Last night I returned home after attending my third Social Good Summit in New York City, this year as a United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow. The Social Good Summit is a unique convening of world leaders, new media and technology experts, grassroots activists and voices from around the world that come together for a two-day conference coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly meeting held during UN Week.
“Social media is one of the most powerful tools in creating social change” ~ #JimmyCarter #2030Now
The theme of this year’s summit – #2030NOW: Connecting for Good, Connecting for All – challenged speakers, participants and a growing worldwide community to explore how technology and new media can be leveraged to benefit people everywhere, to spark discussion and ignite change in creating a better world for all by the year 2030.
This year’s conversation #2030NOW centered around one critical thought: Where do we want to be in 2030 and how can we inspire and engage the millennials of the world to stand up, use their voice, and disrupt the system to demand change. #2030NOW challenged people to deeply reflect and act upon critical issues – such as climate change, women and girls empowerment, gender and racial equality, eradication of poverty, improving maternal and child health, and promoting peace – that are threatening to destroy the world we want to have by 2030. It was a powerful summit reminding us that as we are approaching the end of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) how are we going to continue to pressure our global leaders to be held accountable for and make positive change. How we going to ensure that the world in 2030 is the world we want to have.
So where do we want to be in 2030? What kind of world do we want to live in? Here are some of the most powerful conversations and quotes from #2030 that inspire us to act.
“Behind each of the 50 million people displaced, there is a human story.” #2030NOW @Refugees Chief Antonio Guterres
“A Refuge is not a number. Today there are more than 50 million, the highest number in history. It is easy to get numb with the numbers”. @Refugees Chief Antonio Guterres
“Most important thing we can do is show tolerance. Diversity is a richness not a problem. All societies are much better with different perspectives and cultures. We need to look into movement of people as a positive thing in society.” @Refugees Chief Antonio Guterres
“There has been a renewed effort to stifle education here and around world”. #2030NOW @mroth78
“Education can be threatening when it produces empowerment. It threatens the status quo”. @mroth78
“Why are people so afraid of education? Because it is through education that we can change the world” @mroth78
“We don’t go to college to learn to do well on test. We should go to college to set our hearts aflame!” @mroth78
“Gender discrimination is the most tolerated violation of rights on earth today.” – @phumzileunwomen #2030NOW
“Achieving social good means that the poor must no longer face these challenges in isolation” – Former President Jimmy Carter #2030NOW
“I took the journey to the darkest parts of human nature. Message is that it is possible to be in a place where you can reconcile and have peace in the world”. #BeyondRightandWrong.com
“If you take the hard numbers, then science is clearly telling us that we’re running out of time.” – Achim Steiner #climatechange #2030NOW
“Women with a laptop are more powerful than men with a gun.” @WorldPulse #2030NOW
“You don’t judge a society by how you treat the rich. You judge a society
by how you treat the poor and the condemned.” #2030Now #WeAreHere
“For 1st time in history 1 in 3 black men born in America today is projected to be incarcerated at some point in his life” #WeAreHere #2030NOW
“Social media isn’t just clicking when you like something, it’s contesting when you don’t”. #2030now .@stengel
“The narrowing of freedom of speech is happening all over the world.”
“I want to make incredible change for women and girls in my lifetime, but it’s going to take all of us to do it.” – MelindaGates #2030Now
“At this rate, by 2030 we could virtually eliminate extreme poverty, needless child death and offer everyone a shot at a good, dignified life that doesn’t jeopardize future generations. In 2030 we could live in one of two worlds. Which do we want? Our action in 2015 decides 2030”. – Jamie Drummond, Co-Founder of ONE.org
Some of the most inspiring moments that touched my soul
Singer Alicia Keys speech and presentation where she launched her movement and charity #WeAreHere. Alicia Keys thought about why we are here and what kind of world we want for our future. Her inspiring speech ended with a live performance of “We Are Here” and brought tears to my eyes.
Below is Alicia Keys unbelievably moving speech about the “We Are Here” Movement. Her speech is 35 minutes long but it is like a TED Talk and highly inspiring and worth your time to watch.
Alicia’s live presentation at the Summit:
Listening to Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates is one of the most amazing philanthropists of all time and hearing her speak about her passion and commitment to changing the world was amazing.
Meeting Adepeju Jaiyeoba, a young Nigerian activist and human rights attorney who decided to change the lives of women and children in her country by creating a safe birth kit after her friend died during childbirth. Per Adepeju, every woman in Nigeria knows a woman who has died during childbirth. When a woman survives childbirth, she celebrates. When her child survives his or her first year, there is hope. Over lunch, she had all of us crying as we could feel her pain and sadness.
The overall theme that by 2030 we can decide the world we want to live in. That by empowering the youth who by 2030 will make up over half the world’s population by 2030 will inspire the next generation to lead.
It is important to ask yourself why you are here and what world you would like to see by 2030.
One like this?
Or one like this?
It is up to us.