A Post 2015 To Do List, Welcome back to +Social Good!

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+Social Good speakers Robi Demelin, Idris ELba, Tara Abrahams, and Jeff Martin discuss their vision for 2030.

“Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace.”

-Kofi Annan

Checking in on the second morning of the 2014 +Social Good Summit immediately following an impromptu brainstorming session with the Blogger Fellow cohort facilitated by UNA-USA Executive Director Chris Whatley.

With the city abuzz in constant meetings, summits, and committees, one simply cannot walk into any discussion without the sometimes subtle but more often overt attention to the overarching objective of this year’s General Assembly.

Our leaders are gathered here in New York right now to collaborate in setting into motion a comprehensive post 2015 global development agenda. While most agree that about three of the eight original Millennium Development Goals established in 2000 have been achieved prior to the final deadline this month, the sentiment remains that progress and reporting on impact has been uneven within and across countries at a local level.

Interestingly enough, our leaders at the UN are still grappling with the foundational questions regarding the world’s post 2015 to do list. In fact, they even recently put out a survey to assist them in determining the issues that matter most to those most impacted by its activities.

This is what Chris Whatley calls “crowdsourcing sustainable development”….how #millennial!

In maintaining our thematic approach intended to open to discussion a conversation about solutions to the greatest challenges of our time, #2030NOW has united our diverse group of bloggers and participants at +Social Good in order to foster partnerships between those of us willing to accelerate progress and reach targets come 2030.

This is a massive task intensified by the nuanced complexities of global development priorities. Assuming that we can solve these problems in a few moments of discussion is injudicious at best.

In light of this, the blogger fellows took a few moments with Chris Whatley to solidify a clear list of items we see as key inflection points able to galvanized efforts. Find here our top items we want to see on the world’s post 2015 to do list:

  • Access to clean water and sanitation
  • Action on climate
  • Support for newborn health and further prevention of infant mortality
  • Technology expansion in education
  • Pressure for responsive governments
  • Mitigation of conflict and support for positive peace
  • Transparent communications pathways for impact reporting
  • Youth leadership and engagement

As practiced policy wonks, it comes as no surprise that our goals line up nearly identically to that of the UN’s (at least thus far). What I found most important though, is the renowned consensus for a commitment to fortify our youth leaders.

In recognition that young people have managed to creativity become more involved and informed about the topics that matter most to them, there remains a need to come up with a unified strategy to engage young people. Many of the above referenced challenges will be confronted by this young generation. Nevertheless, there is still an insufficient attempt to proportionately have a youth voice here in New York.

One such correlated example is the precedent we are setting forth as a young force for “social good” (more on what that means to come). Beyond the traditional self-gratifying “slacktivist” approach to engagement (i.e. live tweeting high-level events like the +Social Good Summit), we spent the morning founding a list of easily digestible and actionable items required for imitating a movement for change on the complex issues that define our generation.

The first step is to eliminate dilatory language. US Under Sec. of State Richard Stengel demanded the audience at +Social Good to refer to youth as the present, not the future. Though we haven’t resolved world hunger, transformed a conflict, or stopped environmental degradation, we do have our own “To Do” list and there is much more of that to come…perhaps even today.

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About Shayna

Shayna is a second year graduate student of International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University’s School of International Service concentrating in youth participatory roles in peacebuildng and development. She completed a B.A. in International Relations at the American University of Rome in 2011. Her professional and academic publishing interests focus on thematic issues related to ethnography, youth based grassroots social movements, conflict narratives and identity formation, mechanisms of civic engagement, social inequalities, and structural violence. Her travel and fieldwork experiences have brought her across several countries in the MENA region, the Middle East, Africa, Southern Europe, the Balkans, Haiti, and the US. www.linkedin.com/pub/shayna-mccready/29/a31/83b/
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