Video: The former head of commitments at CGI on efforts to replace it

Marilia Bezerra, ‎managing partner at CARE Enterprises, talks about what it’s like to attend UNGA as the former commitments director at CGI.

NEW YORK — How do you get from the talking to the doing?

This is something every event organizer asks themselves, particularly when it comes to events aimed at generating impact on issues as complex as the Sustainable Development Goals.

Devex caught up with Marilia Bezerra, ‎managing partner at CARE Enterprises, during the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit this week. This is the first year since 2006 that she has not spent September in the halls of the Sheraton Hotel in New York City, where the Clinton Global Initiative set the tradition of U.N. General Assembly side events in motion. Bezerra was formerly the commitments director at CGI, which announced last year they would not be continuing — leading to movement from the World Economic Forum, Concordia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others to fill the void.

She offered some advice on how to convene for impact, including moving from an event-oriented model to a community-oriented model, facilitating partnerships between meetings. Additionally, Bezerra said, panelists should talk about challenges and failures, in order to have honest conversations about the systemic changes needed to achieve the SDGs.

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About the author

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    Catherine Cheney

    Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology and innovation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported from all over the world, and freelanced for outlets including the Atlantic and the Washington Post. She is also the West Coast ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit that trains and connects journalists to cover responses to problems.