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One world, one chance for the future of people and planet

One Young World is an annual summit that connects the brightest young minds from across the globe.

13 Jul 20217 minute read

We know that as a global company we are in a unique position to make a real difference to our planet.

We are determined in our purpose towards creating a cleaner, healthier world. Our sustainability ambitions are built around three areas: a healthier planet, a fairer society, and purpose-led brands. These ambitions are already having a positive impact on the planet, whilst allowing people to easier lead cleaner, healthier lives.

Find out more about our sustainability ambitions.

The enormity of the challenges we face cannot be met alone. That’s why we have continued our partnership with One Young World (OYW). Through partnerships and programmes, we are better positioned to share our knowledge to help us deliver upon our ambitious targets.

One Young World is an annual summit that connects over 1,800 of the brightest and best young leaders across 190+ countries. Our talented individuals have taken part since 2014 and the initiatives they have taken part in have made a huge difference to the communities they serve. Let’s take a look at a couple of these initiatives:

After One Young World 2016, our delegates created the Reckitt Purpose Council. All our One Young World alumni automatically become part of the council. It keeps young leaders from around the business connected so they can better champion social impact and drive innovation. One huge success has been the Reckitt Reverse Mentorship programme where some of our senior leaders and executive committee members are mentored by young leaders.

At the One Young World summit in Bogata 2017, our ambassadors were inspired by Oscar Anderson, a Youth Disability Activist. They teamed up to create ‘Project Oscar’, with the aim to majorly reduce incidence of severe neonatal jaundice in Vietnam. By using their in-depth knowledge, they were able to target rural areas where they could be most effective. Areas that otherwise may have been overlooked. Within just a few years of this ongoing project the impact has been truly extraordinary:

  • 96 hospitals capable of offering high-quality treatment
  • 100 phototherapy devices delivered
  • 261 HCPs trained in 96 hospitals
  • 30,334 newborns treated of a 150,000 target

At OYW 2021 this year, our theme was the future of people and planet and gathered the OYW and Reckitt communities together in a global forum, here they shared ideas to create a better world.

24 delegates from Reckitt were selected to take part in the One Young World summit over four transformative days of speeches, panels, and workshops. They each have an authentic commitment to the causes they care about most and the ambition to drive change in their own country. They are the leaders of the future, who can have a positive impact on the planet.

During the summit they met with senior leaders and peer mentors to expand their network, whilst learning from world class speakers and reputable experts in their field, exchanging their knowledge and showing how persistence translates into outcomes.

The event was a hotbed of ideas, shared from individuals with different backgrounds, all having a fresh perspective on answering the world's most important issues.

Our delegates come from all corners of the globe, each with major concerns for their local community that needs solving. These issues range from providing clean, safe water and sanitization, to finding new innovative ways to drastically cut plastic usage.

“I saw and experienced a lot growing up, but the summit really opened my eyes to the urgency and severity of global challenges that need to be tackled immediately”.

- Sarina Pathela, Reckitt delegate.

Returning to Reckitt, our delegates bring back the inspiration and knowledge they have gained to help implement meaningful actions across our global network.

One of our inspiring delegates is Romana Kafedzic, who works with us as a Project Manager in our UK Innovation Hub. Romana’s story is different to most of ours, she was a refugee and therefore knows first-hand of the struggles and injustices that many face. At the summit, Romana shone a light on the refugee crisis and civil conflict, to make sure people have access to clean water, hygiene, and sanitary products. She hopes for others to be able to lead a happy, healthy and safe life, just like her.

Romana 1
Romana Kafedzic

We caught up with some of our One Young World delegates and asked them about their experiences at the summit:

What was your main highlight of the event?

What did you learn that changed you the most?

How can we make a difference?

Our CEO Laxman Narasimhan delivered a passionate speech during the event on how human health is planetary health. Our human health literally depends on that of the planet, they are intrinsically linked. As a species we must adapt the way we live our lives.

"We need to take responsibility – as individuals and as a collective".

The simple choices we make all have an impact, from our everyday actions to the products we choose, that everyone has a part to play in safeguarding our future.

Laxman at One Young World 2021

Lead 2030, formed by One Young World and powered by some of the world’s leading businesses, finds, funds, and accelerates sustainable development goal (SDG) solutions that have been created by founders under the age of 30. As part of our social impact strategy to provide the highest quality hygiene, health and nutrition, we sponsor the young change makers of SDG2 (zero hunger initiatives) and SDG6 (water and sanitation).

Here are the inspirational and innovative young leaders we are supporting so far:

Lead 2030: Empowering young leaders