NOTE: This guest post was written by Nicole Economu. Nicole is an undergraduate student studying Diplomacy and International Relations, Economics, and Russian. She interned this summer with The Tinker Institute on International Law and Organizations, and is currently an External Affairs Assistant for the School of Diplomacy. Nicole spent last semester studying in Prague and traveling Europe, which she wishes she can do all the time, while saving the world. Nicole is also a member of the women’s club soccer team and Alpha Omicron Pi.
The fifth annual Social Good Summit at 92Y, hosted by the United Nations Foundation and Mashable, took place on September 27th and 28th, uptown from the UN where world leaders came together to adopt the new Sustainable Development Goals. These two days were filled with inspirational stories and calls to action. Here are my top 10 most memorable and inspiring moments from the Social Good Summit. Trust me—it was difficult to pick only ten!
- “Technology gives space to those before who did not count. It has opened opportunity for people wherever they are to have the possibility to make their voice heard. Not only to be heard but to count.”– Graca Machel, The Tipping Point for Human Rights
- “You need to use your voice, you need to convey messages and inspiration to others. But that means it has to come from your heart and your own mind.You can never be a good leader, if what you say and do is not part of your true personality. You know today many people don’t believe in politicians, because they are not always convinced in what I just said. And that’s very unfortunate and very dangerous in a world that depends on its leaders, its leaders in civil society, its leaders in the teaching profession, leaders at university, and certainly leaders of government. We need leadership at every level and every place. And it has to truly be leaders that are conveying a common cause working on behalf of others. I mean why would you be elected to be a part of your country’s way of making decisions and doing the right thing unless you are doing it on behalf of your own people.”- Dr. Gro Brundtland, The Tipping Point for Human Rights
- “I’m an incest survivor. I’m a rape survivor. I’m a sexual assault survivor. I’m a survivor of criminal abandonment and neglect. When I take radical responsibility for myself and my own growth, that’s what I’m able to bring to the world. I find that the things that irk me the most and trouble me the most, that is where my light will shine most brightly.”– Ashley Judd, Planning Her Own Path
- “We had a game last year where Chelsea, there was 1.7 million people watching on tv… If 10% of those fans actually switched to clean energy, it would be equivalent to taking 50,000 cars off the road. Going back to those 600 million Liverpool fans,if 10% of them switched to clean energy, it would be the equivalent to taking the UK off of the global emissions Map.”– Naill Dunne, 100% Sport
- “This year…everybody wants to discuss refugees. Everybody wants to have me in meetings to discuss refugees. And let me be very frank, the reason is very simple. For the first time, refugees came massively into the developed world. With refugees only going into the developing world there was less interest. But for the first time, they came in big numbers into Europe. So then it became a big issue everywhere.”– Antonio Guterres, The Route to Resettlement
- “Put yourself in the position of having left everything and trying to get into a country where you can be free and you’re treated like an animal. Put yourself in that position, that’s the only way to really understand.”– Madeline Albright, The Future of Humanitarian Aid
- “No one in 2015 has come out with a good enough reason to why I shouldn’t believe in equal rights. And so that is why I am a feminist.”- Frieda Pinto, Are we all Feminists?
- “We have in our hands the ability to help children all around the world and to change their lives in 10 seconds… Behind clean water, we know that vaccination is the single most important health care investment in history.”– Susan Sulbermann, Can Technology Transform our Lives in 10 seconds?
- “The struggle for justice is a marathon not a sprint, and that the biggest contribution we can make is to have stamina, to have courage, to stick with it, until justice has been served…. Change depends on ordinary people to have the courage to say enough is enough and no more.Having the courage to believe another way is possible. I know this to have been true in the past, I know it will be true in the future, and it will be true because of what we do today in the present. The story of the future is being written right here, right now. It starts with courage, it starts with each and every one of us, it starts with you.”- Kumi Naidoo, Climate Change and the Struggle for Justice I highly encourage everyone to watch his entire speech. I could have written a top 10 strictly from Mr. Naidoo alone.
- “I didn’t think of all the reasons why I couldn’t. I thought about all the reasons why I must.”– Vivienne Harr, STAND