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.
Girls Education - Pikinini Kisim Save Project
Girls Education - Pikinini Kisim Save Project - Papua New Guinea
Megan is a Project Officer for CARE International, running and delivering gender-equity and diversity workshops in remote areas of Papua New Guinea. The project targets communities where traditional gender roles are often enforced. In 2014, Papua New Guinea ranked 140 out of 155 on the Gender Inequality Index, and in rural areas men often hold onto traditional cultural practices where tribal discipline, power and authority lies with the men (1).
Megan’s workshops enable women to have increased power across economic, political and social spheres at their community level. The research aspect of the “Girls Education – PKS Project” has identified that in remote regions, girls are less valued by households and communities, given more household chores, and less impetus is placed on completing education. It has also identified that the priority is to deal with the cause, and tackle prejudice among parents and community leaders.
Thus, the team designed a training which raises awareness of gender inequality, identifies barriers to female empowerment, and explores practical solutions which can be introduced into the communities. It engaged approximately 40 community leaders, parents and guardians in the three provinces and six rural communities the pilot programme was rolled out in.
To date, 499 people have been educated consisting of 300 women and 199 men, mostly community leaders, parents and citizens. There have been almost 2,000 beneficiaries, primarily made up of elementary students, boys and girls, and community members.
Through this, it has changed the landscape and attitude towards gender equality for young women in rural Papua New Guinea. The initiative used International and National Observatory Days with the primary focus of advocating for and promoting girls’ education.
Despite uncertain funding in the project, Megan continues to promote these values in her own community, and distributes solar lights to provide clean, renewable energy to 70 women and girls in her own remote community over the winter period.
The Rainmaker Enterprise
The Rainmaker Enterprise - South Sudan
James Thuch Madhier
James launched the Rainmaker Enterprise at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, back in 2016, supported by his award from the Resolution Project. The initiative installs clean water systems in rural South Sudan to tackle health-related and economic problems resulting from poor sanitation and hygiene.
Rainmaker Enterprise provides water systems for communities without access to clean water, and additionally provides education for community members to become leaders on sanitation and hygiene. The systems provide the remedy, and the education makes the project more sustainable as it teaches members of the community to support and maintain the installations.
The first installation was completed in June 2019, and serves over 3,000 people with clean and safe drinking water. The project’s installation also benefited the community in terms of labour, as it provided employment for 50 people within the local economy. The initiative has instantly born fruit, as the walking time to collect water has reduced from two and a half hours to 15 minutes. This heightens productivity of agriculture, and allows children more time for school. There has also been a reduction in resource conflict.
A second installation has provided the same solution to a further 4,000 people in a different local community. In both these projects a selection of women in the communities have been educated in good hygiene, and taught to be community leaders to ensure best practice and prevent the degradation of the installations.
The next stage for Rainmaker Enterprise is to install solar-powered water pumps to support local agriculture and improve food security, beginning in Spring 2020.
The initial funding which James received at the Summit has since been supplemented by substantial support from the UK government’s Department for International Development through the Humanitarian Grant Challenge Fund. He has also received priceless mentorship from, and access to the network of, Lord Michael Hastings, One Young World Counsellor.
Escuelabs - Spain
Cristina is a staunch advocate for STEM education and vocations. She was troubled by the fact that intervention was being taken at such a late stage in childrens’ development, and so co-founded Escuelab to provide better access to quality STEM education for the next generation. In 2015, encouraged by the One Young World Summit in Bangkok, Cristina took the leap to pursue this project full-time.
The project comes in four formats: one-off workshops, extra-curricular programmes, day camps, and summer camps. Since founding, they have provided education to 12,000 children with 3,824 participating in Escuelab’s 2019 programmes. Of that number, 808 are participating in the “Robin Hood Programme’’ which provides the service free-of-charge to children considered to be at risk of social exclusion for a variety of reasons. Based on academic research, 5.6% of the children will pursue a STEM vocation as a direct result. For children at risk of social exclusion, this number rises to a staggering 9.5%(1).
Additionally, Escuelab has begun to train teachers in primary schools to teach STEM subjects, broadening the teachers’ skill sets and improving the education for their pupils. For its first five years, Escuelab is committed to reinvesting all its revenue into the programme and scholarships, and even once this time has lapsed it has committed to dedicate 15% of profits to reinvestment into scholarship programmes.
As it grows within Spain, it has also launched a pilot programme in the Dominican Republic. The project continues to expand, and the benefits rise exponentially, but most promising is Cristina’s commitment to ensuring Escuelab remains self-sustaining and driven by its principles of better STEM education for all.
HealthSetGo - India
Priya founded the social enterprise HealthSetGo in 2016, after a year of research and planning. Her aim is to address damaging cultural attitudes towards health and offer preventative healthcare for children. India has the second highest number of obese children globally (1), but also a third of the world’s stunted children (2).
HealthSetGo offers three primary services to children in schools across India. The first is preventative care in the form of four yearly check-ups from a team of senior doctors hired from a network of partnered hospitals. A recent addition to this offering is the digitalisation of medical records, allowing families to monitor their childrens’ medical history.
The second service is a “care box”, providing educational information and activity cards on topics including nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. HealthSetGo educates teachers to pass on the knowledge and enforce a habit-based learning system. Schools are incentivised to be vigilant by governmental certifications for high achievement. The third aspect is health insurance covering $1,500 per year per child.
All this is provided for $7 per child (that number varies from state-to-state, but averages out across India. For disadvantaged children, this fee is sponsored by the government. In the year cycle from April 2017 to March 2018, 84,500 children were signed up to the programme. Priya believes in a market-driven approach to enact social good, and the revenue she raises from this fee covers all the operational costs of HealthSetGo.
Venezolanos en Barranquilla
Venezolanos en Barranquilla - Colombia [coordinating region]
Juan Carlos Villoria
Juan is the Vice-President of Venezolanos en Barranquilla, a non-profit supporting migrants, refugees and returnees from Venezuela who are residing in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Venezuelan refugees are predicted to exceed those who have fled Syria, and yet have received only 1.5% of the international donations which the Syrian situation had received at the equivalent stage of its crisis (1).
The humanitarian assistance Juan’s organisation provides is comprehensive in its scope. They have delivered over 7,200kg of food, 11,780 units of medical supplies, 3,100 items of clothing, and served more than 8,100 hot meals to the community to name a few.
Additionally, the organisation increases the opportunities for this community by supplying access to seed capital, work orientation workshops, education, and recreational activities such as sports.
Alongside all this, Venezolanos en Barranquilla defends the human rights of Venezuelans by raising their issues on an international level through participation in global networks, and by facilitating participation in Venezuelan elections.
Direct recipients of support include 9,700 people who have been supported with food security, and 11,780 people who have received healthcare from the above mentioned provisions. A further 90 young Venezuelan refugees have been provided access to the education system in Colombia, and over 5,000 have received legal advice.
FoodCloud - Ireland
Iseult Ward is Co-Founder and CEO of FoodCloud, a non-profit social enterprise with a vision of a world where no good food goes to waste. Launched in 2013 with Co-Founder Aoibheann O’Brien, FoodCloud has created two food redistribution solutions that tackle the enormous issue of food waste by connecting food businesses with local charities and community groups.
In Ireland, FoodCloud has two food redistribution solutions: a technology solution that connects supermarkets with surplus food directly to local Community Groups and a warehouse solution that redistributes large quantities of surplus food from the supply chain to Community Groups all across Ireland.
Both solutions provide an environmentally-sensitive, socially-responsible, and economically-viable alternative to throwing away food. FoodCloud works with more than 800 Charities and Community Groups in Ireland and more than 6,400 internationally. Combined, they have redistributed more than 32,000 tonnes of surplus food to date, which is equal to approximately 76.8 million meals and approximately 103,206 tonnes of CO2-eq avoided. FoodCloud is also the partner organisation for the nationwide availability of the food element of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) Programme in Ireland.
FoodCloud is responsible for the procurement, storage and charity collection of FEAD products for this programme, which supports individuals to take their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. Through FEAD, FoodCloud have distributed more than 4,700 tonnes of food, which is equal to approximately 11.2 million meals.
TODXS - Brazil
Willian is the Co-Founder of TODXS, a non-profit association empowering the LGBTI+ community and advocating their rights. In May 2019, the country criminalised homophobia and transphobia after an outbreak of crimes and the murder of 140 LGBTI+ people in the wake of Mr Bolsonaro’s inauguration at the beginning of that same year (1).
The targets of TODXS are to facilitate the social inclusion of LGBTI+ people in Brazil, and to integrate diversity and inclusion principles into the state, companies and wider society. To achieve this, the organisation operates a variety of initiatives, the flagship of which is the TODXS mobile app.
The software categorises 700 Brazilian laws protecting the LGBTI+ community in an easily accessible format, to improve users’ understanding of their rights, and also connects them to over 80 supporting organisations around the country.
Additionally, users can report LGBTI-phobic abuse through the app, using a partnership they have with the Controladoria Geral da União, to form the foundation of new public policy.
Another aspect of this is the mapping of LGBTI-phobic abuses to inform users of the locations of reported cases of aggression and abuse. Over 10,000 users have been protected and educated by this innovative platform.
The other primary direct consequences that the organisation has generated includes connecting 250 young Brazilians with socially impactful projects, educating 90 public school teachers on LGBTI+ issues, training 200 young leaders through a six month programme, and reaching over 50,000 people through their social media campaigns.
Beyond that, they have distributed a Diversity & Inclusion booklet to over 1,500,000 people in a variety of Brazilian companies and institutions.
Coexister - France
Samuel started a movement promoting better living together through interfaith cooperation in reaction to the politicisation of France’s “La Laicite” law on secularism, which was being used as justification for Islamophobia targetted at Muslim women (1). It began in 2009 with Coexister which he established along with four Co-Founders. Coexister is a grassroots non-profit encouraging interfaith cooperation in French high schools.
Coexister uses the tactic of youth-led training, to teach young leaders to tackle their own diversities and in doing so provides them with ownership over the process. This makes the learning experience more deeply-rooted. It has about 50 local shelters on the ground. Each shelter runs approximately 30 activities a year. Each activity takes the form of a “chapter” which forms a safe space for approximately 50 young people. These young leaders are facilitated to design a peacebuilding curriculum, and through doing so develop an awareness and understanding of interfaith values.
Supplemented by three national events, over 2,500 young French people have participated in Coexister’s activities and events. The organisation also runs workshops which implement the peacebuilding curriculum, which have reached over 25,000 students in over 500 high schools.
Coexister is an organisation within an interfaith movement. It runs alongside an academic research group exploring solutions to interfaith conflict globally with a team of researchers from different faiths.
Additionally, it is supported by Convivencia, an interfaith consultancy for big business, charities and public institutions. This is a social enterprise which funnels any profit into the movement, and the work of coexister.
Samuel participated in the Interfaith Dialogue at the One Young World Summit in London in 2019. In doing so, he had the opportunity to interact with other young leaders in the field, as well as a selection of the UK’s most senior religious figures.
All We Are
All We Are - Uganda
Aged 16, Nathan established a relationship with a charity in Kampala to provide basic technological products to support a school in the city. This relationship, his studies in engineering and the fact that Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of electrification in schools encouraged Nathan to found All We Are, providing free solar energy installations to schools and public institutions across Uganda.
Since 2015, the organisation has installed solar electricity systems for 30 institutions in Uganda. Primarily installations have been in schools, but All We Are has also reached two health centres and three boreholes.
This operation is driven by two teams. Nathan heads up a select group of volunteers in the USA, young professionals providing their time for free. The team on the ground is made up of three, full-time Ugandan employees who provide engineering and digital marketing support. The organisation is eager to develop this branch of the organisation to contribute to the local economy.
As a result of their work, they have provided clean energy to support the education of approximately 30,000 students, and provide energy for teachers and community members in Uganda. Electrification of schools is proven to have significant impacts on improving productivity of students, reducing absenteeism and increasing completion rates of schools. In addition to the environmental benefit of clean energy, it reduces recipients’ reliance on dangerous heating sources.
The organisation has also established a partnership with the University of Santa Clara and North Carolina State University to build a programme providing practical engineering experience to their students, and 60 students have benefitted from the programme. All We Are aims to have provided 50 solar energy installations by 2025.
The Purpose of BP
The Purpose of BP - United Kingdom
Abigail Motsch, Alastair Laurenson, Brenden Brown, Kelly Stafford, Maria Ostrowski, Ross O’Brien
Business for Social Good
Ross and five fellow One Young World Ambassadors left the Summit in Bogotá with an existential question about their company, BP. Why do they exist? They made the decision that establishing and embedding BP’s societal purpose at the core of the business was essential for their own continued careers at BP, the organisation’s future and ultimately the future of the world at large.
The six Ambassadors were given the go-ahead to explore the concept further, with no binding commitment. To start, they researched the topic of purpose and published a paper outlining best practices, and a vision of how it could be applied to BP. Amongst their own internal networks, the team used this paper to build excitement amongst colleagues and educate them on the case for change. Crucially, this was also when the team realised the guiding principle of their project – a purpose is not ‘created’, but instead is unearthed and discovered from within.
Following this principle, the team piloted a novel surveying technology, asking open-ended questions and analysing the major themes which stood out in the stories that employees provided. This helped the team to draw conclusions from authentic employee experiences and in essence, helped to helped discover what employees believed BP’s purpose should be.. The next stage was to take the initiative to the very top. The team met with then-CEO Bob Dudley and the executive team, including new CEO Bernard Looney, who put their support behind the project. As a result, the Ambassadors started to work in a larger team dedicated to embedding purpose into every strand of the organization.
In February 2020, BP announced that the organisation was committed to becoming a “net zero company by 2050 or sooner”, supported by a variety of new aims and ambitions. At the core of this announcement, and essential to its implementation, is their new purpose: “Our purpose is reimagining energy for people and our planet. We want to help the world reach net zero and improve people’s lives."
BP is now a purpose-driven company, just as they envisaged after leaving the One Young World Summit in 2017. It has been a truly rewarding experience for Abigail, Alastair, Brenden, Kelly, Maria and Ross who have pushed tirelessly to discover purpose within BP. They have also committed to support the long-term implementation of this purpose to ensure it has a real and measurable impact. The team is reluctant to claim success at this stage and instead prefer to remind those around them: “purposeful companies like ours will be measured over decades – not quarters”.
MissionC - Netherlands
Business for Social Good
As a former management consultant, Andrea was working for international companies all over the world. Various projects helped her to realise and to see the impact on the environment and society was not always positive. This was creating an internal conflict between her beliefs and the job. She was keen to put her business knowledge and skills into use, to create a positive impact, showing that sustainability and business can go hand in hand and enforce each other. That’s why she has co-founded MissionC, a strategy advisory firm based in Amsterdam on a mission to reinforce the transition to Circular Economy on a global scale.
Andrea believes that a sustainable future is the only future. A circular economy where organisations design out waste will be crucial in achieving it. Organisations need to transfer sustainability from the communications and marketing department directly into the strategy and core functions. The vision of MissionC is a CONSCIOUS world where people and organisations thrive. A world where individuals understand their impact and take responsibility for their actions. A world where businesses prosper and create positive value for people and our planet. Together with her partner, Eva, and their team, they are teaming up with leaders and passionate change-makers to drive the transition. Andrea is a consultant with 10+ years of experience combining Risk Management, Strategy and Change Management cross-industry, both for the commercial sector and not-for-profit organisations internationally. The clients of MissionC are typically private sector and organisations to whom they provide business advisory – helping them to embed circular economy principles and targets into the strategy to future-proof their business, adjust business models and engage all the different stakeholders.
Andrea also acts as a speaker, guest lecturer, moderator and facilitator on topics related to Circular Economy and Sustainability with the goal to raise awareness, educate and showcase the benefits of circular economy for people, planet and profit. Over the last 12 months, MissionC has reached over 1,500 people through such activities.
Social Mobility Network
Social Mobility Network - United Kingdom
Business for Social Good
Alongside her position as a Manager within the PwC UK Workforce Strategy and Culture Consulting team, Jess is Chair of the PwC UK Social Mobility Network. Coming from a working-class background herself, Jess identified a need within the firm for an employee network which represented and supported other employees from this demographic and promoted Social Mobility in PwC UK.
Jess approached the Chief People Officer, who empowered Jess to establish the network in November 2019, completing the founding process which took almost 12 months from conception to fruition. She established a team, support from the organisation, and sponsorship to get the project off the ground.
The network functions digitally, convening members online to organise events and volunteering activities in respective communities which accelerate Social Mobility. It is also a pool for thought leadership on relevant issues, challenges and opportunities. Jess chairs a monthly call for members, but the day-to-day management is taken on by regional and activity based network leads. The primary impact comes from 80 ‘Champions’ who dedicate six to eight hours per month to raising awareness, advocating on the issue, sourcing volunteers and organising the events. The Champions also provide education, skills-training and mentorship to people from a ‘social mobility’ background. In addition, the team are developing a new approach around how PwC employees can support and recently ran a number of national collections across the UK offices with the foodbank and hygiene bank.
Moving forward, the network hopes better awareness will tackle unconscious bias and will look at workforce data to understand if there is a ‘class ceiling’ at PwC, and enable our staff from PwC to succeed no matter of background . It will continue to amplify the impact of PwC’s School Programmes, particularly utilising the reach of the network to target cold spots, and will support initiatives around digital upskilling in line with PwC’s global ‘New World, New Skills, campaign. Social Mobility Champions will also look to direct the firm’s annual One Firm Every Day volunteering scheme around the theme of social mobility and look to offer more virtual sessions to magnify the impact of this employee mobilisation.
Suade Labs - United Kingdom
Business for Social Good
Diana worked on regulatory analysis for a major bank in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and identified that the same systems had remained in place despite the monumental upheaval. Identifying this as an opportunity for innovation, Diana founded Suade Labs in 2014 to make the industry more socially responsible.
Suade Labs broke the status quo of software developers in the financial sector. The product they offer helps to clean and normalise large amounts of data for regulatory output. This is Regulation-as-a-service. It automates regulatory data requirements for financial institutions and minimises the cost of change involved with each new iteration of financial regulations. Their service facilitates responsible behaviour from financial institutions. This in turn protects the industry from another crash, indirectly insulating the wider community from the socio-economic impact of another financial crisis.
Suade Labs has grown substantially since being founded in 2014 with a relatively small start-up fund for the industry. Their team of 40 are based in the UK, with another office in France and two more offices set to open in New York and Singapore. As of 2019, Suade Labs serves over 100 banks.
Global Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Global Diversity and Inclusion Lead - Argentina
Business for Social Good
Tomas is a Global Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Google, addressing representation in the company, employees’ sense of belonging, and creating a fair and equitable system for all. He sees his role as a cultural hacker, hacking the systems of a big organisation in order to build both a more equitable workplace for all, employees and inclusive products.
Tomas created, manages and supports a variety of Employee Resource Groups (ERG) for underrepresented communities. Examples include the Interbelief Network, which has created a platform for 5,000+ religious groups to build community and amplify their voice in the organisation. Another key ERG Tomas oversees represents Indigenous communities. The team identified a gap in experience between Indigenous men and women, and as a result created the first Indigenous Women Summit at Google to improve their inclusion in the workplace. The group has connected Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers of the internet”, as its executive sponsor and as an Ambassador for the group.
In terms of diversity and inclusion, Tomas drives many initiatives to improve the experience and representation of the LatinX community in Google. This includes an onboarding programme, tailored to specific needs of the community. Through a data-driven approach it has been identified that sense of belonging is highly correlated with performance and retention of talented staff. Having been successfully implemented in one Google organisation, this is being rolled out nationwide across the USA.
Previously, Tomas was the analytical lead for product inclusion, alongside fellow One Young World Ambassador Annie Jean-Baptiste. They partner with product teams and ERGs building programmes to bring diverse perspectives into the product development process in order to build more inclusive products for all. One example of this work is what the Google Assistant team did. Before launching they partnered with LatinX community leaders within the company to ensure the product was inclusive by improving its capacity to accurately recognize different accents and answer a wide variety of topics.
For his work empowering the LatinX community, Tomas received the 2019 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever™ Award. Tomas’ work spans different communities, different areas of the company, and has many different outcomes. Summarised, he has leveraged his privilege and expertise to ensure that his organisation is more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
Message in a Bottle
Message in a Bottle - Sweden
Business for Social Good
Philipp attended the One Young World Summit in 2018 having won Trelleborg’s internal competition, by giving an account of where he would like to see the company in the future. Philipp was one of a three person delegation, who each returned to present an initiative they were inspired to create after attending the Summit.
Philipp proposed “Message in a Bottle”, a company-wide campaign to eliminate single-use plastic from all 200 Trelleborg sites by the end of 2020. This idea was taken forward by and proposed to the senior executive team at Trelleborg, who gave the initiative unanimous backing. This was then returned to Henrik Dreyer, Employer Branding Manager and a fellow One Young World Summit attendee. They placed One Young World and the Ambassadors at the heart of their communications, distributing a video of Philipp to communicate the purpose and ambition of the initiative, and invite all branches and employees to join them in the “Message in a Bottle” movement. The project is monitored centrally, and they distribute a framework for implementing the change, and a vast majority of the 200 branches have already begun their journey to zero plastic. One successful example is in Turkey, where the Trelleborg site has completely removed plastic cups already which has eradicated the use of 560,000 plastic cups per year.
While Philipp is no longer directly involved in the implementation of his initiative, he is directly responsible for the change which has only just begun to have a highly significant impact in his workplace and on the environment.