Social Good Summit Sparks Record-Setting Global Conversation on the Power of Technology and Social Media to Solve the World’s Greatest Challenges

Thousands help summit span the globe – from hubs in New York, Nairobi and Beijing with meet ups in nearly 300 cities from Madrid to Mogadishu.

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Translators deliver the conversation in seven languages at once. (Gary He/Insider Images for United Nations Foundation)

We are living at a moment when anyone can be a diplomat. All you have to do is hit send. – Video message from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 27, 2012

This year’s Social Good Summit sparked a record-setting global conversation on using social media and technology for good. The summit united people participating online and in-person in nearly 300 cities, including New York, Beijing, and Nairobi, around one goal: unlocking the potential of social media and technology to make the world a better place. The gathering took place as world leaders gathered to kick-off the UN General Assembly, opening the dialogue about world issues and challenges to a global constituency. According to RecordSetter, on Monday, September 24th, 2012, the Social Good Summit set the record for the largest global conversation on one topic to take place in a single day.

Highlights of the summit’s reach are below.

  • Nearly 300 cities across the world gathered for meet ups (ranging in size from small groups to gatherings of hundreds) to discuss and share ways that new technology and social media can tackle problems in individual communities.
  • The Twitter hashtag #SGSGlobal trended locally, nationally, and globally during the course of the summit and has been used over 60,000 times to date.
  • The livestream of the summit was translated in real-time in seven languages including all six official UN languages, making the proceedings available to people around the world, free of charge via the internet.
  • The Social Good Summit content has been viewed in more than 150 countries sparking conversations in more than 50 different languages.

The summit, hosted by Mashable, 92nd Street Y, the United Nations Foundation, Ericsson, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Development Programme, is held annually during UN Week to open up the dialogue on global issues to anyone, anywhere. From using mobile phones for development to women leading the digital world and social movements, to organizing a new constituency of global advocates on international issues, a broad range of topics were covered at the summit.

This year’s event invited more people than ever before into the dialogue. Around the world, people shared ideas on how technology is helping solve problems in their communities. On Monday, September 24th people gathered in Beijing and Nairobi for local Social Good Summits and in a three-day span people gathered in nearly 300 cities from countries including Bhutan, Albania, Egypt, Japan, Kosovo, Morocco, Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tunisia to join the global conversation. Using the unprecedented reach of the Internet, people in even the hardest to reach parts of the world could have their voices heard and had a seat at the table. Major takeaways and themes from around the world continue to unfold and are being curated through The Global Conversation, a new platform to engage the Social Good Summit community going forward: http://theglobalconversation.tumblr.com/.

The speakers at this year's Social Good Summit gathering in New York highlighted the diversity needed to tackle the world’s greatest challenges, from youth to artists to government leaders. Over 2000 people were part of a non-stop line-up during three packed days of conversations, speeches, panels, and interactive sessions. Speakers included U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, CEO and Founder of Mashable Pete Cashmore, Ambassador Susan Rice, Actor Forest Whitaker, Actress Maria Bello, Executive Director of the 92Y Sol Adler, former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Brundtland, President and CEO of Ericsson Hans Vestberg, Actress Mira Sorvino, President of the United Nations Foundation Senator Timothy E. Wirth, Olympian Allyson Felix, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark, Executive Director of UNICEF Tony Lake, and Singer-Songwriter Angelique Kidjo. The summit also included special video messages from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda Gates, and former U.S. Vice President and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore.

The full agenda and roster of speakers can be found here. Below are some highlights of quotes and quotes from Twitter during the summit.

  • “We are living at a moment when anyone can be a diplomat. All you have to do is hit send.” – Video message from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • “Human creativity has no limit.” – Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
  • “Investing in girls and women isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.” – Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver
  • “We need to be active with our voices, not just reactionary.” – TMS “Teddy” Ruge, Co-Founder, Project Diaspora
  • “Social change is about connecting with networks and connecting them with on-the-ground change.” – Beth Kanter, Author
  • “You have to create your own job, and create your job not only to make money but to address social issues.” – Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
  • “The Internet is allowing for us to really experience people in some of the most distant places in the world — as other people just like us. So get to know people, seek out bloggers from a country you’re kind of curious about. It’s about building empathy, and breaking through to the point of recognizing people as people.” – Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia.org

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About Mashable: Mashable is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable’s 20 million unique visitors and 6 million social media followers have become one of the most engaged online news communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

About 92nd Street Y: 92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. Through the breadth and depth of 92Y's extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y's New York City venues each year, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives.

About the United Nations Foundation: The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals.

About Ericsson: Ericsson is the world's leading provider of communications technology and services. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world. Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries. Today more than 40 percent of the world's mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and we support customers' networks servicing more than 2.5 billion subscribers. We operate in 180 countries and employ more than 100,000 people. Founded in 1876, Ericsson is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2011 the company had revenues of SEK 226,9 billion(USD 35.0 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ, New York stock exchanges.

About UNDP: The UN Development Programme partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.