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Focusing
on a positive impact

Johnson & Johnson Change Makers Kickoff the One Young World Summit: Top 3 Takeaways from Day One

By Erna Takazawa, Alison Fennell, Jin Xiaoshi, Kevin Ardian Fauzie, ShinAe Faith Nam, Tirian Chien, Peter Lin

Today, a delegation of nearly 80 Johnson & Johnson (J&J) change makers, a group of J&J employees and health scholars, arrived in The Hague, The Netherlands, to attend the 2018 One Young World Summit (OYW).

We joined over 1,800 young leaders representing 196 countries to learn from distinguished thought leaders on the world’s most pressing issues, collaborate on new solutions, and take action.  

During the Summit and throughout the end of the year, each J&J OYW delegate (employee) will work closely in buddy teams to support one of the twelve 2018 J&J OYW scholars work towards their professional goals. Our buddy team is a diverse group of passionate young leaders from across the J&J business in Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Japan and Australia. We are teamed up to support our scholar, Erna Tagazawa, the only optometrist in Samoa, achieve her mission of changing the world by tackling vision impairment and saving people’s sight.

Erna Tagazawa, flag bearer for Samoa at tonight’s opening ceremony pictured with the flag bearers from other pacific island nations.

Here are our top takeaways from our first day at the OYW Summit:

1. The unstoppable energy of the 2018 Johnson & Johnson change makers

As one of the largest cohorts from a single organisation, the J&J OYW change makers have come together from all around the world. We are young leaders who are working to change the trajectory of health for humanity by working on causes we are passionate about, whether it be ensuring eye care for those who need it the most, advocating for the rights of the LGBTI community, or breaking down the stigma around mental health. Meeting at OYW, we have had the opportunity to come together to embrace our energy for change, spark dialogue and ignite global collaboration throughout the J&J network.

2. It’s one small world at one big conference

With over 1,800 leaders gathered at the iconic Peace Palace during tonight’s opening ceremony, it’s amazing to think that other than the Olympics, no other event brings together so many young leaders. At first, this was incredibly daunting. However, as we started to meet delegates from every corner of the world, we realized the world is a much smaller place, full of young people just like us championing the same causes as we are in different countries. There is no better place for so many young leaders to gather than The Hague, the city of peace and justice. As Mayor of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, stated during the ceremony, The Hague is “the city where the world is at home.”

Our team at tonight’s opening ceremony left to right: Tirian Chien, Peter Lin, Alison Fennell, Jin Xiaoshi, ShinAe Faith Nam, Kevin Ardian Fauzie

3. Carrying on Kofi Annan’s Legacy

The life and legacy of Kofi Annan, a long-time counsellor of OYW, was honored tonight. Bob Geldorf shared, “we should not speak of Kofi in the past, for Kofi is our future.” Throughout this Summit, we will be inspired to carry on Kofi’s passion for change. While we are part of the largest healthcare company in the world, we know we can’t make the change we want to make by ourselves. We need to work together and are inspired by the lasting words of Kofi Annan, “since you can’t bend the wind you should bend the sail.”

In summary, day one of the Summit has been tremendously inspiring! Over the next three days, we cannot wait to translate today’s inspiration into long-term action.

Follow the rest of the blogs from the One Young World 2018 Summit here.