Ryan Richmond, one of this year's blogger fellows, tells us about his "terrible" experience as a Blogger Fellow at the 2017 Social Good Summit.
First thing’s first. You’re surrounded by other students, young professionals and members of the UN Foundation team who all care about the Sustainable Development Goals and furthering the work of the United Nations as much as you do. It’s completely awful.
You might even make even make a few friends who you’ll stay in touch with even after the summit. Who wants more friends? You already have like, two.
Above is this year’s class of blogger fellows. We got the chance to chat with this year’s U.S. Youth Observer to the UN, Munira Khalif. (She’s in the middle. I’m second from the left in the back row, having an absolutely terrible time.)
After formal meetings and introductions are over, you have to schlep up to the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side for the actual summit itself.
The check in area and super cool Digital Media Lounge badge that you’re given don’t make you feel important at all.
Once you get in, you’re sort of taken aback by how NOT COOL it is. I mean, where did they even find these sponsors? I’ve never heard of them.
The impressive panels made up of world leaders, tech innovators, celebrities and everyday activists certainly didn’t get me excited. Nope, not one bit. I CERTAINLY wasn’t plotting to ambush Whoopi Goldberg when she made her way to the media area.
The viewing area designated for media personnel is just, well, you can see for yourself:
An entire day of listening to inspiring panels and gaining actionable information on how to make an impact in my community was……alright it WAS AMAZING! How often in your life do you get a chance to be this close to so many changemakers, all in one day?!
While you will certainly have a great time, it’s important to remember that the purpose of your being there is to spread the wealth of information you learn. Here are three fast facts from the day.
- Currently, there are over 50 million child refugees on the move, a number that has not been seen since WWII. UNICEF is active in 190 countries providing shelter, food, education and vital services to refugee children every single day
- The Kigali Amendment (part of the Montreal Protocol) is viewed as one of the most effective climate amendments there has ever been. This binding agreement mandates that countries phase out the harmful HFCs, and in turn, phase out one of the six greenhouse gasses
- Whoopi Goldberg drove home the fact that HIV is sometimes viewed as something that has been defeated. It has not. Some reports estimate that 1 out of 2 African American men who have sex with men will contract the virus.
If you ever get the chance to participate in an event like this, take it. The point of it all is that we can all make a difference. Go out and be good.