At the start of this week I was fortunate to attend the 2013 Social Good Summit in New York City. Held at the 92nd Street Y in partnership with Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, Ericsson and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Social Good Summit is a three-day global conversation on how we are using social media and technology to change some of the world’s most pressing issues.
This year’s theme was #2030now and basically asked the global community one thought-provoking question: In a global digital landscape that focuses on the now, where do we want to be by 2030 and how can digital tools help us reach our goals.
The highly intense three-day summit covered a broad range of today’s most urgent issues such as climate change, global health, poverty, energy and education, and pulls together some of the most prolific, influential thinkers and global change-makers in the world. We got to hear from such amazing visionaries as Melinda Gates, Al Gore, US Ambassador Samantha Power, Malala Yousafzai, Sir Richard Branson and more. Furthermore, the global reach of the Social Good Summit was huge: It was livestreamed in 120 countries and translated into seven languages making it truly a global event.
For me, it was the second year in a row that I attended the Social Good Summit and it was amazing, inspiring and extremely overwhelming. I learned so incredibly much and was so inspired over the past few days that it is going to take me quite awhile to process all the information I learned.
I wanted to share a few highlights of the Summit below and look forward to sharing more in depth stories over the new couple of months on my blog. Highlights of the Summit included my first visit to the United Nations Headquarters where I got to listen to a panel called “Africa Rising”, attending an intimate roundtable hosted by Save the Children, ONE and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the crisis in Syria, and also catching up with my growing number of wonderful online social good bloggers and friends.
Some of my key take-aways from this year’s Social Good Summit include:
- The power of our voice via social media to be heard and make change. It inspires and encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing by covering social good issues and stories.
- The amazing power of technology to make change: There are 3.3 billion people in the world that currently have access to cell phones and this number is estimated to hit 95% of world population by 2014 which is an amazing opportunity for change.
- The opportunity of future “millennials” in the world. We must get the youth empowered and inspired to make change as they will represent a large part of the world’s population.
The Social Good Summit made me realize that there is hope. Covering such tragic social good issues for the last year sometimes seems like it is a daunting, unachievable dream to end poverty, suffering and preventable deaths. Yet, after listening to these amazing people who are changing the world as we speak, I’ve realized that positive change is possible and there is a tremendous amount of opportunity to make the world a better place. Of course we can’t change some of the evils of mankind. There will always be fighting and bloodshed and war. Yet we do have the tools to end poverty and preventable deaths. I left feeling inspired that someday the world will be a better, more equitable place for all.
Favorite Quotes/Tweets from Social Good Summit that inspired me
“Youth are the next generation leaders. They are #2030NOW”. On stage right now @stacymartinet@CrownPrincessMM@HelenClarkUNDP
“The price of inaction has become higher than the cost of action. Enough is enough.” – Paul Polman #2030NOW
“There usually comes a moment in our lives when we all decide we need to believe in something” – Ben Keesey, Invisible Children #2030NOW
“Remind people that they are more powerful than they think, engage them to create change” @BenKeesey #2030NOW @plus_socialgood
“It doesn’t have to be money, it can be your voice. Just give back @HelenClarkUNDP #2030now #SocialGoodSummit
“Photographers tell the story of who we are today & can inspire who we become tomorrow” @marcusbleasdale #2030Now
“Theme this year of #2030now because today’s children will be tomorrow’s change makers”. #ActOnClimate
“Social media is changing the world, and we’re all here witnessing it.” -@iansomerhalder #2030NOW
There will be 1 billion mobile phones in #Africa. ‘#malaria will be the first disease to be defeated by mobile’ -@MNM_Martin at #2030now
“Citizens have the capacity to put an issue on the map.” -@AmbassadorPower #2030NOW
“Without peace there is no development, and without development there is no peace” Jan Eliasson #2030NOW
‘Water is peace’…2000 children under age of 5 die everyday due to problem of sanitation. Eliasson at#2030Now
3.3 billion ppl have access to mobiles – furthest reaching tech in the world #2030now
“20 million children under age of 5 were dying per yr in 1960. Today that figure is 6.6 million.”@melindagates #2030NOW
In 2014, 95% of the world will have access to cell phones. How do we use this technology to make the world better? @melindagates#2030now
“The course of civilization is going to be shaped by us. Make your voices heard.” @algore on the#climatecrisis #2030NOW#SocialGoodSummit
@algore at #SocialGoodSummit – the 18 year olds today are the ones who will change our future. Take action. #2030NOW
20 millions NY consume just as much energy comparable to the 850 on the continent of Africa.#2030NOW #EnergyResponsibility
We cannot succeed if half of us are held back. Women must speak, must raise their voices. – Malala #MalalaFund
In just one day, the amount of time wasted by women collecting water could build 28 Empire State Bldgs.bit.ly/14FSrkL #2030NOW
50 million girls are victims of sexual abuse & exploitation around the world – UNICEF’s Anthony Lake on #ENDviolence at#2030NOW
We must start conversations young to combat gender inequality, especially with boys. The responsibility must not only be on women. #2030NOW
- The Question You Were Too Afraid to Ask: What is Social Good?
- Link to agenda, speakers, etc on SGS : http://mashable.com/sgs/
- To watch any of the past clips on the Social Good Summit: Click at this link to view the Livestream of Social Good Summit (available in seven languages)
- Video clip on Malala’s speech: Click here to watch. It is really inspiring.
- I am honored to be mentioned in the following post: 100 Tweeters of Social Good that you have to follow in 2013 – Armchair Advocates