Experts, activists, celebrities and world leaders met in New York this week, alongside bloggers and social media experts for the Social Good Summit. This four-year old annual event, which takes place in conjunction to the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),  is hosted by the United Nations Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 92nd Street Y (92Y) and the social media news site, Mashable.

The conversation is about the world we want to live in by the year 2030, and the goal is to instil a sense of purpose among those who might feel otherwise useless - for lack of a better word - when it comes to resolving some of the major issues on the planet. The interactive event is built upon social conversation and the open line of communication that is social media.

What makes this event unique is its social media strategy. Not only does a community gather in New York City for live talks in person, but bloggers from around the world are also invited to attend in order to get the message out to a broader audience. The Social Good Summit also holds meet-ups around the world so more voices can be heard - they want to know how new media can lead to solutions to some of the greatest issues, such as human rights, and the answers can only truly be heard through social media channels. This year, there were over 100 of those meet ups in over 70 countries around the world.

The Social Good Summit, or #2030NOW is a perfect example of how social media is giving a voice to those who might not have had the ability or the courage to speak out just a decade ago.

In an interview with Forbes, UN Foundation vice president of public relations Aaron Sharinian, said:
"The Social Good Summit was born out of the idea of opening up a conversation, creating an open-source platform for anyone to help think about the most pressing issues facing our world and how we can work together, using technology and social media to tackle those challenges."

I'm surprised I had not heard about this event before this year, but I'm impressed with its message and the ripple effect online. It make me wonder how many more international events have the same type strategy to get the word out.

Leave a comment if you know of other interactive events that promote online discussions like the Social Good Summit.

(First blog post for "Developing a Social Media Strategy")

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