Social Good Summit in NYC goes global

21 Sep 2012

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Co-host UNDP brings global reach by expanding summit to Somalia, Bangladesh, Syria and South Sudan

New York
—The United  Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is partnering with Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, the New York City-based community and cultural center 92Y, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ericsson for the Social Good Summit – a series of global online and in-person gatherings of thousands of citizens, activists, technologists, and celebrities. Each of the events will focus on bringing new voices to the discussion of how new media and technology can play a role in solving the world's most pressing problems.

The Social Good Summit in the U.S. will be taking place in New York City September 22nd to 24th at the 92Y, just ahead of the opening of the General Debate of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, where world leaders will convene to tackle major global issues.

UNDP is working with its partners to host the Summit’s first ever Global Conversation in NYC, Beijing, and Nairobi. Citizens and leaders in all three cities will be engaging in a real time debate in person and via livestream on how new media and technology can help generate solutions for the future. The Conversation is scheduled to take place on Monday, 24 September 2:00 am ET in Beijing, 9:00a ET in Nairobi, and kicks off in New York at 11:00am ET, with remarks by US Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. 

Throughout the weekend, there will be meetups taking place in over half the countries in the world.  UNDP country offices will be hosting around 45 of the meetups, in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uzbekistan.  Solutions to the question- how can new media tools play a role in the development of societies- will be shared via social media with the entire Social Good network and will mark the start of an ongoing conversation between leaders and citizens around the world on how technology can bring about positive change. 

Meetups in Somalia, Rwanda, Uzbekistan, and Bangladesh will all be livestreamed on Monday.

The historic event in Mogadishu will feature discussions on everything from how new technology bring sustainable development to how youth entrepreneurship in the country be supported.  Speakers range from UN officials to Somali entrepreneurs and journalists.

Highlights include (map of all UN locations here-on.undp.org/dB3q4):

  • Syria: Gathering of UN staff, students, and journalists that will be tuning into the Global Conversation in Nairobi and NYC and discussing implications for Syria
  • South Sudan: radio producers, performers, representatives from Community Security and Arms Control, and UNDP will discuss media, security, and illiteracy.
  • Bangladesh: over 150 participants will be connected around the country via live video conference to discuss delivering public services through new media and technology.
  • Myanmar: discussion featuring chair of Myanmar Computer Federation, UNDP Country Director, and local NGOs.
  • Somalia: event will be livestreamed, Tweet speakers include local officials, activists, young entrepreneurs, #SGSMogadishu

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark will be opening the first panel for the summit “The World in 2014: The Millennium Development Goals”, on 22 September.

Other key speakers include: 

  • Forest Whitaker, Artist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
  • Nicholas Kristof, NY Times Columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Deepak Chopra, NY Times bestselling Author and Founder, The Chopra Foundation
  • Pete Cashmore, Found and CEO, Mashable
  • Ramy Raoof, Egyptian blogger and activist

With 80 percent of the world’s more than 6 billion mobile subscribers living in the developing world, UNDP has made integrating communication technologies into development initiatives a key element of its work.

In March 2012, UNDP worked with the government of Haiti to enable Haitian households to receive cash installments on their mobile phones to support post disaster reconstruction.  More than 2,000 mobile transfers were sent to 1,000 low incoming families to support housing reconstruction. 

Contact Information

For more information about the Summit, please visit the UNDP Website: on.undp.org/dB3kf

Boaz Paldi, boaz.paldi@undp.org, Tel.: +1 212 906 6801