3 Themes from Day 1 of the Social Good Summit

Sep 19

Social Good Summit logo

I am very excited to be attending the Social Good Summit at the 92nd Street Y. Day One of the Summit–which examines the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world–focused on the following themes:

  1. To address core problems facing the globe, change must happen at the individual, community, policy and corporate levels.
  2. Steps taken now that result in positive change will ensure our children and grandchildren live better lives.
  3. We cannot see lasting change here in the U.S. unless we all work together to help address issues affecting developing countries around the globe. The U.S. has an obligation to lead the charge; this is no different from how we helped Europe and Japan rebuild after WWII.


Against these themes, experts, thought leaders and entrepreneurs shared the specific ways we can make a difference and reach our Sustainable Development Goals, which in total, are a fundamental promise to save and protect lives around the globe. Here are some highlights:

Addressing Gender Equality Has a Positive Impact on Developing Nations

Societies benefit when women who have access to education, health care and food. However, in order to truly tackle gender equality issues, we must do several things:

  • Ensure there are more women in top government leadership positions. Said UNDP Helen Clark and Former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda: “Women in leadership have to be tougher. We need to roll out the carpet ourselves and kick down the door. And when you get to the top, drop the ladder down for others to follow.”
  • UNF’s Emily Courey spoke about the need to improve access to better data that provides a more complete picture of issues affecting women in developing countries.
  • Jean Case, founder of the Case Foundation, encouraged investment by VCs to fund female entrepreneurs to tackle the most daunting challenges around gender inequality.


Using Technology for the Sake of Humanity

In order to truly seed innovation at a rapid pace, film producer and entrepreneur Mick Ebeling says we must embark on a “Revolution against the absurd.” That means following this simple rule: “Elect to commit and then figure it out.”

In other words, say “yes” to tackling an issue even before you have a solution. That philosophy has already resulted in major breakthroughs. Just recently, Mick lead the creation of an eye writer for an ALS patient who was completely paralyzed and created a 3-D prosthetic for a young boy in Sudan who lost both his arms in a bombing.

Teddy Goff, Chief Digital Strategist for Hillary Clinton, spoke of the importance of storytelling through video. Video shared via social media reveals injustices. The downside: the rapid pace of profiling injustices fuels feelings of slowness to address society’s greatest problems.

Launching behavior change programs that spark a global movement can turn the tide around key issues affecting developing nations, including climate change and antibiotic resistance.

We heard the head of the GAVI Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, discuss how fighting anti-microbial resistance (aka the emergence of super bugs) – requires the collaboration of policy makers, people, pharmaceutical companies and physicians on the proper use of antibiotics to treat infections. Otherwise bugs will continue “to have sex” at a crazy pace.

According to Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for El Nino and Climate, we need a global movement not for climate change, but for climate justice. This means elevating climate change as a social issue because it must occur in a way where land rights are respected and gender equality is ensured.

More to come! On today’s agenda Vice President Joe Biden, Alec Baldwin and Jane Goodall.


This entry was posted on Monday, September 19th, 2016 at 1:50 pm and is filed under Behavior Change, Best Practices, Social Marketing, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “3 Themes from Day 1 of the Social Good Summit”

  1. Junia Geisler says:

    Great quote from Joyce Banda! Looking forward to hearing about today’s speakers.