The last two weeks have been incredibly eventful on the global stage with the UN General Assembly, Clinton Global Initiative and a Papal visit to America all coinciding.
Overall, these events/meetings reinforced the importance of considering social issues and taking collective actions as businesses, governments and individuals. Together, they set out guidance on priorities and commitments for how we develop new social impact strategies around the globe and in our backyards. It is clear that global leaders have increasing expectations for the essential role business has to play in shaping the future.
Below, you will find some of the highlights, key news links, and speech transcripts from these historic moments:
The Pope: While speaking to Congress, the United Nations and the thousands who came to see this historic visit, the issues Pope Francis addressed included climate change, equity, the refugee crisis and immigration.
- Transcript: Read the Speech Pope Francis Gave to the United Nations (Time) Pope Francis, “Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity.”
- Transcript: Read the Speech Pope Francis Gave to Congress (Time) Pope Francis calls on Congress to ‘Care for the People’
- Highlights of Pope Francis’ Visit to the United States (NY Times)
- What Pope Francis Means When He Talks About The Ethics of Care (Huff Post) “To enable these real men and women to escape from extreme poverty, we must allow them to be dignified agents of their own destiny. Integral human development and the full exercise of human dignity cannot be imposed.”
- The sublime connection: Pope, poverty and the planet (GreenBiz, 9-25-15) “This absolute minimum has three names: lodging, labor and land.”
The UN and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): When the UN General Assembly met in New York City, 193 world leaders voted to officially adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), a series of 17 global goals that are meant to eradicate poverty, fight inequity & injustice, and reduce the effects of climate change by the year 2030.
- 7 reasons the SDGs will be better than the MDGs (The Guardian)
- N. summit to approve 15-year blueprint to eradicate poverty (The Washington Times)
- Madeleine Albright Calls For The U.S. To Do More For Refugees (Huffpost Impact)
- N. Approves Global Goals to End Poverty In 15 Years (Huffpost Impact)
- Impact2030: How Companies are getting involved in the SDGs and Unilever is taking the lead with Global Citizenship
- Why the SDGs are an opportunity companies can’t afford to ignore (GreenBiz)
- Food industry CEOs call for ‘sound’ deal on climate change (AP)
- Another one of the many notable events happening in NYC last week was the Social Good Summit, an annual event hosted by Mashable and the UN Foundation. The Social Good Summit had philanthropists and celebrities convene to address the theme, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?”
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI): The 2015 annual meeting of CGI also convened this past weekend in New York City to make commitments to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The conference, although missing some familiar faces still drew large crowds of heads of state, Nobel laureates, CEOs, foundation heads, and donors to support its philanthropic missions.
- What Does Clinton Global Initiative Do, Exactly? (Huffpost Impact)
- Bill Clinton: Global Initiative Has Gotten Results (ABC news)
- Clinton Global Initiative Gets ‘Half of Dow,’ Draws Sponsorships (Newsmax)
- Clinton Global Initiative Shows Signs of Waning Appeal (The Wall Street Journal)
Next Step – Next Convening on Climate Change Journey: At the UN General assembly several countries announced plans to either limit, or as in the case of Brazil, cut their CO2 emissions. The most notable of these agreements was the announcement made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, that China would be enacting a “cap-and-trade” carbon market by 2017. All of this is tied to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (aka COP21) taking place in Paris during late November and early December. Below are some links to help recap the recent climate change announcements made by both business and governments.
- Brazil pledges to cut carbon emissions 37% by 2025 (The Guardian)
- Climate Week update: Businesses rush to make sustainability pledges (GreenBiz)
- Limited Progress Seen Even as More Nations Step Up on Climate (NY Times)
- Big Banks Call For ‘Strong’ Climate Deal (Huffington Post)
- 10 More Cities Commit to Climate Action, Pressure National Governments Ahead of COP21 (Sustainable Brands)