Guest Post

Day One Social Good Summit Recap: A Call to Take Action on the SDGs

  • September 28, 2015
  • By: Tona Rowett

The 2015 Social Good Summit opened with 17 political, business and activist leaders each declaring that the summit attendees “tell everyone” about each of the 17 newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Victoria Beckham represented SDG #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of Jordan represented SDG #4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. Last but not least, Paul Polman, CEO of Enactus sponsor Unilever represented SDG #17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Victoria Beckham shares SDG #3 on health.
Queen Rania Al-Abdullah shares SDG #4 on education.

While “tell everyone” is a simple call to action, it’s clear that fulfillment of the SDGs by 2030 will take commitment and action by everyone. Throughout the day, the very important role that business should and will play was reinforced by participants such as Unilever, Dell and social entrepreneurship organizations such as Sama Source.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, demonstrates how business can contribute to and even thrive from the SDGs.

Time was spent reflecting about the lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals that were set in 2000, and how the SDGs are different. Two amazing former world leaders and members of The Elders, Dr. Gro Brudtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway and Deputy Chair of The Elders and Graca Machel, Former Education Minister of Mozambique and widow of Nelson Mandela, discussed the tipping point for human rights.

Dr. Gro Brudtland and Graca Machel declare “the MDGs were an agenda for the poor, but the SDGs are for everyone.”

Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project, wrapped up the day. After yesterday’s Global Citizen Concert, he expressed his vision to create a lasting movement to achieve the SDGs. Since no true movement is about any one individual, it will take the bottom-up and the top-down working together to achieve this.

Global Poverty Project CEO Hugh Evans: “Launch of the Global Goals is so special.”

After all of this today learning today, we’re looking forward to what tomorrow will bring!