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Global Citizen FestivalMusic festivals are growing in number and popularity across the globe. The Global Citizen Festival, however, offers so much more than good old fashioned entertainment. Here’s how this festival is mobilizing its attendees to fight against global poverty.

Who is in Charge?

The organization behind the festival is a nonprofit called the Global Poverty Project. The main goal of the organization is to educate people about global poverty issues and ways they can help. In 2011, the Global Poverty Project launched the Global Citizen Campaign, which has led to a total of 14 million global-poverty-reducing actions by people across the world. The campaign’s ultimate mission is to end extreme poverty by 2030.

The organization is also well-known for launching the first Global Citizen Festival seven years ago. The annual festival is held in New York City’s Central Park and features a slew of well-known performers such as Janet Jackson, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and The Weeknd. The premise of the festival may sound reminiscent of Live Aid, the 1985 “superconcert” which raised nearly $127 million in famine relief for Africa.

How to Attend

In order to obtain a ticket for the festival, potential concertgoers must watch online videos about global poverty, complete quizzes on these videos and take action by volunteering, or emailing/calling congress members. Those who accomplish these tasks are rewarded with a free ticket to the festival. The event itself is alcohol-free and is loaded with global-poverty related booths that offer games, photo-ops, information, and opportunities to take action. At previous Global Citizen Festivals, world leaders have come on stage intermittently to educate attendees about all that can be done to combat global poverty in their everyday lives following the music festival. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were among these speakers.

The Festival’s Impact

The actions that the festival incites have led to the creation of programs, policies and funds; the effects of which have been felt by nearly 647 million impoverished people across the globe. For example, after receiving 4,700 tweets from Global Citizens, The Power of Nutrition (a U.K. based team of investors) committed to providing Rwanda with $35 million allocated toward ending malnutrition in the nation. Policies and commitments such as these which have been prompted by Global Citizens equate to more than $37 billion.

The Global Citizen Festival is a prime example of a positive, action-oriented event with the aim of eradicating global poverty. It offers people an affordable way to fight the good fight, while also enjoying the talents of world-famous performers.

– Ryley Bright
Photo: Wikimedia

Global Citizen: Success Stories of the Global Poverty ProjectThe Global Poverty Project, also known as Global Citizen, is an education and advocacy organization working to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to see an end to extreme poverty. Global Citizen’s advocacy work focuses on eight issues: girls and women, food and hunger, health, education, water and sanitation, environment, finance and innovation and citizenship.

Global Citizen has had success stories in these areas: 

  1. Girls and Women
    At the 2017 Global Citizen Festival, Accenture, Citi, Ernst & Young and Procter and Gamble committed to sourcing $100 million each through their supply chains from women-owned businesses, a majority based in developing countries. 
  2. Food and Hunger
    In 2017, the Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, confirmed that $575 million of $990 million committed by Congress in May, helped by 49,291 actions taken by Global Citizen, was released to the WFP and others to immediately fight famine.
  3. Health
    Over the past seven years, Global Citizen has taken 1.47 million actions to increase access to global health services, including HIV/AIDS treatment. These actions have led to 48 commitments by governments and are set to affect 626 million people by 2030.
  4. Education
    In Feb. 2018, Global Citizen held the first Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference hosted jointly by a G7 leader, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the president of a developing country, Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal. The conference was held in Dakar, Senegal, to support $2.3 billion for education in developing countries. GPE’s global ambassador, Rihanna, was present and spoke as well.
  5. Water and Sanitation
    At the Global Citizen Festival, Nigeria committed to getting 5.5 million people out of open defecation by the end of 2018. 
  6. Environment
    In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and Environment committed $50 million on the Global Citizen Festival stage to fund renewable energy supplies and another $10 million toward humanitarian relief in Antigua and Barbuda. 
  7. Finance and Innovation
    Global Citizen partners with the private sector to further fight poverty. One of the biggest successes was at the Global Citizen Festival in 2015, where the European Commission committed to increase support for the refugee crisis by €500 million over the existing development aid budget of the European Commission.
  8. Citizenship
    In 2017, over three million Global Citizen supporters’ actions helped to drive $5.7 billion in 143 commitments by calling upon leaders as a collective power to step up for the world’s most vulnerable.

Because of its advocacy and supporters, Global Citizen will continue to reduce poverty significantly in the coming years. 

– Julia Lee

Photo: Flickr


The Global Citizen Festival launched in 2012 as part of the Global Poverty Project, founded by Hugh Evans and Simon Moss. The movement is based on an online platform and mobile application that utilizes the power of education, communications, advocacy, campaigning and the media to take action against extreme poverty. The Global Poverty Project partners with other organizations such as UNICEF, OXFAM, ONE, Save the Children, The Global Fund and more.

The result of last year’s festival was 1.3 million online actions taken, leading to 44 commitments and announcements. Combined, these announcements are worth $1.9 billion and could impact 199 million people, just from the Global Citizen Festival of 2016 campaign. Commitments have not only been made by U.S. companies such as Walmart, UPS and Johnson & Johnson but also by nations such as the Netherlands and Canada.

With more than 60,000 participants attending the first festival on the Great Lawn in Central Park, the event quickly became popular. In 2016, the performance lineup included Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Kendrick Lamar and Metallica. There were also special guests like Coldplay’s Chris Martin. The band headlined the previous year and Martin is the current Global Citizen Festival curator.

The festival is free, but spectators cannot just attend. Instead, fans must engage with campaigns in order to win Global Citizen Festival spots. Activists can accumulate points that act as currency to bid on tickets to the Global Citizen Festival and other live events. The restriction is that only current campaign points can be used during each campaign.

For the upcoming July Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, the organizers plan on handing out 9,000 free tickets to the show to people who sign up and pledge action.

“In bringing the Global Citizen Festival to Germany for the first time, we are calling on the G20 to take action and responsibility for moving forward on the Global Goals,” Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans said.

Stefanie Podosek

Photo: Flickr

Global_Poverty_Project
Hugh Evans, CEO and co-founder of the Global Poverty Project, received the Humanitarian Award at the 12th annual Billboard Touring Awards on November 19 for his efforts to end extreme poverty.

The award show was established in 2004 and is  sponsored by Billboard Magazine to honor the top entertainment artists and professionals, as well as recognize box office and entertainment achievements.

The Billboard Touring Awards honor the industry’s top achievers in categories including Top Festival, Top Arena, Top Manager and Top Comedy Tour.

Founded in 2008, the Global Poverty Project aims to connect everyone around the world using social media to express the need to end extreme poverty.

By joining the conversation, the Global Poverty Project believes it can grab the attention of government, businesses and NGO’s to restructure the systems and policies that are trapping people into poverty worldwide.

The Global Poverty Project began hosting the Global Citizens Festival in 2012 with the slogan, “We Are Not A Generation Of Bystanders.”

The annual festival in New York City brings both musicians and activists together and urges world leaders to make more contributions toward ending extreme poverty. Since launching the festival, the event has helped secure $1.3 billion commitments to help end extreme poverty.

“In an industry filled with people who are dedicated to helping others through the power of music, Hugh Evans stands out for his ability to rally both artists and executives around the common cause of ending global poverty,” said Ray Waddell, executive director of Content & Programming for Touring & Live Entertainment at Billboard.

This past year, a crowd of 60,000 people filled Central Park with live performances from Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Pearl Jam. High-profile leaders and activists including First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Hugh Jackman, Bill Gates and members of the UN General Assembly were also in attendance.

Through combined efforts, the European Commission closed the festival by pledging $530 million dollars to aid the Syrian refugee crisis.

As the Global Poverty Project continues to gain activists, Evans shows the world that extreme poverty can end by 2030. “No movement is about an individual,” said Evans of his organization’s mission. “It’s about an amazing group of people coming together from different backgrounds.”

Alexandra Korman

Sources: Billboard, Global Citizens
Photo: Flickr

Coldplay-Girls-Living-in-Poverty
Today, 62 million adolescent girls around the world are not receiving an education.

Together, Global Poverty Project and the band Coldplay would like to change this. As partners, the dynamic duo will encourage countries to vote in favor of global education, ideally announcing their support at the Global Citizen Festival in September, where Coldplay will perform.

If countries fund continued education, extreme poverty can be alleviated. An annual $39 billion will provide these girls with 12 years of free, sustainable education – the same amount it costs to fund eight days of global military spending. Continued education has the power to provide the impoverished with sustainable livings, better health and overall independence.

In the past several years, Coldplay has positively used their fame to shed light on the issue of global poverty. As a headliner at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival this September, the English band will bring attention to the Global Goals, a set of 17 initiatives that seek to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change. The first goal is to end poverty, but the fourth goal is to ensure unbiased, quality education for all humans.

Due to gender inequality, girls are often refused an education. Not only is providing girls with an education a basic human right, but it will also help to break the cycle of extreme global poverty. Girls that go to school are more likely to postpone unwanted marriages and pregnancies, are less susceptible to HIV and AIDS and gain knowledge and skills that lead to a sustainable life with increased earning.

Coldplay is calling on world leaders to support global education to ensure that all humans are granted access to quality education, especially girls that are held back by outdated gender inequalities. Through social media, partnerships with honorable nonprofits and their earned fame, Coldplay chooses to stand up for the girls, understanding that education has the power to end global poverty.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen, Global Goals, UNICEF
Photo: Under the Gun Review

foreign_aid_successes
Founded by Richard Curtis and launching in September 2015, Project Everyone has the goal to spread the United Nations’ global goals through every possible media outlet.

The United Nations global goals target extreme poverty and climate change. If the goals are met, they would represent a betterment for global society. The goals aim to improve health and provide the world with a bright future. This is why Project Everyone believes that it is important to let the world be aware of these goals.

The project’s goal is to spread the word about these global goals through websites, television, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, billboards, mobile phones, cinema and schools, among others. The objective is to reach 7 billion people in seven days and inform them about the global goals.

According to an article published by Bizcommunity, project creator Richard Curtis partnered with SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association, to release the “first ever global cinema ad” that will release in SAWA member territories around the globe in September 25. The ad, titled “#WEHAVEAPLAN,” will screen in 30 countries and is intended to inspire the viewers to participate in sharing these global goals.

An article published by Campaign India states that the ad will be 60 seconds long. It will be an animated ad that will show animals representing the delegates at the U.N. Forum and the message will be delivered by a llama.

Project Everyone is also partnering with Global Citizen, a platform for the movement that plans to eradicate poverty by 2030. Global Citizen’s goal is to increase the number of people that engage in and join these global goals. By collaborating with Project Everyone, more people can be informed of the goals.

At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Curtis stated that we could be the first generation to eradicate poverty.

Project Everyone wishes to arm everyone with knowledge about the global goals so that individuals can search for their leaders’ support for the future of the planet.

This project teamed up with different brands and associations such as Aviva, Getty Images, Pearson, Standard Chartered, Unilever, BBC Music, Polycom, The Global Poverty Project, Royal Mail, Posterscope, Comic Relief, the United Nations Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Virgin, Penguin Random House U.K. and Blue 449, among others.

Project Everyone will launch the week of September 26 to October 2.

This project will engage people with important causes, such as the eradication of poverty and climate change, with the hope of delivering a positive outcome to the world.

The project not only wants to reach a large amount of people, but also wants to engage everyone through different forms of advertising, partnerships, teams and involvement with communication mediums, such as the Internet and television, so that everyone can have access and be informed about the United Nations 2015 global goals.

– Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: Biz Community, Project Everyone, Campaign India,
Photo: SWARM

Hugh_Jackman
Actor Hugh Jackman, best known for his role as “Wolverine” Marvel’s X-Men series, recently released a video urging others to help end global poverty through the platform Global Citizen and through the initiative of the Global Poverty Project.  “The world has the resources, the policy leaders have the ideas, the question is, do we as global citizens have the will?” asks Jackman in the new video.

This is not the first video Jackman has made regarding the issue of global poverty. In 2013, globalcitizen.org released an impactful video where Jackman explains the organization’s “Live Below the Line” fundraiser. Four thousand people took part in the fundraiser by living below the poverty line, or surviving off of two dollars a day for five days. Their efforts raised $440,000 toward ending extreme poverty. “Lines can’t help it, they separate things. But we can also be the ones who color outside those lines. We can voyage out to cross over lines for the sake of each other and for the planet,” explains Jackman.

Now, Jackman is focusing on the positive: global poverty has been cut in half in the past 20 years. Poverty now has the potential to be completely eliminated by 2030. This year is crucial as world leaders will be making important decisions regarding the future of extreme poverty. Global Citizen remarks that the year 2015 could be a “turning point.”

Global Citizen launched in 2012 and quickly gained the support of many celebrities, including rapper Jay-Z, actress Katie Holmes and singer Carrie Underwood. Every year, Global Citizen hosts a festival attended by many celebrities. In order to win the opportunity to attend, steps toward ending poverty must be taken, such as signing online petitions.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this year’s Global Citizen Festival to further the movement to end extreme poverty,” Jackman was quoted as saying at last year’s festival, which was held in Central Park. “This is a cause that has been close to my heart for many years, and I look forward to joining 60,000 Global Citizens in Central Park as we change the world for the better.”

Jackman’s dedication to the cause is admirable, and chances are this is not the last call-to-action we will see from him.

Melissa Binns

Sources: Global Citizen, Huffington Post, People
Photo: Zimbio

ending global poverty
Videos and pictures of malnourished children play on TV screens in between reality TV shows and donation envelopes arrive in the mail, sometimes to be barely glanced at. A supporter of The Global Poverty Movement said, “Everything that has a beginning has an end,” but what is the world doing to end global poverty?

Two people who are aware of and trying to combat this issue are Hugh Evans and Simon Moss. These two men erected The Global Poverty Movement in 2008 during a “High Level meeting on Millennium Development Goals” and within a year launched in Australia. It is their hope that through this project, global poverty can be eradicated by 2030 through the use of government changes and business and consumer action, along with developing a movement that will inspire and educate people to move to action to affect change.

Since landing in England, New Zealand and the United States, the Project has increased in numbers by the thousands and secured funding for their initiatives, such as Live Below the Line, The End of Polio and Global Citizen, to eradicate poverty by the billions.

The Global Poverty Project has made use of multimedia to reach those all over the world in support of their campaign of ending global poverty through video presentations to recruiting celebrities such as Hugh Jackman to enlist in the cause to free ticketed concerts to spread their mission.

By using these methods, people of all ages—about 250,000 so far—are becoming members of Global Citizen, becoming more conscious of the less fortunate and moving to action by simply using the Internet.

In late September, the organization hosted their third annual Global Citizen Festival with popular singers Jay Z, Carrie Underwood, fun. and The Roots, to name a few. In order to obtain tickets, the organization created an incentive program; sign petitions, email world leaders and share content on social media. By doing so, “fans [became] active participants in campaigning for positive change.” These campaigners earned points to put in a raffle to win tickets to the concert.

With the help of activists lobbying for change, a change will come, even if it’s through sharing an article online or signing a name to a petition because like one Global Citizen said, “What we do in one place effects someone on the other side of the world.”

– Kori Withers

Sources: Global Poverty Project, Global Poverty Project 2, Global Poverty Project 3
Photo: UN Seattle

Caterpillar_foundation-donations
Founded in 1952, Caterpillar Foundation dedicates itself to transforming lives within the international communities where Caterpillar works.  It has been the champion for programs that support education, environment and emergency relief.

The program has donated over 550 million dollars to organizations that put poverty onto the path of prosperity “by investing in those proven to yield the best results – women and girls.”  Last year the foundation committed itself to a three year 29.2 million dollar commitment. Partnering with Opportunity International the joint venture looks to service 16.7 million people across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The Caterpillar Foundation’s commitments will be leveraged through Opportunity International via microfinance loans, savings and financial training.  Due to Caterpillar’s strong commitment to women and girls, most of the money will be financed to women, or groups of women, looking to form working relationships.

As of August 2014, Caterpillar Foundation announced the allocation of an additional 11 million dollars to help with Africa’s water and energy needs. Five million dollars have been distributed to help programs that address public policy needs and lack of access to energy. Five million dollars will be used to extend an already existing water line in Tanzania and Ethiopia. The last million will help teach women and girls about the dangers of traditional cookstoves and the benefits of adopting clean cooking solutions.

Most recently Caterpillar has committed itself to another generous contribution of 2.5 million dollars to The Poverty Project.  This nonprofit organization has received wide acclaim since the implementation of its new strategy unveiled in 2012. Global Citizen is an online platform that serves as the basis for all the work performed by the registered Global Citizens. There are more than 250,000 global citizens that have partaken in 1.75 million actions that have contributed to more than 35 campaign victories and announcements.

The Poverty Project has since released a new strategy as of January 1 of this year. The strategy focuses on ending extreme poverty by 2030.  With its announcement of a new vision, The Poverty Project has also put forth a new theory of change and an updated framework. These proposals are all designed to create a movement of unstoppable Global Citizens.

This dynamic and effective strategy is what caught the eye of the Caterpillar Foundation.  Since the three main goals of this foundation are education, environment and emergency relief, the money given to The Global Poverty Project has all been earmarked for specific projects.

The Global Poverty Project has determined that universal sanitation brought into impoverished areas will increase the chances for women to receive an education, get a job or run a small business.  This is where the bulk of the money will go.  It will also be used to put restrooms inside homes and provide them with running water. The remainder of the money will be used to help educate the 31 million girls who currently do not attend school around the world.

– Frederick Wood II

Sources: Peoria Public Radio, Caterpillar, Global Poverty, Peoria Public Radio 2
Photo: Urban Times

global_citizen
In many ways, Global Citizen reflects the mission of The Borgen Project by uniting American citizens in the fight to end global poverty. Global citizen is a website and mobile application that was developed to help the general population find ways to tackle extreme poverty. It is a tool to draw attention to the suffering of the 1.2 billion people in the world who live on less than $1 per day and to act upon this injustice.

A Global Citizen is one who “identifies with being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices”. It is up to the citizens of the globe to request change for the most vulnerable populations. The systems that perpetuate a cycle of poverty must be brought to light.

Although Global Citizen does not ask for donations or charity, they work to learn more about pertinent issues that relate to extreme poverty and ways we can overcome them. Initiated by the Global Poverty Project, the Global Citizen Festival kicked-off this past September in New York City for its third annual gathering.

Accompanying United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were stars such as Jay Z, No Doubt, Sting, Foo Fighters, John Legend, the Roots and many more. Almost 60,000 people joined the celebration of global unity and aspiration to address the world’s most urgent problems. Tickets were free for all audience members, who assisted or volunteered in some way to help spread awareness about global poverty.

This year’s Global Citizen Festival efforts were aimed in improving access to education, vaccination and sanitation. Although not an official event for the U.N. General Assembly, the Global Citizen Festival has assembled a host of world leaders who have voiced their commitment to focus and address the issues of extreme poverty, climate change and sustainable development.

With less than 465 days to achieve all eight of the Millennium Development Goals, Ki-moon reassured the crowd that “a better world was around the corner.”

– Leeda Jewayni

Sources: United Nations, Global Citizen, MSNBC, Kosmos JournalE
Photo: MSNBC