united nations

UN End Hunger goal is to achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Horyou’s new series is about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Every week, Horyou blog will publish an article about one goal, highlighting projects and actions that have been supporting its implementation.

Children under 5 are one of the most hunger vulnerable groups

One in ten people on our planet is undernourished. In rough numbers, they are 793 million, and one-fifth of them are children under 5 years of age. By contrast, 41 million children under 5 worldwide are affected by overweight and obesity – that’s 6% of children population. The numbers are shocking, yet the situation has improved in the 21st century – efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition have advanced significantly since 2000. Ending hunger, food insecurity for all, however, will require continued and focused efforts, especially in Asia and Africa.

Is there a way to improve both scenarios?

Horyou volunteer serving food at “The Meal”

The answer, according to the UNDP, lies in more investments in agriculture, including government spending and aid. It is in funding small-scale agriculture and sustainable food production systems, as well as making an effort to maintain the genetic diversity of plants and animals, both crucial for agriculture and food production. As of February 2017, 20 percent of local animal breeds were classified as at risk, according to data gathered in 128 countries. It’s all connected – global warming affects crops, animal breeds and food prices -, causing insecurity, civil unrest and wars. In 2016, 21 countries experienced high or moderately high domestic prices, relative to their historic levels, for one or more staple cereal food commodities. Thirteen of those countries were in sub-Saharan Africa. The main causes of high prices were declines in domestic output, currency depreciation, and insecurity.

Some governments have invested in long-term agricultural subsidies programs, according to the UNDP. It’s not enough. We, as a society, can act, either by supporting organizations which foster diverse and sustainable agriculture, participate in educational projects to promote healthy and responsible food consumption or spread the word about reducing waste.

On our Horyou platform, you can support projects like The Meal, which organizes festive and healthy meals for people who can’t afford good food in several countries – the last edition took place in 54 consecutive cities around the world! Or SOS Faim Luxembourg, an NGO which works in African rural areas to promote family farming and microfinance. The Green Bronx Machine, based in the US, uses education and school farming to teach kids about the importance of healthy eating habits and local food systems.

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 fight hunger in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

Step 1 – End Poverty in All its Forms, Everywhere Horyou’s new series is about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Every week, Horyou blog will publish an article about one of them, highlighting projects and actions that have been supporting its implementation.

Women in East Timor counts with NGO help. Females are one of the groups most affected by poverty. Source UNDP.
Women in East Timor counts with NGO help. Females are one of the groups most affected by poverty. Source UNDP.

Valeria is a Peruvian woman who struggles to support her family. A single mom with 2 small children and a sick parent who lives with her, she works as a waitress in a restaurant during the day and in a bar at night. She only has 4 hours sleep every night, yet her income is only enough to pay the rent of her room and some basic expenses. «Luckily, I can bring home some food from the restaurant and I can feed my daughters. But I can’t buy them clothes or books», she says.

Like Valeria, about 10% of the world’s workers and their families live with less than $1,90 per person per day. According to the UN, the rate has declined steadily in the past 17 years, though an estimated 767 million people still live below the poverty line. About one third is unprotected by their national and regional social systems.

Interactions and Solidarity project in Kenya
Interactions and Solidarity project in Kenya

When the UN Sustainable Development Goals were launched in January 2016, following the 15-year Millenium Development Goals, poverty was still one of the worst concerns in the developing and poor regions. For decades, institutions, NGOs and social entrepreneurs have developed support programs to take the poorer ones out of their condition and offer them perspective and hope.

Within the Horyou community and on its platform, NGOs like InterActions-Solidarity focus on poverty reduction and environment projects in Kenya. Based on the demands of each community, they provide support in the implementation of solidarity and socio-economic, eco-tourism and food safety programs. «We’ve seen an increase of productivity and profitability of farming and grazing activities respecting the environment, and with the sustainable management of natural resources», says the NGO spokesperson.

SER Sustentável works with homeless people from Brazil
SER Sustentável works with homeless people from Brazil

Other organizations like SER Sustentável, based in Brazil, help homeless people with addiction to alcohol or crack cocaine to step up and reintegrate life with dignity. The organizations also acts in poor communities providing them with sustainable housing and training support. «We want to reintegrate them in the society through work and income, offering workshops that would help them to find jobs», says Silvana Grandi, SER Sustentável president.

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 fight poverty in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to impact the Cause of poverty or any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

During the week of September 18 to 24, New York City hosted an annual Climate Week, which has been taking place since 2009. This year it happened simultaneously with the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. This event is devoted to debate the scale of global climate action and how to ensure jobs and prosperity for all segments of the society. It attracts attention of the most influential leaders from United States, cities, businesses and non-governmental organizations from all over the world. Various activities have been taking place in the course of the week. One of the most notable events is the Media for Social Impact Conference, which took place at United Nations Headquarters, on 14 September 2017.

The Media for Social Impact Summit took place in New York
The Media for Social Impact Summit took place in New York

The Media for Social Impact Conference 2017 gathered a diverse group of speakers, artists, celebrities and even astronauts. The speakers were, among others, Dan Thomas, Media for Social Impact 2017 Master of the Ceremony, Liba Rubenstein, Social Impact at 21st Century Fox, Christie Marchese, CEO of Picture Motion, Ahmed Musiol, Executive Producer at Wayfarer Entertainment, Jill Cress, CMO at National Geographic Partners and Ariana Stolarz, Global Chief Strategy Officer at MRM/McCann. They took the podium to discuss how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved by 2030. Indeed, with 169 targets, the SDGs may be seen as an ambitious agenda. However, most speakers noted that some progress had already been made in the world for reaching these goals.

The Conference focused on ways to move forward in implementing SDGs by encouraging various stakeholders, such as NGOs, Corporations and Media Companies to adopt social good campaigns incorporating the SDGs. Many speakers believed that with sustainable development goals we could re-frame the larger context of our future, the image of which we always have to keep in mind. Many expressed optimism that by 2030 there would be notable improvements in health metrics and innovation in technology, among other fields.

However, the progress achieved so far is uneven. There is a dire need to lift people out of poverty. According to statistics from DoSomething.org, over 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty and subsist on less than $1.25 a day. Furthermore, UNICEF determined that almost 1 billion children worldwide are in poverty and 22,000 children are dying every day due to poverty’s acute negative effects. Providing everyone with sanitary and safe water, clean and affordable energy sources will contribute to attenuating poverty. As Dan Thomas, spokesperson of the UN General Assembly indicated, the resources are available, but we have to be mindful of the planetary limitations that we have while encouraging sustainable consumption. Echoing the main theme of the climate week, many speakers voiced strong concerns about climate change and urged world leaders, states, businesses and private individuals to be actively involved in addressing this major problem.

Perspectives of businesses with regard to SDGs were also discussed. Some participants noted progress that certain businesses have made in contributing to the sustainable development agenda. For example, progress could be seen in relation to industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), as well as responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). Businesses were urged to inspire customers to engage in social good causes with a view to contributing to sustainable consumption. This could be done through call-to-action in social good campaigns and investments in advertisements focused on social good. The close alignment between business and consumer preferences may be more tangible for the youth subcategory of consumers. The youth segment was noted as particularly influential for the sustainable development agenda. The causes that the brands support, many thought, are important for consumption of the brand’s products by youth.

The conference is devoted to debate global climate action and how to ensure jobs and prosperity for all segments of the society.
The conference is devoted to debate global climate action and how to ensure jobs and prosperity for all segments of the society.

In this context, Jill Cress, CMO of National Geographic, stressed the importance of constantly reinventing and reinvigorating brands. The panel “Documentaries Impacting the World” discussed National Geographic as an example of a brand that has been present for many decades and is most followed in social media. Indeed, more than 60 million people worldwide viewed the documentaries created by National Geographic. These films reinvigorate the brand by telling smart and compellingly bold stories that have strong impact on people. Thus, National Geographic has been able to establish a diverse group of devoted viewers.

Brands are seeking to launch social good campaigns of their own to engage with the world more thoughtfully and more strategically. They do so for the purpose of building up not only larger audiences, but also more receptive and influential ones. The participants of the conference encouraged the audience to speak up to SDGs and connect closer with consumers that increasingly demand social justice. Targeted marketing campaigns, surveys, and polls could be several of the many ways of achieving this improved connection between the consumer and the brand.

Several speakers were of the view that some business models could be re-oriented around health-related qualities of products, as health appears to be one of the themes that resonate with certain audiences in relation to sustainable development goals.

In the panel on digital transformation of social impact, it was noted that a social good campaign should be moving “in the right direction” rather than “in some direction.” Such campaigns could be beyond impressions count and should incorporate concrete decision making based on data analytics. In addition, communication is important in not only achieving commercial success, but also in terms of helping people understand the social good causes that the brand is supporting. This is why comprehensive examining of consumer behavior becomes crucial. Accountability and measurability are both significant for companies to have an influence on their clients.

Partnerships in general are crucial for reaching target audiences to more effectively communicate the stories and see a much larger impact. They help a social media campaign reach a much larger audience than it would have reached independently. Creativity in delivering global issues and creating action around such issues was also stressed at the conference. In this respect, Horyou, the social network for social good, could be seen as a good example for a platform to channel creativity within its members.

Using the platform to amplify musicians’ works was also highlighted. Music can inspire a large and diverse audience to take action for social good. Moreover, art plays a vital role in the story and thus has the capacity to change and shift perspectives. For example, well known singers Aria and Miou along with other famous artists, regularly post about their art pieces for social good on the Horyou website.

Immediate and concrete action on the SDGs was called for. Bringing people together and motivating them around the SDGs is a very important step. For instance, presenting the SDGs in unique and captivating manner was considered useful. The example of using comic books for this purpose was highlighted by Sean Southey, co-founder of Comics Uniting Nations who pointed out that “comics play a significant role because we can reach people in a very engaging way.”

The ultimate goal of the modern society is to prepare the world for the next generation. Dan Thomas in his opening speech said: “It’s all about the future.” Many participants of the Conference explored ways and means to inspire the next generation to adopt the causes that we feel strongly about. All agreed that driving next generation to play an active role in supporting social good was crucial at this time. Leadership is important, both in the family, as well as in the community. Certainly the Media for Social Impact Conference was a very interesting event, and it was worth attending.

Written by Elena Tarrassenko

On 17 of September, I attended the Social Good Summit 2017, which took place at 92 Street Y Club in New York. A diverse group of speakers and performers got together and vividly presented in nearly 40 panels what social good means to society. All of the panels were thought provoking and inspiring. Some put forward incredible performances for a diverse audience, which consisted of acting, singing, cooking and displaying innovative medical devices.

Social Good Summit 2017
Social Good Summit 2017

I particularly enjoyed Erika Ender’s panel called “A Conversation with Erika Ender.” Erika Ender, a famous singer and songwriter is from Panama. She performed several songs in an inspirational show. One of the strong messages of her truly moving songs was about young people growing up in modern society and needing more support and better opportunities to become productive members of society.

Madame Gandhi, a singer, activist from Los Angeles, as well as graduate from Harvard Business School, put on a video aimed at inspiring various segments of the society, especially young people, to work for social good, to which she dedicated her entire career. Madame Gandhi expressed the strong belief that social media is one of the most powerful tools to be used to motivate people to work towards achieving the U.N. sustainable development goals.

Benj Pasek, an American songwriter and composer pointed out that music can be a tremendously influential force in the society. He is a strong believer that music helps people of all ages, and the youth in particular is strongly influenced by music. Similarly, art can be very powerful in leading the young generation. Aaron Huey, National Geographic photographer stated that art is more than beauty and decoration. According to him, art can be a weapon and a shield, and it can be used as a compass for children, guiding them into the future.

The importance of the focus of the society on youth resonated throughout this incredibly moving and artistic gathering. Notably, according to the UN studies the youth group of age 15-24 was portrayed as key in terms of their potential to make a difference for the world and its future and help the world achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

It is interesting to note that the Social Good Summit in New York was echoing concerns that were expressed at the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum organized by Horyou, the social network for social good, in Astana, Kazakhstan on 5-7 September 2017. At SIGEF 2017, Yonathan Parienti, CEO of Horyou pointed out: “we live in a world of exacerbated consumption at all levels that is seriously hindering the implementation of critical sustainable development goals. SIGEF 2017, is set to explore, define and share new ideas that advance social innovation and social good for a sustainable growth for all. It is clear that the involvement of the younger generation, that everywhere is acting for change, alongside stakeholders of all ages, is a positive indication that we are moving forward in the right direction of shaping better times to come.”

Many speakers at the Summit in New York echoed this positive message. No doubt, the youth can become truly productive members of the society if society invests in their education. Education for youth was one of the key themes in the Summit.

The statistics in relation to education worldwide demand urgent action. Statistics are one of the important indicators of progress highlighted in SDG 4, Education. According to statistics shared at Social Good Summit, half of the young people in the primary school age group regrettably are not in primary school, and nearly ¾ of youth in the secondary school age group are not in secondary school. In order to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030, there is an acute need for urgent action. At the Summit, youth was portrayed as being key innovators to drive forward new products and designs. This age group is often receptive to and friendly with new technologies and trends. Hence, youth can influence United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Certainly, young people are significant in terms of influencing businesses. They look to companies for the latest trends, and companies, in turn, look to influence youth. Many speakers noted progress in achieving the sustainable development goals for businesses. The great majority of youth seem to care about the causes the business is supporting. Young people are also key drivers of innovation.

Youth may even be able to influence economic growth by becoming loyalty customers, long-term customers to the various brands. This will help shape the formation of businesses in terms of their demand patterns and various preferences in product selection. Customers who value the brand for the causes it stands for are likely to be both early adopters of new products, as well as loyalty customers, as they feel connection with the brand. As such, they will be a driving force behind the brands and thus contribute to both industry and economic growth, foreseen by SDG 9 and SDG 8, respectively.

Many speakers expressed strong views that to achieve the sustainable development goals youth and other sectors of society need proper housing, food, and affordable health care services. In regards to proper housing, SDG 11, it was pointed out that nearly 15 million children are currently on the move and lack permanent housing means. Being often on the move makes it difficult for them to complete school.

Poverty concerns figured highly on the agenda at the Summit. According to statistics shared at the meeting, while overall poverty levels have declined since 1990, a substantial part of the world still lives on less than 1 dollar per day. In this connection, many participants stressed substantial ongoing hunger in the world, while there is also a lot of food waste. This food could potentially be distributed among those who are in need in inexpensive and effective ways. One speaker expressed a particular view that billions of dollars can be made by alleviating hunger and providing other sustainability resources to people in acute poverty.

In regards to inadequate access to sustainable energy sources, it was stressed that twenty percent of people worldwide do not have access to electricity at all.

There is no affordable healthcare in many parts of the world. More than 400 million people still lack access to healthcare worldwide. This problem is substantial. Whoopi Goldberg eloquently stressed the particular problem of having people turned away from hospitals when they are ill. Some were in favor of universal healthcare coverage, as is the case in many countries, and argued that it would allow for more affordable healthcare.

Global warming was also stressed. Many urged to take proactive action on this important issue. While some highlighted that solutions have been constantly put off, others were alarmed that even one degree of warming is significant.

All agreed that it is important to give people a sense of worth through education, jobs, poverty reduction and access to various energy sources, pursuant to relevant Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The Social Good Summit is an event that happens annually, and it is worthwhile attending it.

Written by Elena Tarrassenko

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!

One of the largest events in Central Asia, Expo 2017 Astana reveals the region to the world

Astana is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the world
Astana is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the world

Yuri Shurygin, a 38-year old Russian national, is the three-millionth visitor to the Astana Expo 2017, taking place in Kazakhstan’s capital city. The mark was reached on August 25, when Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the event, congratulated Shurygin and offered him a special welcome gift.

According to the Astana Expo 2017 organizers, around 15% of the visitors are foreigners, most of whom from Russia, Kazakhstan’s closest neighbor. Seizing the opportunity, Yessimov reminded that one of the goals of the event was to increase the tourist flow to the country. He also celebrated the mark which surpasses the initial expectation of two milion visitors at completion of the first three months of the exhibition, which was August 4th. “EXPO 2017 met our expectations completely. The exhibition not only boosted job openings, but also incomes” he added. The multiplication effect, he said, was felt by local busineses of all sizes, while the hotels occupancy rate has doubled.

The previous day, Kazakhstan’s national pavilion greeted its one-millionth visitor.

While the exhibition will end on September 10th, raising hopes for the numerous events that are yet to come, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s president, is said to have approved a plan for post-exhibition use of Expo 217 facilities, according to the local press. Three legacy projects are thus to take shape – the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), the Future Energy international center for the transfer of green technologies and investment projects, and the International IT Startup Hub.

On September 5-7, Horyou will be hosting the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF 2017), at Rixos President Astana Hotel, to which hundreds of attendees are expected. (tickets here).

The Horyou’s 4th Edition of SIGEF will take place during EXPO 2017 Astana, in Kazakhstan. The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum will discuss Future Energy, Smart Cities, SDGs, and lead official delegation to EXPO 2017 Astana. More information on www.sigef2017.com and consult agenda or register your attendance.

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 http://mashable.com/sgs/

The Social Good Summit in Geneva http://www.europe.undp.org/content/geneva/en/home/ourwork/social-good-summit.html

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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