Louder Together: A Festival for ChangeEvery year, the Global Citizen Festival blends advocacy and entertainment in New York City and Mumbai. In order for one to get tickets to the festival, they must “earn their tickets after taking a series of actions to effect change around the world,” which is tracked through an app. Once a person has earned enough points through actions that benefit world issues, they are then entered into a drawing to win tickets to the festival. The festival partners with organizations like UNICEF, Rainforest Alliance, World Food Programme and many more.

This year, Comlpex Networks and Global Citizen released a documentary called Louder Together: A Global Citizen Documentary; New York to Mumbai, which features footage from the festival’s locations in New York and Mumbai from 2016. The film focuses on the mission of the festival as well as interviews with performers. Hugh Jackman is the narrator (and also an executive producer) for the documentary, which features artists like Coldplay and Rihanna.

Louder Together delves into how Global Citizen was able to take its festival from Central Park all the way to Mumbai, a city on the other side of the globe. People from India can be seen in the trailer discussing how this event can help change the minds of young people, which in turn changes the country.

The CEO of Global Citizen, Hugh Evans, poignantly remarked that the festival “transformed their cities into arenas of advocacy in the fight to end extreme poverty.” This festival brought people from all walks of life and from all over the world to become louder together about issues that affect them. Global Citizen has only existed for six years, but it continues to grow, as evidenced by its expansion into new countries, cultures and medias.

Louder Together is being streamed for free on Go90, a streaming service. The documentary is a great way for people to learn about the causes that Global Citizen advocates for, as well as how the arts can be used to both entertain and educate people. Louder Together is a shining example of the way citizens and celebrities can come together to help change the world.

Emilia Beuger

Photo: Flickr

music festival
Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project, organized a music festival late last month in an effort to inspire youth to become invested in eliminating global poverty.

Renowned electronic dance music (EDM) artists performed at the “Thank You Festival,” which was meant to be both a celebration of past successes in the poverty reduction field as well as an opportunity to get young people excited about the cause. It was organized by Global Citizen, an offshoot of the Global Poverty Project.

The number of people living below the international poverty line and the number of global child deaths have dropped significantly in the past decade. “The American public, charities and governments have played a vital role in helping to make this happen. In recognition of the American public’s efforts, and to call for further action on behalf of the world’s children, Global Citizen and World Childhood Foundation held the Thank You Festival,” said Evans.

The festival organizers wanted the event to be stimulating, but didn’t want to lose track of the bigger picture. To help accomplish this, a massive, 15-foot-tall inflatable toilet was installed near the center of the event as a symbol of the dire state of global sanitation, which made it hard for festival-goers to forget what the music was celebrating.

Why target the music festival crowd as potential supporters of poverty reduction? “If you look at who listens to EDM, it’s young people,” said Evans. “If you want to be speaking to millennials, you’ve got to be speaking to [the artists] millennials are listening to… I think that the people behind the music care deeply about these issues, and the question is: How do you create the right platform for them to express that?”

One of his methods to achieve this involved changing how people could access tickets. Tickets to the event could only be earned by performing certain tasks online through Global Citizen. For example, potential festival-goers could write a letter to Congress, volunteer or sign a poverty-related petition to gain points that would make them more likely to receive tickets.

Even if some portion of the target audience is performing these activities just as a means to get tickets, they are still becoming more informed citizens and are learning first-hand how to make a difference in the world.

The Thank You Festival celebrated the contributions that the United States has made thus far in the fight against global poverty and the efforts that have been made in improving the lives of children across the globe. “Our foreign aid and our charitable contributions,” Evans said, “are saving and transforming lives, enabling parents and children in the poorest communities in the world to achieve their dreams.”

There is, however, much progress to be made. The end of global poverty will only be possible with support and dedication from the rising generation of youth — a goal that Hugh Evans and Global Citizen are one step closer to achieving through their work melding EDM festivals with poverty reduction projects.

– Emily Jablonksi

Sources: Global Citizen, MSNBC, Washington Post
Photo: Club Glow

global poverty
Philanthropist Hugh Evans, co-founder of the Oaktree Foundation and Global Poverty Project, organized an electronic dance music festival on June 26 named the Thank You Festival. This benefit show is working to engage the millennial generation in the fight against global poverty.

The show will feature one of the most popular electronic DJs in the world, Tiesto, as well as Above and Beyond and a Maryland local electronic DJ by the name of Alvin Risk. The festival will utilize a 15-foot inflatable toilet to bring awareness to water and sanitation issues around the world. Electronic dance festivals, which are commonly associated with drug use and experimentation, may not seem an ideal place to speak about global poverty.

However, Evans notes that to reach the millennial generation it has to be done through the people they listen to, in this case through electronic dance artists. His previous work with the Make Poverty History concert in Melbourne, Australia was highly successful. The concert, which occurred simultaneously with the G20 meeting, was responsible for Australia doubling its foreign aid efforts. Other concerts Evans has been involved with include the 2012 Global Citizen Festival for which Evans secured the Great Lawn in Central Park, N.Y. The New York festival also occurred simultaneously with another international meeting, this time of the United Nations General Assembly.

The concert raised $1.3 billion in programs to aid the global poor. The June 26 concert is aimed at getting the United States to continue its aid efforts for child survival services as well as double the U.S. government’s funding of the Global Partnership for Education, which would total $40 million. Previous concert efforts of Evans have been associated with rock and pop music. This will be his first effort utilizing electronic dance music.

The festival will feature DJs, Evans and top U.S. Foreign Aid officials who will speak about the cause of eliminating extreme poverty and encourage fans to get involved. Tiesto expressed in an email that the festival provides a unique possibility to produce effective change. “I know that my fans are thoughtful, generous and caring and this festival is a great opportunity to show Washington D.C. what our community is really about.” The festival, which is partnered with Club Glow, the World Childhood Foundation, The Global Poverty Project and Global Citizen, will begin at 4 p.m. on June 26 at Merriweather Pavilion in Columbia, Md.

– Christopher Kolezynski

Sources: EDM, Spin, Washington Post

Photo: Oh So Fresh

Hugh Evans, the founder of the Global Poverty Project, delivered the commencement address at Kean University on May 16 of this year. He told graduates his story, retelling how he founded the Global Poverty Project as a teenager.

The Global Poverty Project works to campaign the government, businesses, and consumers to take action that will create a systematic change for the world’s extreme poor.  The project also is working to build a movement that engages and educates people, helping them to take simple but effective individual actions for change.

He told graduates how his organization has raised $4.3 billion dollars for the world’s poor.  The organization would like to see better aid, better trade, more ethical, fair and balanced trade, and an environment that invests in education, infrastructure, and governance. The Global Poverty Project believes that working to achieve these goals will create an enabling environment for developing countries to work their way out of poverty.

At his commencement address, Evans elaborated on the importance of creating your own path. Amidst pictures and videos of slums around the world, Evans told graduates that taking an unorthodox path is bound to test our character. He used his life and chosen career path as an example to explain that going against people’s expectations for your life puts things into perspective and reveals your greatest hopes and greatest ideals.

Evans’ message rings true to the value of hard work and determination in tackling problems and obstacles. His speech illuminates to graduates that sometimes, making an unorthodox choice can improve not only your life, but also maybe even the lives of millions or billions of people around the world.

– Caitlin Zusy 

Source, Global Poverty Project