The Social Good Summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Held annually during UNGA Week, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time. Our theme, #2030NOW, asks the question, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” During the Social Good Summit, global citizens around the world unite to unlock the potential of technology to make the world a better place.
An impressive line-up featuring a celebrity and politically packed opening with names such as Queen Rania of Jordan, Victoria Beckham, Madame Secretary Madeleine Albright, Freida Pinto, Alek Wek, Helen Clark, Adrian Grenier, Ahmed of #IStandWithAhmed, Richard Curtis, and many more. They drew in crowds by the hoards; in person, online and globally. All taking place during U.N. Week and after an emotionally charged Papal visit, the energy remained within the city. Positivity and hope radiated from each session while maintaining the seriousness and dire need to take action.
Everyone is looking towards the future, trying to fight and find the mix of solutions that will ensure future for current and generations to come. The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, also know as #globalgoals, are a blueprint for the world to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and combat climate change within the next fifteen years.
It’s generally rude to bury their head into one’s smartphone – tweeting, Instagram, don’t forget the hashtag and exclamations of “tag me, please!”, but the Social Good Summit was more than the face-to-face connections and online networking. SGS has gone further to create social awareness amassing billions of mentions and going viral amongst various networks. As a connected generation, we have the ability to tell stories and the power to amplify messages. No longer do the plight of the suffering have to go unheard, but by using social media, it puts the power in everyone’s hands to help.
Women in Crisis
Actress, ambassador, and advocate, Sienna Miller is bringing awareness to the trauma of women refugees with the help of International Medical Corps. While many recognize the beautiful actress for her cinematic roles and her front row fashion, it was inspiring to hear her first-hand account of war-torn countries and the experiences of the women ravished by them.
Charlize Theron encourages us to take action and be the generation to end AIDS. Africa Outreach Project CTAOP’s mission is to help African youth keep themselves safe from HIV through the support of on the ground, community-engaged organizations. CTAOP serves as a vehicle for communities to empower themselves and their youth in order to prevent the spread of HIV. She urged, “You are game changers, you are actors for change. Be relentless.”
Several celebrities and political figures are adopting the newest tech advances in order to strengthen their message. Laverne Cox, of Orange is the New Black fame, along with others conducted fun, engaging and educational Facebook Live streams that pushed out to millions on the network. Laverne and her colleagues stress the importance of gender equality and the inclusion of the trans population and non-conforming people. Without the vital information, we cannot begin to understand the scope of the issues and violence they face.
Meaningful conversations of how passionate each individual was about their purpose were sprinkled with lighthearted humor along the way. The importance of each message transcended a receptive audience that stretched much further than within those theatre walls.
The beauty in it all was to see from the youngest of panelists and attendees to the well-respected Elders group. Vivienne Harr of STAND, a little girl with the biggest aspirations to end child slavery via her local lemonade stand and raising over $100,000 for the cause. To put it in perspective, when I was eight years old I was making lemonade to fund my dreams of a bigger Barbie collection. Her thoughtfulness and ability to look far beyond herself is inspiring while her cheerfulness and optimism are infectious to see how truly one person can start to make a difference. These global issues concern everyone and the two days spent at the Social Good Summit encouraged and empowered us all to continue making an impact.