NEW YORK – Fifty blocks north of United Nations headquarters where the General Assembly convenes this week, a whole other cadre of development practitioners were excitedly sharing their own plans for ending poverty, empowering women and generating world peace and understanding at the Social Good Summit.
Almost every seat was filled in the auditorium of the 92nd Street Y, where world leaders, entrepreneurs, celebrities, philanthropists, dignitaries, bloggers, inventors and social media enthusiasts shared platforms, ideas and experiences. And almost every seat glowed with the screens of cell phones, tablets and laptops, as participants used social media platforms to amplify the messages.
Satellite meetings in Beijing and Nairobi were also livestreaming the event, and encouraging more people from more places to join in the global conversation.
Much of it hinged on ways to, in the words of one panelist, “shorten the distance between problems and solutions.” Examples of this – from Masai warriors using mobile technology to find water to earthquake survivors Haiti finding help – were plentiful.
In his panel on Youth Collective action, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin talked about the ways in which his organization’s 7 Billion Actions campaign enlisted young people in conversations about how demographic trends change the world, and how to improve it.
He also mentioned the possibilities for social media to amplify the message that child marriage is “totally unacceptable” in today's world. He urged young people use the occasion of the upcoming Day of the Girl Child to help put an end to the discrimination and human rights violations that child marriage represents.
Other panelists in the summit, which was moderated by Mashable CEO Sharon Feder, included Brooke Loughrin, the US youth observer to the United Nations, and Jeff Martin, Co-Founder and CEO of Tribal Brands and mPowering.