Celebrities, thought leaders, ambassadors, entrepreneurs and heroes converged at the Social Good Summit, which was held September 22-24th, 2012, to discuss how social media and technology can be leveraged for the greater good. Although the main event was at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, it was also hosted in several major cities around world, translated into 7 UN languages, streamed live at Mashable, with 295 WW meet-ups, and it’s hashtag #SGSGlobal trended on a global scale.
Confidence in our ability to solve some of the world’s most challenging social problems was conveyed based on already significant progress against the millennium development goals.
In the business of saving the world, mobile technology is key. 70% of the world’s current 5 billion mobile subscribers are in the developing world where GSM phones are $15 dollars and service is low cost. Medicmobile.org is helping community health workers have a greater impact through SIM Apps and SMS technology. The Red Cross and Ushahidi are using mobile phones to organize disaster relief, while therules.org takes on fight poverty. Half the Sky Movement is improving the lives of women and girls worldwide through social gaming on mobile and Facebook.
While Gapminder’s Hans Rosling trends indicate infant mortality rates could be significantly reduced within our lifetime, it was the performance of 8-year-old JD Malkin that most moved the audience to be optimistic – his live cover of OneRepublic’s Feel Again was set to the heartbeats of children as recorded by health workers on mobile phones. Every Beat Matters is Save the Children’s campaign to eliminate preventable child deaths by empowering front line health workers. JD has become a YouTube sensation and a Youth Ambassador for Save the Children. Engaging the socially wired millennial generation is part of the solution.
Bottom line: Technology cannot save the world on its own, but it is a tool, which has made human effort exponentially more effective in addressing the world’s most urgent problems.
Social Good Summit
92nd Street Y
September 22-24th, 2012
1395 Lexington Avenue
New York – Manhattan