UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin introduces special surprise guest Peter Gabriel. Photo Credit: UN Foundation.

The last four days I’ve been in New York City attending two amazing events focusing on philanthropy and making the world a better place: The Summit for Social Good and the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting with the theme of “Designing for Impact”. It has been a whirlwind of a trip filled with several unexpected surprises. I feel unbelievably motivated to write and share the inspiring things I learned.

I arrived in New York City on Saturday morning, after an early morning flight and headed straight over to the Mashable Social Good Summit for a marathon of conversations of how technology is being used to change the world. We heard from such impressive speakers as Helen Clark, Jeffrey Sachs, Susan Rice, Peter Gabriel, Forest Whitaker, Mira Sorvino and Jane Goodall.

The conversation was a global one indeed. Photo credit: UN Foundation.

The conversation has been translated live in seven languages and has been shown via live stream in hundreds of countries around the world. It was an extraordinary event with a powerful impact on how social media is being used to transform the world.

The place was packed at 92Y with bloggers from around the world sharing their messages online. Photo credit: UN Foundation.

We learned how technology and in particular mobile phones are being used to save lives around the world. We heard about a pilot program in Brazil in which the indigenous tribes have used mobile phones to track and measure the carbon imprint on the Rainforest. We heard how families in rural India have used cell phones to map each and every house in their village to track polio immunizations in order to ensure that no child has been left behind or forgotten.  We heard of an amazing program offering teenage girls text messaging services reminding them to take their contraception in in effort to combat teenage pregnancy.  We learned how google maps has been used in an innovative way to save the earth. All in all, it has been an unbelievable event with so many inspirational speakers and ideas that give hope that we can take on and meet unprecedented challenges that are surrounding the globe.

The highlight of the event was a live performance by 8-year-old YouTube sensation, JD Malkin, who played the piano and performed the song “Feel Again” by OneRepublic, a song that was written for Save the Children in order to raise awareness of childhood survival around the world. It was unbelievably touching and I couldn’t resist recording his astounding live performance.

Live performance at Social Good Summit by 8-year-old JD Malkin. Photo credit: UN Foundation.

Take a look at this YouTube video I recorded. It is sure to make your heart melt.

On Sunday, World Mom’s Blog founder Jennifer Burden and I attended the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Summit as members of the press.  At CGI, we heard directly from Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Queen Rania of Jordan as well as the heads of the UN Ban Ki-Moon and World Bank Jim Yong Kim speaking on the challenges we face and the amazing initiatives businesses, non-governmental organizations, and people have done to change the world and make it a better place.

We spent today listening to the Republican Nominee Mitt Romney address the need to work together with corporations to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. President Obama also spoke on Human Trafficking and the need to end human slavery all around the world, including the United States.

It was truly an amazing four days in which I learned so much. Despite all the terrible things happening around the world, there is a lot of good happening as well and there is so much hope. I look forward to presenting what I learned and am hopeful that we aren’t too late on making changes that will make the world a better place for all.


    1. Why thank you! I am really tired right now but I feel so happy to be able to now start doing more to make a difference. A lot of great opportunities and networking arose from the trip and I am really excited about it! 🙂 thanks for the encouragement!

  1. This is awesome and to be honest I am so glad that you went so that I could hear more about it. I wish I could have been there. Looking forward to seeing all of the great things to come out of these two events.

    1. Thanks Jen! You too….love how you put the “honest” part. He He. Reminds me of the tweet “We didn’t get in for Obama but at least we got fed!”….ha ha.

      1. You are way too kind Meghan! Hope you enjoyed the conference and I can’t wait to see what you are up to next!!!! I’m playing catch up now and have a lot to do! 🙂 But it is all so exciting!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Next time, we will spend more time hanging out! I am playing catch up now and am really behind. I need to read your post on SG too! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  2. Wonderful post on a truly wonderful summit. JD stole my heart at the end of Day 1, Jane Goodall on Day 2, and Angelique Kidjo and Dr Chopra on Day3… it was a thrill to meet you too. Hope we meet again!
    Have a safe trip home… maybe you are already home. 😉

    1. Thanks Eliz! Wasn’t it wonderful? I’m still going through everything in my mind. So much information. So much to be hopeful for! I look forward to really examining it all further. Glad I’m home now though as I’m exhausted and really happy it is the weekend! 🙂 Hope to run into you again and have more time to really talk!!!!

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