Young social entrepreneurs are using digital products and platforms in new ways to take on some of the world’s biggest challenges, from terrorism and environmental destruction to the immigration crisis and disability rights.
These four Ambassadors from One Young World, the world’s foremost forum for young leaders, will be attending the Cannes Lions festival to show how young leaders are finding fresh, innovative methods of packaging critical issues and presenting them in easily digestible ways. It is increasingly pressing for companies, not just those in the world of media, to follow suit and better communicate their commitment to their ideals and passion areas – there is also clearly commercial value in doing so.
Challenging the fashion industry’s stance on disability
Fashion blogger Sinead Burke’s unwavering advocacy for inclusive design has landed her on the front cover of Business of Fashion’s latest print edition. Her work began when she created the influential Minnie Melange website – she has worked her way up to be championed by the likes of Burberry; she is a broadcaster and public speaker; she is a primary school teacher and a PhD candidate; she is a former Alternative Miss Ireland and a disability advocate. She was born with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. Listed by Vogue as one of its 25 most influential people in Britain, she was invited to speak at four sessions of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, following the success of a TED Talk she gave on retail design, which registered more than 1.2m views.
The blockchain platform giving refugees an even break
Balazs Nemethi, an architect by training, founded Taqanu, a blockchain-based digital identity platform, to help those who found themselves unable to open bank accounts or find work because of their lack of a fixed address – critically, the millions of refugees who have fled their homes without documentation. This globally-accessible, secure and self-owned system was initially a response to harsh immigration policies in Balazs’s home country of Hungary but has been shown to have great potential value to wider society as a trusted identity platform.
The new global narrative around radicalisation and extremism
At the age of 13, Fatima Zaman was a witness to the 7/7 terror attacks in her native London. After taking a Politics degree at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and a Masters in Security Studies and Counter-Terrorism at University College London, she began organising workshops to fight extremism in her own East London community. Today she is one of ten young experts handpicked to counter violent extremism by leading the #ExtremelyTogether movement created by the Kofi Annan Foundation, supported by the European Commission and One Young World. She was named on the Elle List 2018 as one of the ‘50 Movers and Shakers of the Moment’. She works for the UK government as a civil servant in the Department for Education. She has become a public face for the countering violent extremism world, and she is using this visibility to challenge narratives of fear and hatred in popular culture.
The investment product turning banks green
Luke Davies, who works for Barclays, is the inspiration behind The Green Deposit, the bank’s first-to-market product that allows clients to deposit funds into a Green Account which gives them the comfort that their balances are being earmarked against green projects. This commercial product, driven by client demand, is an important part of Barclays’s transition to a low carbon economy and is delivering behavioural change both by the bank and its clients.
The Ambassadors presented their innovations to Chief Marketing Officers at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where they received mentorship and advice from some of the best marketing minds in their fields.
David Jones, the former global CEO of Havas and the founder and CEO of You & Mr Jones, is co-founder of One Young World with Kate Robertson, the former Global President and UK Group Chairman of Havas Worldwide. At last year’s event, young speakers received mentorship from senior leaders at Airbnb, Facebook, Accenture, Samsung, Diageo, Aon and Mic.