“The Social Good Summit is the Grassroots equivalent of the UN General Assembly” – NY Times Journalist and author, Nicholas Kristof
Five editors from World Moms Blog attended the Social Good Summit in New York City this past weekend. So, what’s the best way to get a wrap-up of the event? We asked them all to tell us their highlights from the weekend. Here’s what they had to say…
Kyla P’an of “Growing Muses” and WMB Managing Editor responds,
Since I started writing and editing for World Moms Blog four years ago, I’ve been hearing about the Social Good Summit. Since the first time WMB founder, Jen Burden, attended — outfitted with baby sling and infant–back in 2011, I’ve been curious. Curious about the format, curious about the attendees, curious about the messaging. Today, I assuaged that curiosity by attending day two of the two-day summit. In concert with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA to industries insiders), the Summit pulls together journalists, bloggers, foreign press, grass-roots activists and social entrepreneurs.
Together with fellow Sr. Editors, Elizabeth Atalay, Nicole Melancon and our tireless founder, Jen burden, we attended social enterprise boot camps, UN Foundation Fellows workshops, panel discussions and keynote addresses, interviews with philanthropists and entrepreneurs. The day was a series of sound bites. Presenters spoke for as little as five minutes or as long as 37. The topic and hashtag was 2030 Now but why that was chosen remains a bit of a mystery to me. And though I did not walk away from the actual summit feeling changed, I didn’t walk away unaltered.
Here are my three highlights: Robin Roberts interview with Melinda Gates; the Ugandan rappers Weasel and Radio who performed at the Every Woman, Every Child reception; and the exclusive briefing with Save the Children, the ONE Campaign, the Gates Foundation and actor Idris Elba. So would I drive eight hours round trip for 24-hours of Social Good again? In a heartbeat!
Jennifer Burden, Founder & CEO of World Moms Blog, says,
1. The Social Media Fellows lunch with Adepeju Jaiyeoba, a human rights lawyer and activist from Nigeria. Adepeju founded motherskit.org, which has distributed over 7,000 birth kits to mothers in Nigeria. Her passion for rocketing my interest in advocating for the health of women was contagious, tearful and inspiring all at the same time. And, yes, I know what you are thinking — we immediately connected her to World Moms Blog contributor, Kirsten Zalota of Cleanbirth.org, who distributes birth kits in Laos. They are planning a Skype chat already!
2. I found the conversations that came up in our Social Media Fellows session with MAMA on the topic of family planning important and sad. My wish is that more woman can have control over when they have babies and how many they have, which leads me to my only regret about the Summit — not being able to stay later in the evening for the Engender Health event, which launched the “WTFP?!” campaign, meaning, “Where’s the Family Planning?”. Engender Health has been working for decades towards maternal health and family planning, and this campaign focuses on women’s health in the developing world. I hope to hear more about their work on family planning in the future!
3. Seeing the Summit for the first time this year through the eyes of World Moms, Kyla P’an and Sarah Hughes. Kyla has been integral to the editing of our site for years, and I am thankful she joined us in NYC to experience the global conversations we both, report on and contribute to. Sarah, also new to the event, has been a social media editor at World Moms Blog. She covered the Summit on Sunday on our World Moms Blog Facebook page, and I can sum up her enthusiasm in a picture:
Awwwww! Go, Sarah, go!
World Voice editors, Elizabeth Atalay and Nicole Melancon, seasoned Social Good Summit attendees, were (as always!) active and important parts of global conversation!
Sarah Hughes of “Finnegan and the Hughes” and WMB Social Media Editor, writes:
I loved everything about Social Good Summit!! The air was filled with excitement and possibility. The overall vibe of changing the world was apparent and obvious. Here are my top three highlights from the event!:
1. Meeting Susan Can, Director of Corporate Equity in the Global Marketing for Johnson & Johnson. Susan and I had breakfast together and chatted about the importance of maternal health. We chatted about J&J mobile health iniative Text4Baby and how it is helping underserved mothers in the US.
2. Listening to Graca Machel telling us we must NOT leave any woman behind!! Hearing her speak with such authority and assertiveness in her tone really left me feeling like we CAN do this and we MUST!
3. I left feeling sad after the session on maternal and infant health and how far off we are on reaching MDG 4 and MDG5. My passion is maternal and infant health and it just seems like we are failing our world mothers by not doing better. Yes, some are trying but it’s just not enough and I want to know how to do more and WHAT to do!
Elizabeth Atalay of “Documama” and WMB Senior Editor, writes:
I had to stop and think when a friend asked what it was about the Social Good Summit that I loved so much. “Was it the connections, the panels, or the events surrounding it?”, she wondered. I decided that most of all it was the culture of the event, where the room is full of innovators and change makers that I find so inspiring.
The Social Good Summit makes me feel like I have a finger on the pulse of the Social Good movement.
I confess to at times being torn between socializing with all of the amazing people there doing cool things, sitting in the auditorium taking notes and hanging on every word of the amazing speakers in the line up, or catching sound bites, and photo ops in the media lounge. It is always refreshing to spend the couple of days with like minded global optimists as passionate as I am about making a difference in the world.
My highlights this year were:
1. Attending the Every Woman Every Child #MDG456Live event where we ran into our friend Phil Carroll from Save the Children, danced to Ugandan pop stars and then got to catch up with other World Moms and friends at an amazing South African restaurant.
2. Sitting in with the Social Good Fellows and Shot@Life director Devi Thomas to learn about another UN Foundation initiative the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action referred to as MAMA.
3. Listening to my hero Melinda Gates talk about her plans for putting women and girls on the forefront of the global agenda and just being in close proximity to her greatness.
4. Getting a debriefing at a round table discussion with ONE, Save The Children and the Gates Foundation on the Ebola crisis from Actor Idris Elba, President of Save The Children Carolyn Miles, Jamie Drummond co-founder of ONE, and Dr. Chris Elias President of global Development for the Gates Foundation. Discussing the “Trillion Dollar Scandal” report on transparency, and the continuing Syrian refugee crisis.
As always I leave the Social Good Summit completely inspired and at the same time a bit overwhelmed with information. Amazing, powerful, and hopeful information.
Nicole Melancon of Thirdeyemom and WMB Editor says: This was my third year attending the Social Good Summit and each year it gets better and better. After two, highly intense and emotionally charged days I walk away inspired to use my voice to promote good and help change the world. For me, the key highlights were the fact that we are fortunate to live in a world where we have a voice so let’s use it. Let’s engage in the issues that mean the most to use, and use our voice to disrupt the system and ignite change. So many people around the world do not have this power and freedom to use their voice and now it is more important than ever to be heard. Where do we want to be in 2030 is up to us. So what kind of world do we want? It is up to us.