Help for the Future
On September 23, 2018, the 9th annual Social Good Summit will take place in New York City. For years the U.N. has held this summit to help spread awareness of how technology and new media has caused us to rethink human progress. The world changes at a rapid pace and the Social Good Summit focuses on how we can use these improvements to benefit society in the future.


Always held during the United Nations General assembly week, the Social Good Summit brings together an enthusiastic community of citizens from around the world as well as progressive leaders to focus on one or more themes. The most recent active theme is called #2030NOW.    

#2030NOW has been a theme of Social Good Summit for years. In 2015, the Social Good Summit launched what they call “Global Goals” that represent the objectives set forth to help create a better future. The intention of #2030NOW is to use the tools and technology the world possesses to create a more sustainable world and to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

Participants of the Social Good Summit

The Social Good Summit 2018 has a distinguished list of speakers that all want to see #2030NOW goals become a reality. Along with presidents, CEOs and founders of activist organizations, several celebrities will attend the summit in 2018, such as:

  • Uzo Aduba: Emmy winning actress, advocate and ambassador to Africa for Heifer International
  • Sonita Alizadeh: rapper and advocate
  • Amber Heard: actress, human rights defender, and U.N. Human Rights activist
  • Padma Lakshmi: author, host and producer of “Top Chef” and an advocate for the U.N. Development Programme

Social Good Summit Themes

Over the years, the Social Good Summit has seen many different, yet equally important themes, such as the ones presented below:

  1. Equality for women and girls: The summit often features panels on gender equality and female empowerment. Several solutions have been offered at previous summits including getting men involved, offering more family planning services, putting a stop to child marriages, financial opportunities and increasing access to technology.
  2. Global community: The social-good conversation has taken place in more than 170 countries and in 45 languages. Through the social good community, people around the world can connect, exchange thoughts and ideas and keep the 2030 conversations going across the globe.  
  3. The human story: Geena Rocero, founder of Gender Proud, stated at the 2014 Social Good Summit, “We are talking about human dignity. And that should be done without borders.” A theme that has been repeated time and time again at the summit the importance of remembering the individuals behind the statistics and stories who need help for the future to live better and more sustainable lives.
  4. A better world is within our reach: If the world comes together and acts, a better future is within our grasp. Whether it be ending extreme global poverty or gender equality, political action can help individuals who cannot help themselves.

Once the Social Good Summit ends, there are plenty of ways for interested parties and people to stay involved and connected. One such way is to participate is Plus Social Good, a website created to extend the community of activist and advocates that sincerely want to help create a better world by 2030.

In addition, Social Good has hosted more than 400 events in 140 countries and works to bring together international communities to collaborate on ideas that could create benefits for the future.  

– Olivia Hodges
Photo: Flickr

Poverty in ChinaIn recent years, poverty in China was cut poverty in half making it one of the great success stories.

“China is doing well, but you still see children begging on street corners with horrible diseases,” said university student Ariqua Furse, whose mother emigrated from Hong Kong.

By 2020, China will replace the U.S. as the biggest economy, according to Standard Chartered Bank. Much of the world anticipates China becoming the global superpower, with its increasing overseas investments and influence.

However, it has a ways to go if it wants to match these expectations within five years. China is polarized by its advancing technologies and a large number of people that remain impoverished. Tall glass-and-steel skyscrapers loom over gritty, crumbling slums.

Part of the problem is the lack of education in rural areas, which keeps families steeped in poverty.

“Kids in some southern provinces don’t have access to education,” said Ji Da, a native of Chengdu, Sichuan. “We send them clothes.”

Because much of the population is doing well and China functions like a healthy first world country, it’s not easy to determine the full extent of poverty in the country.

10 Facts about Poverty in China:

  1. China is one of the top five poorest countries in the world.
  2. One in 10 Chinese is poor.
  3. At least 82 million people in China live below the poverty line.
  4. Two hundred thousand Chinese don’t have access to electricity.
  5. The Chinese yuan is less valuable in areas with a greater gender imbalance.
  6. Close to 70 million earn an annual income of 2,300 yuan ($376).
  7. Over 6 million Chinese don’t have access to clean fuel to heat their homes and cook.
  8. Three-quarters of global poverty reduction between 1990 and 2005 occurred in China.
  9. About 12.3 million people rose above the poverty line in 2013.
  10. Since 2013, the percentage of Chinese living below the poverty line has been cut nearly in half.

China has made significant progress in recent years in reducing poverty and is continuing to do so. Beijing hosted the 2015 Social Good Summit to raise awareness for the Sustainable Development Goals, which include eradicating poverty.


Poverty in China Graph

During the conference, Tencent, Inc., China’s largest Internet service portal, relayed its efforts to reduce the digital divide between urban and rural areas of China.

Ji reported that the Chinese government is building schools and “government-subsidized housing for the poor.”

If the country can face the facts about poverty in China and stabilize the economy, it will be well on its way to matching, and even surpassing, the U.S. economy in 2020.

Sarah Prellwitz

Sources: MIC, All Girls Allowed, UNDP, Forbes, IB Times, Index Mundi, RT, Rural Poverty Portal, Personal Interviews

Photo: Flickr