Reinventing the wheel
15 Sep 2017 by Boaz Paldi, Engagement Manager, UNDP
People usually don’t like to reinvent the wheel. When they find something that works, they’re not inclined to tinker with it. But at the eighth annual Social Good Summit, we’ll actually be reinventing a wheel, the Sustainable Development Goals wheel.
As world leaders gather at the United Nations, we’re erecting a giant 2-metre by 2-metre SDG colour wheel constructed of Legos outside the UN General Assembly Hall. It sounds crazy, but our inspiration is that people, including the leaders, celebrities, and influencers, will help build this wheel to signify their commitment to the SDGs.
That’s one of the things I love about the Social Good Summit: its ability to bring people together to act in innovative ways to build better tomorrows for everyone, everywhere, by 2030. There’s other things I love about the event: that it serves as a Peoples’ Summit during UN Week, that it’s dedicated to fomenting open, transparent dialogue, that it harnesses technology and new media to tackle some of the greatest challenges of our world.
These attributes, of working to make our world better by 2030, are the heart and soul of the Social Good Summit.
I’m perhaps biased. I was lucky to be present when this global movement was first created in 2010. Never in my wildest imagination would I have guessed that eight years later the Social Good Summit would have blossomed so successfully.
Part of this is due to constantly tinkering with the wheel. We’re always introducing new, exciting ideas and harnessing the collective brainpower of global citizens in different ways. This year, we’re reinventing the SDG wheel out of Legos, but we’ve also lined up an amazing series of events to spark dialogue and put ideas into action.
We have an exciting programme in New York and over 50 countries that you can join, talk about, or simply witness and experience online. Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, Mashable Founder and CEO Pete Cashmore, musician and activist Madame Gandhi will join us on stage in New York. The star-studded line-up of speakers includes Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Connie Britton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. In Rwanda, Ukraine, Geneva, Suriname, Sudan, and elsewhere, social entrepreneurs, investors, government representatives, youths and many others will participate in local talks, exhibitions and other events.
And that’s just the start! The Social Good Summit kick-starts Global Goals Week, which also includes the #GlobalGoalsJam and the second annual Global Goals World Cup, an activist women’s football tournament. These events and others around the world, allow you to go beyond the conversation, to create real impact – because we want you to join us on this journey of discovery, invention, conversation and action.
The theme of this year is “Future in Focus”, because the Social Good Summit is about the future, how to work together to make our world a better place. I’m simply amazed by how this global movement has grown over the years, and know that it’s success and sustainability is thanks to your help – you, the organizers, the mobilizers, the advocates. You, who have joined year after year to grow this movement for change.
While reflecting on how far we’ve come, I couldn’t be more excited as we look ahead and work for the world we want for tomorrow. Let’s make #2030Now.