Social Good Summit 2013 gets underway

Sep 23, 2013

Panelists during the Social Good Summit in New York. (Photo: Dylan Lowthian/UNDP)

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark kick starts global conversation on technology, new media and the future of development

New York — The Social Good Summit 2013 opened yesterday with the theme #2030NOW — how will the world look in 2030 and how can we shape it to improve the lives of those most in need?

More than 1,000 people and 300 journalists and bloggers packed in to New York's 92Y for the opening session of the three-day summit. The capacity crowd heard presentations and panel discussions from a host of top UN officials including Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan, as well as World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

Helen Clark, headlining the Summit, told the packed auditorium that there was a dramatic need for urgent investment for the poorest of the poor.

"How can we think of a better world when a significant portion of the population area secluded from the gains of development?” she said.

In a second panel discussion on the democratization of giving, Helen Clark announced UNDP’s support of Giving Tuesday, a campaign launched last year in the United States of America to encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations to give back during the holiday season.

“UNDP’s presence on the ground in 177 countries and territories will help make ‘Giving Tuesday’ a truly global initiative,” Helen Clark said.
Sustainable energy for all

UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan also participated in a panel on sustainable energy.  During the panel, Grynspan introduced ‘Soccket’ a football that generates electricity when kicked around. Soccket intends to highlight the need for innovative solutions to increase access to energy, especially to those in hard to reach areas.    

Spreading the word through meetups

Not only did the Summit begin in New York, meetups organized by UNDP, brought in communities from around the world into the global conversation, giving everyone a seat at the summit no matter where they are, so they too can contribute to the #2030 discussion.
Meetups were already held in Iraq, Morocco and El Salvador and will continue in countries as diverse and far-flung as Afghanistan, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.  It is expected that over 60 countries will participate in the meetups.  
With two more days to go, the Social Good Summit is proving to become the largest conversation in the world, calling for new innovative ideas to help improve the lives of those in need.

A slideshow of photos of the event is available here, and click here to see more about the Social Good Summit.

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