New York – The Social Good Summit today celebrated a decade of activism on the eve of this week’s United Nations General Assembly, focusing on the catastrophic threat of climate change.
The 10th annual Social Good Summit brought out big names in a series of conversations in front of a packed audience at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Panelists included Christiana Figueres, Founding Partner, Global Optimism, and Former Executive Secretary, UN Climate Convention; Jonathan Safran Foer, author of We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast; Zoleka Mandela, Child Health Initiative Global Ambassador; Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International; and Alexandria Villaseñor, 14-year-old Climate Striker and Founder, Earth Uprising International.
With the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) under way, the Social Good Summit kicked off the week with a day-long series of conversations, most focused on the challenges of climate change – and its potential solutions.
“Youth leaders are rightfully impatient for leadership on climate change and are taking charge of their own future,” said Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “This is our collective moment in history to disrupt the status quo, and the Social Good Summit is just the kind of platform young people need to have their voices heard loud and clear. Let’s follow their lead, join forces, and take action today to protect our planet for generations to come.”
The summit featured the appointment Olafur Eliasson, critically acclaimed Icelandic/Danish artist and climate activist, as UNDP’s newest Goodwill Ambassador.
“Life on Earth is about co-existence - among people, non-human animals, ecosystems, and the environment. Co-existence is beautiful and generative, chaotic and challenging. The fact is, we’re in it together. That’s why we all have to take the climate emergency seriously. To respond adequately to the crisis, we - individuals, institutions, businesses, and governments - must trust the science and bring together our knowledge, creativity, and energy,” Eliasson said.
Another highlight was Adam Met, from the band AJR, introducing his new non-profit Sustainable Partners, Inc – which is working to bridge relationships between the entertainment space, corporate partners, and sustainability initiatives.
“Partnerships are vital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and they are moving in a creative direction. All the SDGs are equally important and interconnected, and because of that we are focusing on partnerships, public and private, to achieve all the goals,” Met said.
Also featured was The Lion’s Share, an innovative fund that asks advertisers to contribute to wildlife conservation and biodiversity each time they feature an animal in a commercial. Jean-Sébastien Decaux, chief executive of JCDecaux, Amy Dickman, founder of the Ruaha Carnivore Project, and David Droga, Chairman of Droga 5, celebrated the first year of The Lion’s Share Fund and discussed the future of biodiversity.
The event closed with a resounding performance by the South African pop singer Bonj.
The Social Good Summit is a part of Global Goals Week 2019, a collective effort to maximize the value of events and activities during the opening of the 74th UNGA. It focuses on driving progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals. The Social Good Summit is supported by numerous sponsors this year, including Pfizer, which shares a commitment to advancing progress toward achievement of the Global Goals.