment of humanity. Among other impactful social impact initiatives, Pratik is the India President for ""5th Element Group"". The 5th Element Group creates omniwin partnerships that grow enterprises, attract top talent, and importantly create a positive impact on society and the environment.
Omniwin solutions are uniquely beneficial as they create partnerships between Fortune 500 companies, high network people with money to invest, social entrepreneurs who require capital, and government institutions. Working together, the four types of organisation all benefit, as does society as a result of the challenge that the partnership aims to tackle. It is in his role for the 5th Element Group that Pratik leads a variety of initiatives which are helping companies move from 'for-profit' to 'for-benefit'. Organisations such as RB, and individuals such as John Krasinski have particpated in some the omniwin solutions, ultimately benefitting thousands of individuals.
One such solution was a year-end match grant campaign to benefit women and girls in Rwanda by providing them ready access to clean water. The original goal was to raise $400,000 by leveraging a $200,000 match grant from a private donor. However, unprecedented support matched by Semnani Family Foundation meant the campaign raised an astonishing $1.2M, tripling the original target. This enabled the partnership to support a remarkable 14,700 people with clean water from 76 high-end water pipe systems.
Accept International - Japan
Accept International contributes towards Peacebuilding and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) in a world where violent extremism continues to persist, with certain conflicts seeing little to no progress towards ending. In 2011, Yosuke founded the organisation in response to this troubling trend. Accept International has developed the RPA (Re-define, Prepare, Action) model, an innovative approach towards counter-extremism, primarily targeted on the de-radicalisation and reintegration of ex-violent extremists in a penal institution. Accept has also been promoting the defection of current members in violent extremist organisations (VEOs).
Through the first step, Accept helps to ""Re-define"" a participants identity without denying their beliefs, helping them create values that both belong to the individual yet unharmful to society. This approach respects their held backgrounds and the reasons they took such actions but diverts these emotions to productive and non-violent means. In the ""Prepare"" step, Accept empowers each individual by equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue their future, preparing for the difficulties of reintegration with useful life skills and reconciliation with the community. The final ‘Action’ phase involves continued support as they re-enter society, measuring their progress with follow-ups and continuous counselling.
Accept International has contributed to more peaceful and sustainable environments in Kenya, Somalia, and Indonesia. The organization has directly de-radicalised 89 defectors and 88 ex-combatants of VEOs, given indirect support on deradicalization of 1,070 former members, as well as defecting 107 active VEO members. Additionally, through its institution in Kenya, it has intervened to prevent radicalisation of 1,500 adolescents and 151 Somali gang members. Responding to a request from the UN-Habitat, Accept implemented Covid-19 response actions and 15 handwash stations for around 50,000 vulnerable people in Mandera and Nairobi, Kenya.
Green Hope Foundation
Green Hope Foundation - Canada [coordinating region]
Born on World Environment Day in 2000, Kehkashan is a global youth leader at the forefront of the climate justice movement. A Forbes 30 Under 30, Kehkashan founded her organisation Green Hope Foundation in 2012 after attending Rio+20 as one of its youngest international delegates and was also the youngest of the 193 youth representatives of UN Member States at the adoption ceremony of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.
Green Hope Foundation combines grassroots action with advocacy at the highest levels of policy-making, to create a just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Its mission is to mitigate the adverse anthropogenic impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss which disproportionately affect regions and communities least responsible for it. Its activities have mobilised over 2,000 young volunteers since 2012. The organisation has established activities in 25 different countries and reached increased the environmental awareness of over 140,000 young people through its various programmes. During the Covid-19 outbreak, they have run numerous initiatives around the world. One such ongoing project in Bangladesh is empowering women and girls through sustainability educating, in particular on sanitation and hygiene, and protecting them from violence.
Since attending the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, the impact of the organisation has accelerated, and in the past five years, the various projects have cumulatively planted a staggering 142,000 trees, restored over 200,000 hectares of mangrove forests, and collected 2000 tonnes of waste. This is just a snapshot of the organisation's impact which has been generated with the assistance of 2060 volunteers around the world, helping to educate more than 98,000 children of the need for sustainable action.
Kehkashan is also a dedicated member of One Young World's Community and hosted the YMCA Youth Leaders Conference and moderated One Young World's North America Climate Webinar.
Speetra Design Studio
Speetra Design Studio - Lebanon
Fashion is a highly, and rightly scutinised industry and there is general consensus that it needs to adopt more sustainable practices (1). Sara co-founded the Speetra Design Studio to provide a cost-effective solution for tech-savvy fashion designers to improve the sustainability of their process.
Speetra, founded in 2018, is a design-focused innovation firm working at the intersection of architecture, product, and fashion design. It specializes in digital design for 3D printing, an innovation that is eco-friendly and cost-effective. Integrating innovative technology into the design process allows designers to conceptualise their ideas on computers via cloud-based designs. Additionally, the production process itself has been improved by the adoption of 3D printing. Replacing unsustainable, unrecyclable materials, it is introducing a new bio-degradable plastic alternative as a replacement to leather. This prevents animal cruelty, as well as reducing the long-term environmental impacts of the materials.
The reduced costs, approximately 60% across the process, are hugely beneficial in reducing the costs of entry to the industry for young designers. It also speeds up the process by an average of 80%, allowing the designers to be more agile and get to the revenue-generating stage sooner. Whilst not lobbying for widespread changes in the industry, Speetra is leading by example and transforming the process designer by designer. As it becomes more financially profitable, the team hopes the environmentally-advantageous technology will be adopted by more and more designers.
mymizu - Japan
mymizu are on a mission to help people live more sustainably - in ways that are fun, easy and good for the planet. By co-creating tools and community - like our free refill app - they are building a world with cleaner oceans, healthier ecosystems and happier people. Mymizu was born on a tropical island in southern Japan. On a walk one day, co-founders Mariko and Robin came across an entire beach covered in litter. And amongst all of the scattered waste, there was one culprit that stood out in number; single-use PET bottles. That was the moment we decided to take action; to tackle the problem at the source and build a movement for sustainable living.
In 2020, the organisation started a campaign to save 1 million plastic bottles, and launched a feature that tracks the plastic and money saved, CO2 reduced and water consumed by the app’s users. The bigger mission is to engage more people in sustainability. According to a recent study, almost 90% of the total plastics that end up in the ocean come from rivers in Asia (1). Around 25 billion PET bottle products are shipped every year in Japan, averaging out to around 180 bottles per person (2). Refilling your bottle helps to reduce plastic consumption, which protects our natural environment, animals and human health.
Their core product - the mymizu app - connects people with 200,000 free water refill points around the world, eliminating the need for bottled water. Japan’s first water refill app helps you to access free refill points so that you can refill your bottle on the go, discover new places & eliminate the need for plastic bottles. The app guides you to the nearest water fountain or eco-friendly cafe that offers free refills. At mymizu, talks, workshops and other educational activities are core to achieving their mission, helping others to innovate and realise their potential when it comes to sustainability. Every year, they give over 100 talks and workshops on topics related to sustainability, circular economy and innovation for the SDGs.
iGoGreen - Indonesia
"Indonesia produces a shocking 200,000 tonnes of rubbish per day, and perhaps most worrying is the lack of infrastructure capable to manage it (1). As landfill sits run out of space, and 'waste mountains' grow, an urgent solution is required. Aprilya created iGoGreen, a socio-entrepreneurship platform that empowers local actors with the autonomy, capacity, and incentives to tackle the issue themselves. It is a market-driven solution to solid waste management that reduces the burden of non-organic waste pollution on the city and in the ocean and strengthens the recycling value chain. On the platform, actors sort and sell recyclable waste to iGoGreen partners who bring the waste to one of iGoGreen's waste hubs, where it is recycled to products of value for factories as an alternative to newly produced material.
The organisation has engaged households in the programme, working with a partner to go door-to-door to collect the waste and take it to 25 waste banks for sorting, in 5 different sub-districts. Through this, they collect waste from 10 households per week. iGoGreen also partners with 3 restaurants, 3 stores, and 1 supermarket. Altogether, there are approximately 200 actors who regularly use the platform. These partnerships lead to the recycling of approximately 15 tonnes of non-organic waste per month. Another workstream is in education, through which iGoGreen aims to increase awareness of the issue in schools to encourage teachers, students, and institutions to manage their waste responsibly. It recognises performance in tackling the issue with the iGoGreen Award, given to institutions that consistently maintain sustainability through waste management programmes. The team has educated over 100 people on the challenge and the solution in 25 different educational institutions.
The capacity of the solution to deal with the challenge is growing. The team has built new partnerships with companies for 2021 which will exponentially increase the waste that can be managed sustainably. They are also expanding to process bio-waste as well, which has a significant environmental impact when disposed of in landfills."
eTrash2Cash - Nigeria
Muhammad Abdullahi Salisu
"Muhammad Salisu founded a first-of-its-kind social enterprise in northern Nigeria called etrash2Cash which embodies the use of technology to solve environmental problems in low-income communities. The Sub-Saharan Africa region generated 174 million tonnes of waste in 2016, at a rate of 0.46 kilogram per capita per day. It is the fastest-growing region, with waste expected to nearly triple by 2050. Further, about 69% of waste is openly dumped, although the use of landﬁlls and recycling systems is becoming more prevalent. Underdeveloped waste management infrastructure may become a growing sign of global inequity as climate change advances. The open dumpsites in poorer countries can pose multiple hazards in the form of deadly landslides — which may be exacerbated by weather events — or pollution in waterways (1).
eTrash2Cash collects a variety of wastes, such as plastics & papers, from thousands of low and middle-income earning communities and commercial hubs in Kano through scrap dealers and mobile waste managers using technology, and exchange those wastes with direct cash incentives. They use the web, mobile app, and SMS technology to exchange wastes for direct cash incentives. eTrash2Cash also makes use of all wastes collected from communities to make reusable and sustainable end products, such as trash bags for cleaning companies & government agencies from plastics.
Overall, their work helps to reduce pollution in various forms, reduces flooding in local communities, reduces deforestation, and mitigates the effects of climate change. All the trash is taken to a centralised processing centre and is converted into pellets - the plastic raw material that can be used to make other plastic material. Some pellets make biodegradable trash bag and some shopping bags that are sold to earn revenue."
Compost Baladi SAL
Compost Baladi SAL - Lebanon
Waste management is a contentious issue in Lebanon, an issue beginning back in 2015 when the government closed its biggest landfill (1). Since then the issue has persisted, even grown, despite the country spending almost 10 times more than its neighbours in Jordan and Tunisia (2). With Antoine, the Compost Baladi's founder, Marc has set out to alleviate the burden and negative environmental and health consequences of an under-attended aspect of the challenge, organic waste. They launched the enterprise to provide products and services that promote the local recycling of solid and liquid bio-wastes in households, restaurants, academic institutions, commercial establishments, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and refugee settlements.
Earth Cube is a novel and innovative solution which sustainably composts food waste at the source for approximately 30 beneficiaries, producing an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical fertiliser. This means that the solution to the issue also generates a profit-making product that initially incentivised the use of the solution. To scale its impact, the business structure changed so that Compost Baladi would use the solutions itself, operate them directly, and generate revenue from the compost. It secured a contract to install 12 composting stations, followed by three larger facilities the following year. Other impacts arising from the organisation's work have been on an education level. The team is working to change the stigma around food waste and odour. They have also provided training on bio-waste management to more than 3,000 people. Another avenue of impact has been job creation in rural areas. Through the solutions themselves, the compost produced, and the education work, Compost Baladi is tackling the issue at all stages of the solution.
Moving forward, the organisation is seeking foreign investment and revenue, developing a model to operate outside Lebanon. They are also developing a new technology to introduce in the coming years, a 'smart bin' through which waste can be monitored to identify sources of contaminations and improve biowaste management in more developed countries.