Live blog: CGI, climate summit and NY #globaldev week

#GlobalDev Week wraps up in New York

New York hosted a flurry of #GlobalDev Week events over the past few days like the Social Good Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting, and the U.N. Climate Summit and its 69th General Assembly. Find out the buzz and highlights from our coverage in the above video report by Devex Editor Rolf Rosenkranz.

We’ll update this running blog continuously, so check back regularly, and find more content via our Storify page. Tweet #GlobalDev and follow @devex on Twitter.

Photo by: United Nations

The last day of CGI doesn’t spell the end of activities in the Big Apple — not by a long shot. The fifth annual forum of Business Call to Action will showcase corporate contributions to global development, and a variety of meetings on everything from food security to nutrition and clean cookstoves will vie for attention with the opening of general debate at the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

8:15 a.m.: At the annual Business Call to Action Forum the early discussion was about the role of business in setting and helping to achieve the future sustainability goals. Paul Ladd, from the UNDP who has been part of the consultative process in crafting the SDGs said that a series of consultations including business and civil society is wrapping up and the window for input is closing ahead of the work governments need to do on deciding the SDGs. Leaders from GSK, Standard Chartered, the International Chamber of Commerce and Interaction highlighted several important steps including working with governments to create enabling environments, the importance of cooperation with civil society and the need for swift and continued action on global development challenges even as the agenda is yet to be set.

On Thursday, as the general debate continues at UNGA, MDG advocates meet to talk shop, and several events around town will keep policymakers, business leaders and civil society representatives engaged.

Devex is a proud media partner of CGIAR Development Dialogues, an event on Thursday to highlight the importance of agricultural research and promote climate-smart agricultural practices, and of Friday’s Global Citizen Summit, hosted by the Global Poverty Project at New York University.

Photo by: Asian Development Bank

2 p.m.: Allan Pamba, vice president of Pharmaceuticals East Africa at GlaxoSmithKline tells Devex on the sidelines at CGI that the private sector is moving more into the social space in part because prospective employees of the millennial generation want to make a social impact with their work. He advises job seekers looking to tap into development to consider the private sector.

“We want the best talent,” says Pamba, adding that GSK has a program with which employees are paid to volunteer with health care focused NGOs for six months to a year after they have worked with GSK for at least three years. He says participants of the program provide “an ear to where society is going, and to the needs of society.”

9 a.m.: Highlights of the U.N. Climate Summit included a speech by Leonardo DiCaprio, addressing world leaders during the opening ceremony in his newly appointed position of U.N. Messenger of Peace with a focus on climate change.

A common thread throughout the summit seemed to be urban areas and local climate change action efforts since this event is outside the official UNFCCC negotiations. An important side event to take note of was the UN Private Sector Forum, which was attended by rare visitors to the United Nations like representatives from StatOil, Cargill or investment banks.

The biggest announcement at the summit came from France, who pledged $1 billion over several years to the Green Climate Fund.

8:30 a.m.: Happenings include Day Two of CGI. Gail Straub, co-founder and executive director of the Empowerment Institute tells Devex that “agency” is key to women empowerment. Women need to want to be empowered. They need to understand the benefits, she explained. Straub hopes that in the development space 10 years from now, “agency” will be as recognizable a term as microfinance.

8 a.m.: Devex’s President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar sits down with Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, to discuss the innovation of metrics to understand a company’s commitment to sustainability.

Devex’s President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar sits down with Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

The U.K. and U.S. aid chiefs will inaugurate the Global DIV, a financing mechanism for social entrepreneurs that was kickstarted a few years ago by the U.S. Agency for International Development and will be managed in greater collaboration with partners going forward.

Photo by: Elliottng / CN Reviews / CC BY-NC-SA

7:45 p.m.: The day winds down with UNDP-hosted Equator Prize Award Ceremony at Lincoln Center and a star-studded event to celebrate women’s leadership in sustainable development hosted by U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Mary Robinson, the former Irish president and current U.N. special envoy for climate change.

5:30 p.m.: Devex Impact reporter Adva Saldinger recaps a busy Monday in New York as Devex continues to report live from #GlobalDev Week. The topics of Ebola, climate change and women’s empowerment emerged in her interviews with high-level development executives.

Devex Impact reporter Adva Saldinger talked with high-level executives Monday at the Clinton Global Initiative on Ebola, climate change and women’s empowerment.

5:30 p.m.: Idris Elba, the British actor, joins an informal roundtable discussion with Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles, ONE Campaign co-founder Jamie Drummond and Dr. Christopher Elias, president of the Gates Foundation’s development program. Elba’s father hails from Sierra Leone, one of the countries that has suffered heavily from Ebola this year. Elba says he’s concerned about messaging and about the potential radicalization of the population if the epidemic isn’t curtailed soon.

2:36 p.m.: A sobering fact: 100,000 elephants have been killed in the past three years. If this continues, the world will no longer have elephants in 10 years.

Nineteen-year-old Mercy Chepkoech Sigey of Kenya schools the Social Good Summit audience in the motion sensor she has created to reduce elephant poaching, an example of youth taking matters into their own hands.

12:58 p.m.: Technology not only changes culture, it changes the way we think, according to Undersecretary of State Richard Stengel.

He urges young people during Monday’s Social Good Summit in New York to not only use social media to showcase what they “like” but to also contradict what they feel is wrong as “modern activists.” Social media is neutral, he says, and is “great for good guys, but also works for ISIL, it works for the Russian propaganda system.”

People talk about youth being the future, he says, but youth is the present. In fact, the importance of tapping into the energy and spirit of digitally-enabled millennials was echoed by many panelists at Monday’s event.

“Eighty-four percent of millennials would rather make a difference than achieve recognition for work,” said Niall Dunne, CSO of BT Group.

12:30 p.m.: Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar moderates a high-level panel at “Business as Unusual: Exploring the Potential of Local Health Businesses to Reduce Maternal Mortality,” an event hosted by Merck for Mothers, PSI and the World Bank.

12 p.m.: The annual gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative kicks into high gear Monday with a session on measuring impact — this year’s CGI theme — led by the President Bill Clinton and his wife, the former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Save the Children's Carolyn Miles tells Devex Impact Reporter Adva Saldinger there is no magic treatment for Ebola

10:15 a.m.: Across town, the World Conference on Indigenous People kicks off with calls for the United Nations and its members to do more to address the needs of indigenous peoples — and enshrine their rights explicitly in the post-2015 development agenda which is currently being negotiated at the behest of Ki-moon.

Zeid Ra-ad Zeid Al-Hussein, the new U.N. high commissioner for human rights, joins delegates from around the globe in condemning delays in approving advocates who had been eager to attend the event, which has effectively shut out several of them from the proceedings.

9:45 a.m.: Getting commercial banks to lend money to women entrepreneurs and small business owners is one way to move beyond advocacy for women and towards concrete action for women empowerment, according to Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Moreno, speaking at a CGI panel discussion on women and girls, says that women are shown to take more risks than men when it comes to entrepreneurship, and that banks should realize the benefit of lending money to their efforts.

The Global Banking Alliance, a group of financial institutions helping women-run businesses through financial services, provides a good example of how this can be done, Moreno says.

9:30 a.m.: Also at U.N. headquarters, at a high-level event on realizing the demographic dividend in the Sahel hosted by the U.N. Population Fund, three heads of state — the presidents of Niger, Chad and Ivory Coast — discuss their work to expand health care, encourage family planning and improve the education of women and girls. It’s a conversation that was unthinkable just a few years ago, says Melinda Gates, recounting a recent trip to Niger.

Photo by: Mashable

6 p.m.: The night ends with a U.N. high-level dinner as well as the Clinton Global Citizen Awards ceremony, among other events. At a reception of Every Woman Every Child, the global movement to promote maternal and child health, U.N. Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin helps to launch #MDG456Live, a new digital global health campaign and Carole Presern, the outgoing executive director of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, dances with her peers to an all-too-short live set by an Ugandan rap duo. 

2:30 p.m.: “Can we trust Silicon Valley to change the world for the better?” asks one moderator at Social Good, prompting some laughs from the audience.

It does seem tech companies are playing a larger role in social good efforts. Devex spoke with Jeff Martin, co-founder and CEO of Tribal Technologies, an information technology company partnering with NGOs like Girl Rising to produce short films, play them before cricket matches and then use cell phone data to track whether they result in more girls attending school, for example.

And, swirling around with all the talk of innovation and new technology is the idea that there is always room to use old technology in new ways. Getting the right kind of impactful programming on the radio in a developing country can make a huge difference in a community, Jamie Drummond of ONE and Samantha Nutt of WarChild USA told Devex.

WATCH: The buzz from the Social Good Summit

1:30 p.m.: Devex catches up with Helen Clark, administrator of the U.N. Development Program, who says one of the major shifts she sees in development over the next decade is increased citizen engagement at a local level to ask leaders for change — and technology is opening the door for that.

Devex Assistant Editor Kelli Rogers asks UNDP’s Helen Clark what she sees as one of the major shifts in development in the next decade.

12 p.m.: Across town at the 92nd Street Y, everyone from grassroots activists to global leaders gather at the Social Good Summit, an event hosted by Mashable with the support of the U.N. Foundation and others to discuss the intersection of technology and social good. Panelists take to the stage for brief, viral-friendly discussions.

Buzz centers around the importance of capturing thoughtful data rather than focusing on averages, especially when it comes to the emerging sustainable development goals. The growing focus on data may be a reaction to the occasional criticism with the Millennium Development Goals for focusing more on, say, primary school enrollment statistics more so than the quality of education children around the world actually receive.

There’s also a focus on partnerships and ways to engage the private sector in development causes, a key topic this week in New York.

11:30 a.m.: More than 300,000 attended the People’s Climate March Sunday in Manhattan, making it the biggest demonstration of its kind in history, according to organizers. Demonstrators left Columbus Circle near Central Park at 11:30 a.m. for a 4-mile hike through Midtown and toward Port Authority.

Among the demonstrators were U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Nobel Peace Prize awardee Al Gore as well as countless lawmakers, development professionals and activists, including Jane Goodall and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Check out more coverage of New York #GlobalDev week. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to get the latest from the high-level conferences and other related events happening this week.

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