Social Media walks into a bar with Malnutrition, Disease, Poverty, Climate Change and Education. The young, energetic Social Media (SM, for short) looks at the other five and says, “Ok, enough is enough. Let’s ‘hashtag’ this thing out.”
As lighthearted and over-simplified this story may be, it’s not exactly a tall tale.
Last week, the Social Good Summit and Global Conversation – an international discussion on the role of digital technology to advance social good – showed us that this Social Media character might actually play a significant role in tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues.
The beauty (and oftentimes challenge) of social media is that it has no temporal boundaries. When yielded properly, it’s not confined to one place, one group or one moment in time.
For this reason, the Social Good Summit was not a small, exclusive meeting that might pop up on your Outlook Calendar as if it were any other task-of-the-day. Rather, it was a networked global conversation with participants from all over the world that are still – 10 days later – collaborating, discussing and hash-tagging out their ideas.
“The Social Good Summit, like social media itself, was about action and connection,” says Aaron Sherinian, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at the United Nations Foundation. “What we saw as the Global Conversation emerged was that people were ready to share lessons about actions they are taking to tackle global challenges because they want to help take them to scale.”
With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Summit included panel discussions via live-feeds from China, Kenya and Somalia. Meanwhile, over 200 “meet-ups” in cities around the world – organized by Mashable‘s Meetup Everywhere platform – added thousands of diverse voices and perspectives to the dialogue.
And after becoming a trending topic on Twitter (only a few hours into the Summit), participants and spectators did more than Tweet. They squawked, screeched, chirped and sang social-goodness.
But now the real challenge lies ahead. How do you sustain this momentum?
“The Global Conversation just got started,” says Sherinian. “We have proven it is possible to convene and catalyze global sharing on these issues, the big responsibility now stands with all of us on how we use it, how we expand it and how we innovate to create a platform that makes the most of these new media tools.”
So what is the first stop in your social media ride to social good? TheGlobalConversation.Tumblr.Com.
A project of the Social Good Summit, this Tumblr site connects, aggregates and shares the continual outpouring of ideas that have emerged (and continue to emerge) from last week’s Summit.
“The Global Conversation has us all thinking in future tense,” says Sherinian. “And it’s a future that is smart, collaborative and social.”
What do you think? Did you participate in the Summit? Have you visited TheGlobalConversation.Tumblr.Com to share your ideas?
Here are a few other recommendations to learn more about the Social Good Summit and Global Conversation:
- How Social Good Summit Sparked the Largest Conversation on Earth (Mashable)
- #SGSGlobal: Creating a Global Conversation That Is Built to Last (Impatient Optimists)
- 5 Reasons to be GIDDY about the Social Good Summit (ArmchairAdvocates.com)
- Our UN Week 2012 Coverage (ArmchairAdvocates.com)
[Photo Credit: UN Foundation]