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Around the world, the Social Good Summit celebrates the Global Goals

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Flag raisingThe 2015 Social Good Summit kicks off in Beijing with a flag-raising ceremony. Photo: UNDP China

Last week, the 100th UNDP country office confirmed participation in the 2015 Social Good Summit that will take place between the 25th and the 28th of September.

From Gaza to Costa Rica, Kabul to Nairobi, and Tehran to Pyongyang, UNDP and UN country teams will be holding local events, all connecting together in the world’s largest conversation about the largest issues facing us over the next 15 years.

The Social Good Summit (SGS) began its journey six years ago. A group of like-minded friends at the United Nations Foundation, Mashable and the 92Y decided that while the UN General Assembly holds a closed door meeting at UN Headquarters, they themselves would have a conference were everyone could be invited and have a seat at the table.

I was privileged to be invited to join this initial conversation and immediately understood the immense power of this platform. Here was a committed community that could share knowledge, experiences, and the strong belief that together we could make the world a little better. But it lacked an international reach and flavor – to touch on the world’s problems, you need to include the world and have that reflected in the summit. And that is exactly what UNDP could provide.

In 2012, UNDP joined the summit partnership and with the amazing support of 32 country offices, the SGS went global. With local events ranging from a prime time TV show in Bhutan to a small event in Damascus in the midst of a civil war, the Social Good Summit now truly felt like a place where everyone across the world was welcome to join, in many cases bridging the digital divide.

The next year brought 47 UNDP offices joining, then 72, and now this year we have over 100 live events.

And 2015 is no ordinary year. This year’s SGS will be celebrating and helping to launch the new Sustainable Development Agenda – the Global Goals. In every location around the globe, flag raising ceremonies will be held to mark the adoption of the goals and in-depth discussions will highlight the changes and opportunities that lie ahead.

Thanks to the commitment and hard work of UNDP colleagues across the globe, the events promise to be a unique and inspiring experience. In Liberia, the SGS will be hosted by Dr. Fallah, whose work on community outreach helped put a stop to the Ebola epidemic. Award-winning photographer and activist Laila Ghanda will join the Morocco event. In Nairobi, the SGS flagship Africa event, there will be a program bursting with celebrities and influencers from the across the continent.

Here in New York City, on the stage at the 92Y, the program will be extra special this year. A celebration of the Global Goals will kick of the Summit with 17 celebrities each reading a goal, including filmmaker and Project Everyone founder Richard Curtis, former child soldier and author Ishmael Beah, singer and activist Victoria Beckham, politician and humanitarian Graça Machel, and many more. This will be followed by star-studded two days with much of the conversation focusing on the SDGs.

We have come a long way in the past six years. From an event inspired by a group of friends to summit spanning the length and breathe of the globe. More than 100,000 people are expected to watch the live stream from all the events and more 100 million to engage with the #2030Now hashtag.

I can’t wait to see you there. 

Google map of events and ticket sales

Agenda 2030 Sustainable development Development Effectiveness