Vanity Fair: The 2019 Global Goals List.

Vanity Fair: The 2019 Global Goals List.

Vanity Fair launches its inaugural Global Goals List with One Young World, honouring those leading the charge to achieve the 17 goals outlined by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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We live in a bewildering era saturated with apocalyptic headlines, partisan schisms and calcifying division. Amid the turmoil, it’s easy to forget that change—breeding uncertainty—also catalyses innovation, excellence and the reconfiguration of expectations. These are the values championed by One Young World, an itinerant summit that gathers young leaders from across the globe for four transformative days of speeches, panels and workshops driven by figureheads spanning Meghan Markle to Justin Trudeau and the late Kofi Annan.

Recognising the critical importance of embracing positivity in a fraught climate, Vanity Fair is launching the Global Goals List in association with One Young World to honour those spearheading the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Spotlighting the luminaries working to build a better, more collaborative world that champions inclusivity, education and the environment, the overarching objective of the list is this: to make the Global Goals more accessible, and more aspirational, and inspire a new generation of game-changers to realise that their voices—however small they might seem against the swell of opposition—can spark change.

Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah UN SDG
Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah

The figureheads Vanity Fair and One Young World have selected may be separated by age, nationality and area of expertise, but they are united in the commitment to achieve the U.N.’s blueprint for peace and prosperity. And in the fact that they were all photographed by Dutch photographer Alek in The Hague, at One Young World’s 2018 summit.

1. Zero Poverty: Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus makes the list for his push to eliminate poverty. Banker, economist and founder of Grameen Bank, his pioneering microfinance models have empowered low-income entrepreneurs to launch locally rooted businesses. In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below”.

2. Zero Hunger: Brian Bosire

Innovator, thinker and One Young World Ambassador from Kenya, Brian Bosire is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Five Young Africans Changing the World in 2017. His primary focus is taking the possibilities offered by technology and applying them to some of the challenges faced by Africa. He is the founder of UjuziKilimo, which brings precision farming tools to small-hold farmers so they can produce more food, and thus help combat the hunger challenging millions. In addition, he also founded Electrosoft Ltd, which aims to improve productivity in the energy, water and sanitation sectors.

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Gordon Brown, Jayathma Wickramanayake and Olivier Noel

3. Health: Olivier Noel

A Haiti-born One Young World Ambassador, Olivier Noel is passionate about healthcare disparity, genetic research and precision medicine. Founder of genetics startup DNAsimple, which aims to connect researchers to patients, Noel’s goal is to increase the diversity of the pool of research participants so cures can be found for diseases based on one’s specific DNA variants or markers.

4. Education: Gordon Brown

Former prime minister and chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown was appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education by then-U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. In this role, he has pledged to tackle what he describes as the “civil rights struggle of our time”—the patchy distribution of education that prevents millions of children from accessing the opportunities they deserve. In May 2018, he launched a £7.4 billion project aimed at broadening the reach of education in some of the world’s most deprived countries by way of a scheme that would see donor countries acting as guarantors on low-cost lending. The objective, he said, is to have the first generation in history in which all young people will have the opportunity to go to school.