“My mom always told me to use my brain, but to make sure it’s linked to my heart.”  


- Angelique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, singer and songwriter

 

The third annual Social Good Summit concluded yesterday and it was chock full of brains and heart.

 

The Summit — organized by the United Nations Foundation, the 92nd Street Y, Mashable, Ericsson, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNDP — brought together an incredible mix of speakers who talked about the inventive ways they are using technology and social media to solve big problems.

 

Just to name a few of the extraordinary speakers … U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice,  Dept of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Olympic Gold Medalist Allyson Felix, primatologist Jane Goodall, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, author Deepak Chopra, musician Peter Gabriel, author Deepak Chopra, actors Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera, Maria Bello, Mira Sorvino and Alexis Bledel, and leaders or founders of Wikipedia, MeetUp, Grameen Bank, the Climate Reality Project, ForbesWomen, UNICEF, Mercy Corps, Time magazine, Glamour magazine and many more.

 

Distilling down the days of back-to-back presentations into a single post is impossible, and there will certainly more blog posts to come, but here are just a few of the things said that grabbed my heart:

 

“You serve best by doing the thing you love most.” –Maria Bello, Actress and ambassador for Haitian Women.

 

Maria Bello talking about empowering women globally. Photo credit: Isabel Kallman, Alpha Mom

 

 

 

 

“Never again should a country be called a basket case. Every country can develop, every country can end poverty, every country can boost prosperity, every country can create jobs for young people.” –Jim Yong Kim, President of The World Bank

 

“People don’t tune into cat videos to see a cat meowing at the screen and you shouldn’t be uploading videos of people sitting there staring at the screen … Let’s all take a cue from cat videos. Flood the Internet for social good.” –Jessica Mason, YouTube for Good

 

“You’ve got your time, you’ve got your dime, and you’ve got your voice. You’ve got to use all three.”  –Maggie Fox, President and CEO, Climate Reality Project

 

“Philanthropy is about using the resources you have at your fingertips to improve the world.” –Melinda Gates, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

 

“We have to open our eyes not just to what’s going on in other places; we need to open our eyes to what’s going on right in front of us.” –Forest Whitaker, actor and UNESCO goodwill ambassador

 

“We’re living in a moment where anyone can be a diplomat—all you have to do is hit send. Share your ideas, mobilize your friends, take action online and off.” –Secretary of State Hilary Clinton

 

“One thing the humanitarian world doesn’t do well is marketing. As a journalist, I get pitched everyday by companies that have new products. Meanwhile, you have issues like clean water, literacy for girls, female empowerment. People flinch at the idea of marketing these because marketing sounds like something only companies do.” –Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

 

Aaron Sherinian, Sharon Feder and Henry Timms announcing #GivingTuesday

 

 

“More is more. When it comes to conversations, more is more. It’s a favorite maxim of mine, and in this case it seemed to be coming from every corner of the Social Good Summit.”  –Aaron Sherinian, Vice President of the UN Foundation

 

“The Internet is allowing for us to really experience people in some of the most distant places in the world — as other people just like us. So get to know people, seek out bloggers from a country you’re kind of curious about. It’s about building empathy, and breaking through to the point of recognizing people as people.” –Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia.org

 

“I used Facebook during Libya’s uprising to urge women to get on board and play their role in the transition, and I did it again when the new government was forming, to encourage them to run for office.” –Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN

 

“The U.S. spends $700 billion on the military versus $30 billion on development. We have to focus our attention on cutting-edge technology that can help bring peace.”–Jeffrey Sachs, special adviser to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

 

“One thing the humanitarian world doesn’t do well is marketing. As a journalist, I get pitched everyday by companies that have new products. Meanwhile, you have issues like clean water, literacy for girls, female empowerment. People flinch at the idea of marketing these because marketing sounds like something only companies do.”
–Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

 

Kathy Calvin introducing surprise guest Peter Gabriel. Photo credit: UN Foundation

“You always hear the phrase ‘advocacy starts at home.’ In reality, with all the power we have to connect, it really means at home — where you’re sitting. It’s about doing what you can from where you are. We’re fortunate to have these tools to let you distill your message to make sure you’re getting out what you want to say and create a call to action.”
 –Claire Diaz-Ortiz, lead social innovator at Twitter

 

“It’s about turning government into a platform for open innovation. Data by itself is useless. I can’t feed my baby daughter data, as much as I’d love to because I love data. It’s only useful if you apply it to create an actual public benefit.”  –U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park

 

A billion people in the world will never see a doctor in their lives.”  Josh Nesbit, founder of Mobile Medic

 

“More is spent in a single month [in the U.S.] fighting the war on drugs than all monies ever expended domestically or internationally fighting slavery from its inception.”
 –Mira Sorvino, actress and U.N. goodwill ambassador

 

“There wasn’t a time like this before where we had the tools and technology to help make the world a better place. It’s our time. It’s on us. I’m just trying to participate to connect in this journey we’re all on this spaceship called Earth.” –Forest Whitaker

 

“Social networks are the extensions of our minds. We’re seeing the evolution of human identity into a global identity. It’s inevitable—it’s the next phase of evolution of the human species.” Deepak Chopra, Author and Founder of the Chopra Foundation

 

More to come, but I’ll close for now with this video by Beyoncé in honor of World Humanitarian Day: