On 2 July 2005, millions attended 10 Live 8 concerts in cities across the globe to push for a new initiative to fight African poverty at the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagle.
ONE's origins go back to 2002 and the founding of DATA (debt, AIDS, trade Africa), the anti-poverty advocacy organisation with which ONE merged in 2008.
Following their work together during the Jubilee "Drop the Debt" movement, Bono, Bob Geldof, Bobby Shriver, Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew joined together in March, 2002 to create a new advocacy organisation called DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa). As its name implies, DATA was created to press the governments of developed nations to do their part in the fight against extreme poverty in Africa, with a focus on debt relief, AIDS treatment and prevention and reform of unfair trade rules. DATA also advocated for increased democracy, accountability and transparency in government so civil society in poor countries had a greater say in how those resources were deployed. Introduced to the world via a TIME magazine cover story, DATA established offices in Washington, DC and London to advocate for its policy priorities at the top levels of government in the US, the UK, Germany and across the G8.
In 2004, DATA and ten other leading anti-poverty organisations (Bread for the World Institute, CARE USA, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Plan USA, Save the Children, World Concern, World Vision) joined together to create a new, non-partisan campaign to mobilise a movement of Americans from all walks of life in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable global disease. ONE was launched at a kick-off event in Philadelphia, USA in May, 2004 attended by faith leaders, heads of leading anti-poverty organisations, celebrities, African activists and policymakers from the right and left.
Working closely with DATA and the other co-founding organisations, ONE quickly got to work, via global online actions, development of an iconic ad campaign and support for the Live 8 concerts, to push for a new initiative to fight African poverty at the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles. That push, in conjunction with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, succeeded in helping to secure a pledge by the G8 to direct an additional $25 billion in effective assistance to Africa by 2010. In less than a year, ONE signed up more than 2 million members and created a powerful, grassroots political force in support of better policies for combating poverty.
In 2007, ONE and DATA decided to join their complementary strengths into a united global anti-poverty organisation, and in January 2008, they formally merged under the name ONE. The new ONE combines DATA's high-level global advocacy and policy depth with ONE's grassroots mobilisation expertise. Like its predecessors, ONE's mission is to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease in the poorest places on the planet, particularly in Africa, where the challenges are the greatest.