24 Hours as a Social Good Summit Blogger

Towards the end of August, I was notified that I’d been selected to represent the UN Foundation as a youth blogger for the 2016 Social Good Summit. The high-profile summit is a joint effort between Mashable and the United Nations Development Programme. Currently in its third year, the summit took place over two days, Sept. 18-19, at the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side in New York City.

The theme of the SGS was #2030Now: What world do you want to live in by 2030? The purpose of the summit was to allow everyday citizens to add their voices to the conversations taking place at the UN headquarters for the 70th session of the UN General Assembly. Celebrities, political leaders, scientists and activists alike were gathered to discuss social good initiatives taking place around the world. Along with the other UN bloggers, I was tasked with covering the event live on social media.

Something that I can’t fail to mention is the awareness push for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are 17 goals agreed upon by 190 world leaders in 2015 to fight extreme poverty, climate change, inequality and social injustice. These goals were the focal points for many of the discussions that took place at the summit. Find out more about the SDGs here.

Every so often, you get to experience something that will  have a monumental impact on your character for the rest of your life. The SGS was one such experience for me.


Here’s a peek into the typical schedule of a Social Good Summit blogger.


Catch the train from Brooklyn to make it to the UN Foundation headquarters by 9:30AM.



Arrival at the UN Foundation’s NYC offices.






Summit briefing and invited speakers.


Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Washington, D.C., Rob Skinner
2016 Social Good Summit Bloggers with UN Foundation Youth Coordinator, Anna Mahalak (That’s me on the left!)


Arrival and check-in. To say that the security for Vice President Biden was insane would be an understatement.


The Social Good Summit officially kicks off!



Slay the Twitter feed.


Impromptu interview for the WFP Hacking Hunger podcast!



End of summit. Briefly summarize key points for discussion.

  • Nearly 50% of all refugees are children. Unaccompanied minors are a growing concern within the refugee crisis. A key component in giving refugee children back their childhood is restoring their access to education.
  • The poorest populations around the world are the most prominently affected by climate change. These countries have some of the lowest emission contributions, yet experience the effects of climate change on a cataclysmic scale. Approximately 590,000 children in Southern Africa are malnourished as a direct result of the effects of El Nino, the weather pattern that has been exacerbated by climate change.
  • The Paris Climate Agreement will likely be ratified and put into effect by the end of 2016. 55 member states representing 55% of total global emissions must ratify in order for it to go into effect.
  • Women and girls have the greatest need of healthcare, yet have the least access to it in developing countries.
  • 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. source
  • Globally, we are losing our ability to treat infections. Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is responsible for the deaths of 700,000 people each year. This year, a virus was discovered that was resistant to Colistin, a last-resort antibiotic.


The rest of my time outside of the summit was spent eating and complaining about the stupid swamp weather that NYC had that weekend.

Thanks for following along! See you soon.



Learn how to get involved in your community by utilizing the resources below!

Social Good Summit Recap (WATCH)

Which SDG are you most passionate about?

Register to vote at Rock the Vote!

Find a local UN Association Chapter here.







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