Derreck Kayongo

Derreck Kayongo speaker

Derreck Kayongo

Derreck Kayongo speaker


Former CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Social Entrepreneur, Global Soap Project Founder, CNN Hero, and Max Award winner for best innovative entrepreneur

Speech Topics Include:

  • Harnessing Your Power to Create Change
  • Reimagining Diversity & Inclusion: A Pathway to Courageous Conversations
  • Channeling Your Passion to Build a Legacy

With his trademark panache, Derreck Kayongo tells his courageous story of survival, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarianism, and the life lessons he learned along the way.

From Ugandan refugee to successful entrepreneur, CEO, and renowned human rights activist, Derreck’s journey inspires audiences to dream big. Through personable and articulate storytelling, he shares his visionary ideas for harnessing the power of observation and creative problem solving, applicable to any organization or community. It’s all about taking responsibility while looking for opportunities to improve.

Derreck is the founder of the Global Soap Project: a humanitarian aid organization that collects discarded and unused soap from thousands of hotels worldwide, reprocesses it, then distributes it to in-need populations around the world. The project was born from his simple observation about how much soap is available in hotels, and how much is thrown away when hotel rooms are turned. This simple observation became an innovative idea that is now battling global health issues in 90 countries. Hygiene-related diseases, and the resulting deaths, have dissipated in many at-risk communities, thanks in part to Derreck’s creative problem solving.

His energy and enthusiasm are unmatched as he brings his stories and principles to life. Key factors of his personal and professional success are identified with the memorable acronym S.E.L.F.: Service, Education, Leadership and Faith. He calls upon his dynamic experiences to empower audiences, inspiring an entrepreneur spirit made possible only through creative problem solving. Derreck’s emotionally-packed presentations linger long after his speech, empowering audiences to invent their own self-made motto of success so they can create tangible change in the world.

Derreck’s passion for helping others and commitment to innovative thinking led him to the role of CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. During his time as CEO, he elevated the global visibility of the Center, showcasing stories of victims of civil rights abuse and the heroic actions that changed the course of history. Derreck currently serves on the board of advisors at Sharing Sacred Spaces, an organization devoted to building local, sustainable interreligious communities working together for peace and civic change.

Derreck Kayongo is an internationally recognized visionary and humanitarian. The Global Soap Project demonstrates his creativity and innovation, making him a leader in both global health and environmental sustainability.

Harnessing Your Power to Create Change

As Founder of the Global Soap Project, Derreck Kayongo has built a multi-million-dollar venture which takes recycled soap and distributes it through global health programs to people who lack access to it around the world. Kayongo breaks down the key factors that have led to his success; Service, Education, Leadership and Faith (S.E.L.F.) He shares his account of life as a Ugandan refugee and the turning point, which led him to a brilliant transformation as a social entrepreneur. In this presentation, Kayongo challenges audiences to focus on personal accountability, to seek out opportunities to improve, and most importantly, to maintain faith in yourself and your team so that together you create an environment where everyone is empowered to thrive.


Reimagining Diversity & Inclusion: A Pathway to Courageous Conversations

Has anyone ever calculated the total cost of discrimination in the workplace? Derreck tackles the subject head-on by sharing how his organization found itself grappling with the issue. He takes his audience through an examination of how diversity and inclusion problems impact your corporate bottom line. From long-term harm to your brand and weakened stock prices to negative perceptions within the community, Derreck reveals the potential savings that come about when employees understand the cost of discrimination and the value of their fellow employees. He illustrates with eye-opening examples, how our upbringing and unconscious biases can become a net negative to organizational growth and have a negative impact on the bottom-line. The end goal of Derreck’s presentation is to birth into the bloodstream of the company’s culture what he calls a “Corporate Moral Aptitude,” an intriguing notion similar to Emotional Intelligence, but for corporations around cultural biases within the market place.

A native of Uganda and former refugee who worked his way up to become a CEO of a major American cultural institution, Derreck has a great and noble story to tell about diversity and inclusion from an outsider’s perspective that you don’t want to miss. From executives to rank-and-file employees, audiences will walk away inspired and positioned for success in today’s multicultural workplace.


Channeling Your Passion to Build a Legacy

In search of legacy therein lies your purpose. Derreck Kayongo’s Global Soap Project not only created change, it established a legacy—a lasting impact on the hotel industry and on global health. His innovation built this legacy where hotels now have switched to liquid soap canisters mounted on the shower walls to conserve and become more eco-friendly. So, every time you use that liquid soap in the hotel you are part of a legacy built by a simple but clever idea to recycle the wasted hotel soap.

Amidst many doubters, Derreck Kayongo remained true to his passion and in this speech, he shares the six cornerstones that anchored him in building this legacy that led to a global impact in the hotel industry.  His L.E.G.A.C.Y take aways are: Legendary Leadership;  Eagle-eyed focus; Unlocking your genius; Adaptability; Capacious ability to synthesize assumptions; You: You are the destination to where all the roads lead, driven by a positive attitude with an aspirational urgency to harness your power to build a legacy.  Do you want to be part of pedestrian change when it comes to your life or do you want to corner one important area of your passion and build a legacy around it?


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