More than 150 Echoing Green Fellows gathered in Joburg for the 2015 All Fellows Conference to refine and re-energize their leadership. Here's what we learned.
Top 5 Highlights from Social Good Summit
The Social Good Summit, a three-day conference where "big ideas meet new media to create innovative solutions" to drive social change concluded tonight at New York City's 92Y and digitally around the world. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened the summit with a special message:
“Leaders around the world are coming together around at the United Nations seeking solutions for some of the toughest challenges we might face...At the same time a revolution in social media is helping people everywhere take part in a global conversation about how we can work together to advance the common good.
Here are Echoing Green's top picks from the summit:
- Actor and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Forest Whitaker spoke about his digital project PeaceEarth: “In one second, we can touch a million people, and even move them...If you look at [cellphones] as an organic being, they become a new attribute that we have. This phone is a part of me. I think we’re evolving to understand that these things are part of us. As I wave my hand across here, it goes and touches you.”
- Scott Heiferman of Meetup, Danae Ringelmann of Indiegogo, and Paul Young of charity: water talk about crowd-powered philanthropy, slacktivism, and the power of offline connections.
- U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park gave an animated presentation about the power of data in social innovation: "It’s about turning government into a platform for open innovation. Data by itself is useless. I can’t feed my baby daughter data, as much as I’d love to because I love data. It’s only useful if you apply it to create an actual public benefit.”
- Echoing Green Fellow Josh Nesbit spoke with Robert Fabricant of Frog Design, and Ana Gupta of Johnson & Johnson about how mobile phones can eliminate pediatric AIDS. Josh noted that ninety percent of world is covered in mobile signals, yet "a billion people in the world will never see a doctor in their lives."
- Rebecca Moore gave a stunning presentation on how Google Earth is changing communities around the world.
One clear way to drive change is to invest in leaders who have a direct connection to the communities they serve.
Echoing Green focuses on finding stellar individuals who can carry their ideas and explain why they have what it takes to succeed.