New Zealand PM joins the annual gathering of innovators, activists, influencers and grass-roots advocates to expand the conversation of #2030Now

New York, 23 September - The 9th annual Social Good Summit brought out big names in a day-long series of conversations in front of a packed audience at the 92nd Street Y in New York.

This year’s panelists included New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern; author and UN Development Programme Advocate, Padma Lakshmi; actor and comedian, Nick Kroll; ballerina and women’s empowerment advocate, Ingrid Silva, and Nobel Peace Prize and Liberian peace activist, Leymah Gbowee, among many others.

With the 73rd United Nations General Assembly officially underway, the Social Good Summit kicked off the week with a day-long series of conversations bringing bright ideas to a wider audience.

The theme of this year’s United Nations General Assembly is to make the UN relevant to all people, united all in a shared responsibility towards peace, equity and sustainable societies. That responsibility, according to UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, does not belong to only those within the UN or governments, but to everyone. 

“The Social Good Summit brings the United Nations, and all of the global issues we tackle, to the public where everyone can access them and share in finding solutions,” Steiner said. “This gathering provides a tremendous opportunity to spread the message of Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to a larger audience, and to hear inspiring stories from a diverse group of extraordinary individuals about their work.”

Hosted by UNDP, Mashable, The UN Foundation and the 92Y, the Summit opened with a rousing performance by Afghani rapper, Sonita Alizadeh.

Under the banner of the SDGs call to leave no one behind, speaker Padma Lakshmi reminded the audience that we are connected, and this shared responsibility extends past our fences and our borders.   

“If your child has a better education in Brazil, that’s good for my child in the United States because we’re all connected. So sooner or later, even if it’s not in your backyard, it’s going to be in your water, it’s going to be in your air, and it’s going to be in your laws. So I better be concerned about your child in Brazil because it is like my child. That child is my child in a way,” she said during a panel on how to overcome inequality and discrimination.  

The connection and responsibility to change the world by 2030 extends beyond people, to the environment and animals.

The Lion’s Share, an innovative fund created by UNDP and founding partners Mars Incorporated and FINCH, was introduced with a video message from Sir David Attenborough, calling on businesses to help achieve the SDGs.

The private sector, according to Mars Incorporated, must look at its footprint and recognize its shared responsibility to contribute to global development, particularly with preserving the delicate biodiversity of the planet.

“As a company, we have a responsibility to take the steps toward the world we want to see tomorrow,” said Andy Pharoah, Mars Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Strategic Initiatives & Sustainability. “A new business model is emerging, and demands our responsibility. Our success in 2030 will be determined by decisions we make today.”

The Summit unites a lively community of global citizens and progressive thought leaders around a common theme: #2030NOW. A dynamic exploration of the world we want to live in by 2030, the Social Good Summit did focus on how we can unlock technology’s potential to make the world a better place.

It was live-streamed and translated into seven languages. 

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