Biodiversity is the ecosystem that has shaped the environment which allowed for human life to exist millions of years ago. Preserving this ecosystem is thus key issue to our survival, failing that, then this would pose a serious threat to human existence, as heralded by the extinction of a number of other living species.

Photo: UNDP

In Greek mythology, Flora and Fauna were goddesses who represented many aspects of ancient life. While Flora, goddess of spring, would be used as a symbol of youth and fertility, Fauna was mainly described as a strong female figure who could foresee the future. According to the elders, Fauna’s songs resonated the fate of humankind.

Which fate would Fauna be singing today? Come every spring, may we still see any future for youth and fertility? Living in a world where technology allows for men to conquer space in search for other viable ecosystems, deforestation and loss of biodiversity are still huge sources of concern on earth. SDG 15 is a call for the protection of life on land: not just animals but everything around us – trees, fungi, mountains, land and native populations.

According to UNDP, progress in preserving and sustainably using Earth’s terrestrial species and ecosystems is uneven. The good news is that more forests are being protected and many countries are putting policies and certifications in place to safeguard their ecosystems. But the effort made by governments and NGOs is not enough. Many key biodiversity areas are still under threat as they are not protected. Even when they are, the lack of inspection, added to corruption, make preservation more difficult. Land productivity has been declining since 1998, especially in South America and Africa, which aggravates desertification, security issues and land conflicts. The UN estimates that more than 1 billion people are currently endangered due to these problems.

The international community is committed to support and conserve biodiversity, either by signing agreements or by donating bilateral funds to biodiversity projects. Apart from that, NGOs are tirelessly working to raise awareness of the urgent ‘life on land’ cause.

Horyou is proud to host organizations such as ANDA, the first and largest animal news agency in Latin America. Based in Brazil, with more than 1.5 visitors a month, ANDA is an active voice on animal rights and shares news about scientific tests on animals and poaching, as well as the appalling conditions in farms, among other critical topics. They are trying hard to enforce SDG 15. Are you willing to do the same?

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps protect life on land in your region or anywhere in the world. You can also show your support by participating in #HoryouLightChallenge! Be the change, be Horyou!

A year ago, Sophie Gray was a very successful fitness influencer – her Instagram account @wayofgray was a plethora of selfies, abs and workouts which inspired many in the pursuit of the perfect body. Yet, in spite of all the praise and hundreds of thousands of followers, she felt she was not being honest with herself in promoting the unreachable idea of perfection. After a nervous breakdown, she decided to explore a new path – one that leads to self-acceptance. Today, Sophie advocates self-acceptance and aims to foster women empowerment on social media. In this interview, she talks about her inspirations, plans for the future and the responsibility of being a role model for the next generations.

Sophie Gray

Why did you decide to advocate self-love and acceptance?

We live in a world where we are at war internally. We have become so disconnected from ourselves and I experienced this personally. For me, I decided to advocate self-love and acceptance because I didn’t have any other choice. I needed it in my own world, and through my inner work, it flowed over to my professional work through my channels.

Was there a moment when you felt you could do something different from other health and fitness influencers?

I had a panic attack on an airplane that had me step back and evaluate my personal life. From there, I connected with how I truly felt and realized I didn’t want to show up through my accounts in the ways that I had been. From there I decided to completely step away from fitness and have refocused on inspiring others to connect with themselves through introspection.

How important is it for you to empower girls and women?

I struggled with self-harm in my youth, and this was before social media really took off. I couldn’t imagine going through what I went through with the added pressures brought on by social media. I actually am establishing a nonprofit that works with youth in school creating space for them to show up and dive into their relationship with themselves.

I believe women have such an important role in our society. Often, we are the ones who raise the next generations and when we have a mother who is strong, confident and feels at home within herself, we are able to teach the younger generations to feel the same.

This isn’t to say all women are going to have children. And regardless of whether they are or not, they are, in some way, a role model to those growing up. I know for myself personally, I want my self-acceptance to inspire others that they’re deserving of their own acceptance.

Sophie now advocates for self-acceptance

Tell us about the self-love challenge – when and why did you come up with the idea and what does it consist of?

I hosted a challenge from Jan 1st to 5th 2018. It was about having my followers commit to coming home to themselves. There is a stillness that exists within all of us – this stillness, rooted in love, also exists within everyone. I want those who follow me to make 2018 the year they come home to themselves by diving through what they go through. This involves sitting with themselves, working through their experiences and feeling at peace with themselves. This challenge was a fun way to start the new year committing to coming home to yourself.

What are your goals for 2018?

In 2018, I am launching an app that will help men and women start conversations with themselves that will lead to greater self-awareness, emotional resilience and help develop a better love and appreciation for yourself and others. This will be launching in April.

I also plan to have my new name changed account, @sophiegray (formly @wayofgray), focus more on my passion for writing – while focusing on encouraging others to take time to turn within.

Changemakers is an Horyou initiative which aims to highlight remarkable people & projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this article, we shed a light over #SDG5 / Gender Equality.

Horyou community is pleased to share an account of its major actions and events in 2017 while it is bracing for more in 2018!

Opening ceremony SIGEF 2017

The clock is ticking and it’s only a few hours before New Year’s Eve and our community is full of joy and excitement, both for the things it has fulfilled during the year that has just elapsed than for the ones it has got in store for 2018. We’ve lived so many things together, we’ve grown and learned from each other, we’ve made new friends and became stronger while welcoming new members and organizations! So, now is the time to remember and the time to look ahead!

Our ever-growing community is our first reason to rejoice! We have now broken the glass ceiling of 250,000 users and 1,500 organizations and attained a full global presence. Horyou is growing stronger in Asia, with a more effective presence in Japan, Philippines, Singapore and India. Yonathan Parienti, Horyou founder and CEO, has spent several months travelling through the region to share our community’s message of social good and to officially launch Spotlight, our global digital social currency for economic inclusion. This was achieved during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, in India to highlight the fact that «Horyou values were more than welcome and that Spotlight can make a difference for many projects, organizations and change makers, in Asia and all over the world», as he put it.

Horyou at the GES!

It is in that context of expanding our community and extending our activities in Asia that SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, was organized by Horyou in Astana, Kazakhstan, during the EXPO 2017. A landmark really! Through its several panels, SIGEF fostered the debate on some of the most crucial subjects of interest of our time, including smart cities, future energy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Horyou also led an international and diverse delegation through EXPO 2017, focusing on the importance of clean and efficient energy globally.

And on the 18th of December, Horyou has launched the #HoryouLightChallenge, which aims to call everyone to join efforts in view of a swift and effective implementation of the SDGs. The concept of the challenge is to use social media to spread positivity, as well as social good actions and projects, and create a buzz around the many ways we can act to help the SDGs come true. The challenge is still on; click here to know more about it and have a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to SIGEF 2018 in Singapore next September.

Join the #HoryouLightChallenge!


Looking ahead, there is a lot more to come, all of which will be shared with you in the next few weeks. But one thing that you should be already saving the date is SIGEF 2018 will be held in Singapore, one of the most innovative and fast-growing cities in the world. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year!

O que há em comum entre os grandes navegadores que descobriram novos continentes no século XV e os empreendedores de nossos dias? A inovação sempre esteve presente em projetos de ontem e de hoje, e é o que garante a sobrevivência e a sustentabilidade de um empreendimento. É sob essa premissa que o empreendedor Leandro Jesus discute a nova economia do século XXI no livro “Exploradores de um mundo em transformação”. Lançado em formato digital em março este ano, a obra está em processo de crowdfunding para ter sua versão impressa publicada. Leandro Jesus concedeu a seguinte entrevista ao Horyou:

Leandro Jesus

Qual é o principal foco de discussão do livro?

A transição para uma nova economia e seus impactos para os negócios e a sociedade como um todo. Estamos construindo, nesse início de século 21, as bases de um novo modelo que vai romper com os padrões do sistema econômico dominante nos últimos séculos e impactar na forma como vivemos, trabalhamos e nos relacionamos em sociedade. Um momento de profunda transformação, uma mudança de era, habilitada pelo uso intensivo de tecnologia. Acredito que momentos como esse demandam exploração, ou seja, busca por novos caminhos. É hora de assumirmos nosso espírito explorador e encontrarmos soluções para um mundo melhor, para nós e para as próximas gerações. Esse é o foco do livro.

O livro trata da nova economia. Quais são os aspectos mais marcantes dos negócios do futuro?

O ponto de partida é a capacidade de adaptação a um futuro volátil e incerto. Com o progresso tecnológico exponencial e a democratização da informação e conhecimento, aumentam as exigências por parte de consumidores e cidadãos. Acredito que os negócios do século 21 precisarão operar com um propósito que traga significado às pessoas, entregar experiências positivas para seus clientes, habilitar a realização de talentos e vocações no ambiente de trabalho e, ainda, gerar impacto positivo para sociedade e meio ambiente. Organizações tradicionais, com suas estruturas burocráticas e foco prioritário em crescimento e lucro, terão dificuldade nesse novo contexto. Por isso, estamos vendo o surgimento de uma infinidade de novos negócios de base digital que são ágeis, enxutos, descentralizados e orientados para causar impacto positivo ao seu redor.

Qual será a importância dos temas sociais e ambientais nessas empresas?

Está cada vez mais claro que não podemos pressupor crescimento econômico infinito num mundo com recursos naturais finitos. Hoje, no entanto, numa competição por espaço e escala, empresas de todo tipo estão degradando o meio ambiente numa velocidade sem precedentes. Da mesma forma, crescimento econômico não é suficiente sem progresso social – se nossa sociedade não consegue suprir necessidades básicas nem consegue garantir o bem-estar de todos seus cidadãos, não pode ser considerada bem-sucedida. É ingenuidade acharmos que esses problemas são apenas do Estado, pois as corporações são a base de sustentação da economia. Em todo o mundo, crescem movimentos de incentivo a negócios que estejam voltados para resolver problemas sociais e ambientais por meio de seus produtos e serviços. Penso então que veremos maior número de empresas conscientes, que busquem equilíbrio e integração de resultados financeiros com impacto ambiental e social. No fundo, precisaremos de organizações mais comprometidas com o bem-estar coletivo, que nos ajudem a construir a sociedade que desejamos – empresas que pensem apenas em si próprias não terão vida longa no século 21.

Livro já foi lançado em versão digital

Tecnologia e sustentabilidade podem trabalhar juntas?

Devem. A tecnologia está evoluindo num ritmo cada vez mais acelerado, que certamente vai viabilizar o surgimento de novos negócios e extinção de outros. Penso, no entanto, que a grande questão não é a evolução da tecnologia em si, mas o potencial que ela tem para mudar nossas vidas para melhor. É nisso que temos que focar. É possível que, em breve, a tecnologia nos permita abundância de energia limpa, transporte inteligente e recursos materiais, por exemplo. Talvez possamos migrar para uma era de produtos e serviços praticamente gratuitos, precipitando um crescimento meteórico da economia colaborativa e a ruína do Capitalismo tradicional. Particularmente, acredito que a revolução digital seja tão impactante para nós quanto foi o surgimento da energia elétrica ou da imprensa escrita, e acho até difícil visualizar agora a profundidade de suas consequências futuras para a sociedade.

Horyou é a rede social para o bem social. Qual o papel das redes na nova economia?

Nesse mundo digital, no qual estamos todos informados e conectados, veremos grandes instituições e suas hierarquias serem cada vez mais questionadas por redes de indivíduos conectados. O futuro está nas redes e na colaboração. Juntos somos mais fortes e podemos fazer a diferença ao nosso redor.

Horyou apoia as iniciativas de inovação social que ajudam o mundo a alcançar os Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável, e é organizadora do SIGEF, o Fórum de Inovação Social e Ética Global. Seja a mudança, seja Horyou!

Organized by UNDP, the Social Good Summit will have guests and artists from all over the world to promote a message of justice

Social Good Summit 2017
Social Good Summit 2017

Held annually during the United Nations General Assembly week, the Social Good Summit focuses on the challenges of the 2030s. With its art installations, musical performances and conferences, the Summit will take place in New York on the 17th of September, and will adjoin a Geneva chapter, on October 13th, of which Horyou, the social network for social good, is media partner.

In a rapidly changing world, the New York Summit will contemplate the future via a dynamic exploration of life by 2030, exploring ways and means to unlock the potential of technology in order to make the world a better place.

Famous personalities, including The Color Purple’s actress Cynthis Erivo and Game of Thrones’ actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, are on the list of confirmed guests. An Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards-winning actress and singer, Erivo has been outspoken about the power of using your name and reputation to promote racial and social justice causes. Best known as a member of the villainous Lannister family in Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for gender equality and climate change.

The two personalities will be joined on stage by a host of activists to introduce innovative solutions to global issues, that includes:

ElsaMarie D’Silva, CEO & Founder of Safecity

Rocky Duwani, Singer-Songwriter

Ronald de Jong, Executive Vice President at Philips & Chairman of the Philips Foundation

Erika Ender, Singer-Songwriter

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children Investment Fund Foundation

Munira Khalif, United Nations U.S. Youth Observer

Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas, Head of Sustainable Finance at UBS & Society

Rachel Kyte, CEO & Special Representative of the UN Secretary for Sustainable Energy for All

Dr. Rebecca Martin, Director of the Center for Global Health (CGH) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross

David Miliband, President & CEO of the International Rescue Committee

Lawrence O’Donnell, Anchor of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

Juliana Rotich, Co-Founder of BRCK & Ushahidi

Martha Isabel “Pati” Ruiz Corzo, Director of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P.

Horyou and the Social Good Summit Geneva

Horyou is media partner of SGSGeneva 2017, a closed door event targeting high level decision makers and impact finance, entrepreneurs, governments, international organizations and large private sector companies. It will be marked by networking sessions and discussions that should take the SDGs to a higher level. It will be hosted in Geneva, an important hub for sustainable finance.

More information about the Social Good Summit in New York on

The Social Good Summit in Geneva

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. Horyou is also the host of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan during the EXPO 2017, from 5-7 September. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

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La protection de la biodiversité est un des Objectifs de Développement Durable de l'ONU et une des préoccupations environnementales les plus urgentes. «Le Jardin...