Is Society Doomed if We Don’t Meet the UN MDGs? | npENGAGE

Is Society Doomed if We Don’t Meet the UN MDGs?

By on Nov 5, 2010


That’s what Ted Turner thinks. And, he’s a pretty smart dude. Speaking to Pete Cashmore at the Mashable & 92Y Social Good Summit earlier this week, he said that if we don’t do something immediately, we’re doomed. That is why he donated $1 billion to United Nations (UN) causes and continues to champion the case for radical change now.

Mashable Social GoodSo, what exactly are the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? In September 2000, 189 world leaders met at the United Nations and promised to cut the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in half by 2015. With less than five years to go until the deadline, the leaders convened this week at the United Nations’ New York headquarters to share and accelerate progress towards meeting the eight MGD goals (or as Mashable refers to them as: “the world’s to-do list.”)

The eight MDG goals include:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop global partnership for development

Mashable and the 92Y held a Social Good Summit featuring some of the leading organizations using social media and technology for social good on Monday and continued the week with the UN Week Digital Media Lounge, featuring discussions and presentations by some of the leaders and INGOs delivering on the goals around the world to an audience of 500 bloggers and members of the press. The goal? To raise awareness of the issues and what can be done about them.

When you look at the overarching goal of cutting the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by half when the global population is perpetually rising, it is quite an ambitious goal. Then, when you examine the MDG roadmap set in place to get there, it is even more daunting. However, as Dr. Lisa Masterson, co-host of “The Doctors” pointed out, if each and every one of us could align our philanthropic efforts and focus on one of the eight goals, they would become much more achievable.

An OBGyn, Masterson supports maternal health and shared the story of how her organization, Maternal Fetal Care International is fighting to achieve that goal. Another speaker that decided to do his part is CNN Hero Doc Hendley, who Skyped in from Port-Au-Prince where he was working. A former bartender, Hendley founded the organization Wine to Water, and has since dug wells and provided filtration systems to provide clean drinking water to people around the world. He credits the real-time capabilities of social media in sharing Wine to Water’s mission with the world.

Inspirational stories were shared all day from organizations like (RED); Ready, Set, Bag!; and Kiva. Even some celebrities, including Geena Davis, Edward Norton, and Craig David, showed up to share how they are doing their part. Watch video archives of the event here.

Here is everything you need to know about the MDGs, including how to take action.

How are you and your organization supporting the UN Millennium Development Goals? What part will social media play in helping you further your efforts?


Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *