I’ve always felt a little uneasy about the self-promotion required to maintain a blog: Posting links on social media asking my friends to read my work, assuming I have anything interesting enough to say to hold it up on the internet, let alone expecting people to like it. But this month, I learned what doors blogging can open. Not the kind of doors where advertisers pay you to talk about a product on your blog. My passionate rants about various social issues lent me to a slightly nerdier purpose – I was selected to attend a Social Good Summit as a United Nations Association Blogger Fellow in New York next weekend.
The Summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. The summit’s theme, #2030NOW, asks, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” In addition to the event I’m attending in New York City, people “convene around the world to take part in the global discussion about how communities are using the digital tools of today to build a brighter future.”
The timing of the Social Good Summit is especially important this year, as it will coincide with the 70th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly at its headquarters in New York, and the adoption of the United Nations’ new “Global Goals,” that replace its expiring “Millennium Development Goals.” (read more on these below).
My role at the Summit will be to amplify the message of thought-leaders, global experts, and “social good” advocates who will discuss issues ranging from resettlement of refugees, to using sports for social good, to using social media as a first-responder in cases of emergencies (like many of us experienced when Facebook notified us that our friends near the recent earthquake in Chile were okay).
I will share the discussions and ideas I hear throughout the weekend on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and this blog, and encourage you to follow the conversation using the hashtags #2030Now and #SocialGood.
It will be quite the honor to attend this event. If I hadn’t started this blog after graduating college more than a year ago, I wouldn’t have had any material with which to apply for such an exciting blogging opportunity in the career field I love and want to work in someday. Now, instead of grimacing at what I thought was self-promotion, I am so happy that I have used this medium to keep my writing skills sharp about issues that I truly care about. A seemingly-pointless blog has turned into my first networking opportunity with real UN leaders (that I’m fan-girling about hardcore). Moral of my story – While you might not work in your dream job or ideal career yet – continuing to cultivate your interests in your spare time can open big doors in the future.
Millennium Development Goals Background:
In 2000, countries came together to put in place the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that the world would use as a plan for ending extreme poverty. They focused on eradicating extreme hunger, and poverty; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment; reducing the under-five child mortality rate; reducing the maternal mortality rate; combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development.
Sustainable Development Goals or “Global Goals” Background:
As the MDG’s expire in 2015, the new global goals the UN will adopt this week are built on their successful framework, but represent a better understanding of the connections between poverty, governance, health, gender, climate, and education.