The 2018 Social Good Summit once again reminded all of us how much there is to accomplish by 2030 while also giving us the hope that it’s possible. Rapper and activist Sonita Alizadeh, an Afghan refugee who narrowly escaped being a child bride, opened the Summit with the debut of her new song “Brave & Bold,” which certainly set the stage for the rest of the day. From passionate celebrities using their platforms to advance important causes to kids standing up and changing the world through YouTube, this year’s lineup of speakers were as varied as they were inspirational.
Key themes this year were the power of technology innovations to change the world (along with the need to ensure equal access to technology), the importance of gender equality to achieve all the SDGs, and how one individual can make a big difference by raising their voice, no matter their age.
The number of important statements uttered over the seven hours could fill pages up countless pages, but here are ten quotes that struck me as particularly important:
- Tech is about lateral thinking and the power of an idea that just might change the world. – Felicity McVay, Creatable Partnerships
- We must collaborate if we are to achieve the world we want to see by 2030. – Alexandria Lafsi, Head of Operations & Co-Founder, New Story
- To those who are saying young people are the leaders of tomorrow, this is the proof that we are the leaders of today – Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, introducing the new class of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals
- Find something in the world you want to go change, and then change it. – Lilly Singh, Creator, Comedian, & UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
- The SDGs are impacting our everyday lives, and we can impact them back. – Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner for International Affairs, Mayor’s Office for the City of New York
- Technology is about empowering people, putting the tools into people’s hands. – Pete Cashmore, Founder, Mashable
- When there isn’t a spot at the table for you to pull up a chair, stand on the table with a megaphone. – Mari Copeny, Founder of #DearFlintKids, Women’s March Ambassador
- We need to show girls around the world that technology is for them. We know what mobile technology can do, but what can YOU do to make sure that girls around the world are benefiting as well? – Zuriel Oduwole, Filmmaker & Girl Education Advocate
- We have reached the pinnacle of the collision of our awareness of our place in the world with technology that enables us to do something about it. – Amber Heard, Actress, Activist, and Human Rights Champion, UN Human Rights
- There is absolutely no way we can do anything in our world without peace and security. And there is absolutely no way we can have peace and security without partnership with women. – Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Founder of the Leymah Gbowee Foundation Africa, SDG Advocate
If you missed the Social Good Summit, you can still watch the recording and hear from all the amazing panelists about issues impacting our world and what we can do to solve them: https://mashable.com/sgs-livestream/. Be sure to check out the last session to learn how to say “Social Good Summit – #2030NOW” in sign language!
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