For the second year in a row, I was lucky enough to attend Mashable's Social Good Summit at the 92Y in New York City. This sold-out event is often billed as the "alternative CGI" (Clinton Global Initiative), as it costs under $100 to attend and the speakers are every bit as good. SGS has fast become one of my favorite conferences, because it's well-organized, fast, and anyone can watch online. The proceedings are broadcast live with simultaneous interpretation into eight languages. Kudos to Pete Cashmore and his Social Good team.
While most of the discussions were worth the wait, some were outstanding. The panel on The Carter Center's success in fighting Guinea worm was inspiring, as was the conversation about Beyond Right & Wrong, a documentary film on the topic of restorative justice and forgiveness. The second day covered some more great topics: the XPrize team talking up their new $15 million Global Learning competition, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel's kinetic plea for social do-gooders to combat terrorism online (pictured above), Lily Cole and Muhammad Yunus talking social business, while Connie Britton, Jane Wurwand, Rosa Wang and Vicki Escarra talked about empowering women. Many of the videos are now online, but I'd recommend at least watching the XPrize session:
While the format of 20-minute panel discussions was not as engaging as last year's 8-minute individual presentations, I left SGS feeling inspired and connected to the rest of the world. Part of that feeling comes from being in New York during its busiest week of the year. With the UN General Assembly in session, the Clinton Global Initiative in full swing, and President Obama in town to deliver speeches, it seems like the whole world is in the Big Apple at the same time. Traffic becomes a nightmare, but it's the only time you can still in line for a coffee behind Bedouins, natives of the Amazon rainforest, and women in traditional Malaysian dresses. For one brief moment, it almost seems like we really can all get along.