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on a positive impact

Helping is Not Heroic, It Is Human.

ByEmma Richard

“Vision alone makes only the visionary in the pejorative sense of that word. But when you join vision and faith, join vision and heart, join vision and passion, mountains begin” – Rev. Theodore Hesburgh CSC.

One Young World is where the Mount Everests of change begin. For the last ten years, One Young World has brought together over 10,000 young change-makers who have gone on to positively impact over 20.9 million lives. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has sent over 240 young change-makers to the One Young World summit knowing that by building their leadership capacity delegates will be empowered to change the trajectory of human health. Taking on that challenge requires a deep human understanding, it requires vision, it requires faith, it requires resilience. I attended One Young World to better understand the world, the people who live in it, and the problems that surround them. Blending this knowledge with the heart, science, and ingenuity of J&J, I am confident that I can improve the trajectory of human health and reduce health disparities world-wide.

The 2019 One Young World Summit in London brought together change-makers from 190+ countries with abundant faith, heart, and passion and with visions of change for our environment, human rights, and peace.

I witnessed inspirational change-makers who had so much heart, passion, and resilience, it was infectious. I listened to today’s heroes share their stories and my view of the world expanded to corners that gave me great hope and others that broke my heart, but in each new corner I could see the geography shifting and mountains of change forming. 


Starting in the depths of the ocean, young change-makers understand that this generation of leaders is the last that will be able to tackle climate change. The climate crisis is no longer a matter of saving the planet, it is a matter of saving humanity. The direct effects of climate change, such as natural disasters, and the indirect effects, such as poor water quality and bad harvests, are major contributors to heart, lung, and mental health diseases, among others. The problem is systemic; it requires us to act big and to act quickly. It requires the largest companies who employ the most people and touch the most lives to not only change products to be more sustainable, but to change cultures and change mindsets.

One of my favorite philosophies about humanity is the Ubuntu philosophy. I first learned about it while listening to a podcast describing elephants taking care of the weakest member of the herd. Ubuntu means “I am because of you” or “I am because we are.” We all need to take positive action to be what humanity needs. With every decision we make, from the food we eat, to clothes we buy, to the organizations we donate to, it is vital we ask who caught, hunted, or harvested what we consume, who sewed and labored over what we wear, and who will benefit from the dollars we send. This is how, decision-by-decision, we can end modern day slavery. This is how every member of humanity can be treated more humanely and how we can be a humanity we are proud of because we are humans we are proud of.

I am an empowered change-maker because Johnson & Johnson holds its first responsibility to the people it serves. My mission as a One Young World ambassador and as a J&J change-maker follows our strategy for resilient leadership. I will first adapt, understanding how the decisions I make and actions I take impact modern day slavery and the climate crisis. I will recover, changing my daily behaviors to ensure I reduce my contributions to these severe problems facing humanity. Lastly, I will grow, helping colleagues to change their decisions and actions and determining how together we can act to have the most powerful impact.

I believe in the expansive power that businesses have to do good. I believe in the responsibility I have as a One Young World ambassador with the opportunity to work for the largest healthcare company in the world to influence positive change. I believe that the vision, faith, heart, passion, and resilience of today’s young leaders will form the mountains we need to shake the world.

What is your vision for a better world and what do you need to turn that vision into a mountain of change? Comment below so that we can all connect and take one more step toward becoming the humanity our world needs.

#MyCompany #ResiliencyForChange #Purpose #TalentForGood #OYW2019 #OYW