Happy Tuesday, Readers! The United Nations headquarters in New York hosted the 2016 Social Good Summit, a two-day conference held annually during UN General Assembly week. This year’s attendees from around the world pondered the question, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” The summit united global leaders under #2030NOW and revolved around applying technological solutions to maladies of today. Topics on the agenda included analyzing the refugee crisis, combating climate change, forefronting women’s health, and empowering youth.
In case you missed this new development, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now have their own mobile app to drive action. The platform reinforces the initial goal requirements and recaps the innovative approaches to tackling these goals discussed during the forum. Major highlights?
1. Everyone can contribute to achieving the SDGs.
The Social Good Summit brought together the most influential politicians, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and innovators alike. From conversations with UN Ambassador Samantha Power to reflections shared by former child-soldier and musician Emmanuel Jal, presenters urged the importance and true difference that individuals in crossing off the bullet points underlined by each of the 17 goals. Join the campaign and tell everyone!
2. Young individuals are proving to be the force driving the SDGs in the right direction.
Youth are both strong in numbers and influential in ensuring that the SDGs are carried through to completion. The UN Secretary General’s envoy on youth Ahmad Alhendawi announced the first batch of young leaders selected to charge these goals. After all, the younger generation hold the key to cultivating a sustainable future.
3. How we use technology directly determines if we can achieve these goals.
Technology must be used to “educate, inspire and elicit” tangible change. It is essential to use data as evidence to back action and strategize successful plans. Technologies used to monitor and change and reinforce democracy, liked DemTools and the SDGs app, are valuable tools that are increasingly being used, especially among millennials. The Internet sparks conversation and provides platforms for dialogues to take place, while technological tools empower users with the ability to catalyze or carry through positive change.
4. Refugees will receive aid from global leaders (emphasis on President Obama).
Filippo Grandi from the UN High Commission for Refugees and Save the Children's Carolyn Miles led the discussion and concluded that humanitarian resources cannot be the sole solution in aiding refugees - addressing the crisis requires long-term solutions that extend past the end of the war in Syria. Ravi Gurumurthy, Vice-President of Strategy and Innovation at the International Rescue Committee stated, “We need a spirit of risk-taking and daring to solve the global refugee crisis.” It can be argued that such audacity must be applied to each and every step taken in realizing all 17 SDGs.