Global summit harnesses technology and mobilizes thousands of young people online

Global summit harnesses technology and mobilizes thousands of young people online

Thousands of young global leaders and stakeholders from over 160 countries met online Friday in a day-long event to discuss and find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Called “The Global People’s Summit+SocialGood,” the event was the first-ever global summit that leveraged digital media and technology to connect people in real-time online to explore social innovation, disruptive technology, artificial intelligence, film, media and the power of mobilizing networks to address challenging issues. It took place during the U.N. General Assembly.

Hazami Barmada, CEO of The Barmada Group, hosted a panel during the event. Credit: Global People’s Summit

Hazami Barmada, CEO of The Barmada Group, hosted a panel during the event.
Credit: Global People’s Summit

“Our partnership with the Global People’s Summit allows us to leverage innovative technology to invite the world, not just the leaders, to join these conversations,” William Kennedy, the acting head of the U.N. Office for Partnerships, said. “In a digital media age, we need to adopt innovative ways to empower global voices and put them at the heart of the work of the United Nations.”

The Global People’s Summit targeted engagement and participation from senior government
officials, diplomatic corps, private sector, top global development institutions, academic and financial institutions, global youth networks, universities and schools, alongside creative producers. The summit’s speakers represent diverse stakeholders and senior representatives from establishments at the forefront of technological, diplomatic, global and social affairs.

“The objective of the summit is to inspire social change. We aim to ignite global engagement and build communities to fight inequality, climate change, and address critical global challenges,” Hazami Barmada, the founder and global curator of the Global People’s Summit, said. “The summit aims to take conversations out of exclusive conference rooms and put them in the public sphere. Transforming the world is only possible if we begin to more effectively engage global networks and unlock capacity for action.”

Hazami Barmada interviews Heba Aly, head of IRIN News, and Sally Roberts, founder of Wrestle Like A Girl, as part of the summit. Credit: Global People’s Summit

Hazami Barmada interviews Heba Aly, head of IRIN News, and Sally Roberts, founder of Wrestle Like A Girl, as part of the summit.
Credit: Global People’s Summit

Convened by The Barmada Group in collaboration with the United Nations’ Office of Partnerships, United Nations SDG Action Campaign, United Nations Foundation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, +SocialGood and EARTHx, the summit gained over 100 sponsors and partners, ensuring substantive global reach.

Global leaders and influencers inside the U.N. headquarters engaged in online conversations through an interactive digital wall that featured tweets and social media posts associated with the #GlobalPeopleSummit hashtag. The display was set up for the duration of Global Goals Week and the General Assembly from Sept. 18 through 23 as part of the Sustainability Development Goals Interactive Exhibition.

“The Sustainable Development Goals are the guide to set the world on a better path for people
and the planet,” Mitchell Toomey, director of the U.N. goals action campaign, said. “Forums like the Global People’s Summit help bring us together to share the best ideas, simultaneously empowering citizens to raise their voices and ensure leaders are on track to achieve these Goals. We need moments like this to bring together governments, technology leaders, and relevant partners to share key knowledge and tools while inspiring collective action.”

The summit featured over 55 speakers and topics including mobile technology for good, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality to build empathy, drones and telemedicine, the role of arts to humanize refugees, public-private partnerships in education, corporate social responsibility and business innovation, government innovation, social and digital media, fighting inequality, gamifying and end to violence, and ethical fashion.

The summit was part of the Global Goals Week taking place in New York City in parallel to the General Assembly. It reached over 50 million people digitally in over 160 countries.

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