I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Social Good Summit (Sept 22-24th); unfortunately I could not utilize my pass until the third and final day, but I caught the closing and was immediately impressed with the energy and determination that went into it.
This was the first year in which the summit organizers Mashable and the UN Foundation, joined by co-sponsors Ericsson, the Gates Foundation, the UNDP and the 92st Y, had tried to also produce simultaneous meet ups hosted in 30 other countries. The meet ups, loosely titled The Global Conversation, accompanied the one in New York and discussed the same or similar topics with local relevance.
The global meet ups only helped illustrate and in a sense materialize the correlation between innovative digital tools and global development. I am only briefly mentioning some of the panelists I witnessed, as most of them just reiterated different aspects of how digital social involvement affects societal engagement processes. Goodwill ambassadors were also present at hand to talk about their experiences and development statistics. A big portion of the sessions also served to promote different people’s causes or newest project/ book/ etc. rather than present a useful insight. A downside of the Social Good conference is that the presentations are rather short and quite staged and feature no Q & A sessions, which hinders the interactivity embedded in the concept of ‘social’.
The information session “Trends in Child Mortality” by Dr. Hans Rosling showed how data visualization can make us more involved with the discrepancies we face in early child development.
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, didn’t come here to talk about open source and the support we should lend to it, but to promote the Global Fund’s work and give this rather streamlined cause a helping hand.
To continue following the Global Conversation the summit has sparked and for recaps of all the global meetups give their Tumblr a follow.