Gabriela Taveras, one of this year's Blogger Fellows, shares her top 5 moments from her experiences at the Social Good Summit and Global Goals Week.
Transitioning from the comfort of undergraduate life to the throes of job searching is no easy task. However, there was one fact that stood out among all others: I’d make the most out of my freshly-minted alumna status, and engage in programs I hadn’t experienced as a student - and this is where the Social Good Summit (SGS) comes in.
I heard about the announcement back in early August, and the happy news arrived later that month. I was excited to attend, since I’d dreamt of attending in college (that’s the wonder of full course loads, extracurriculars and internships, isn’t it?).
Now, you might be wondering: what’s it like to be a UNA-USA Blogger Fellow? Well readers, this’ll be more than a walkthrough: I’ll tell you all about my top 5 favorite moments that transpired during the SGS and the Global Goals week, which officially kicks off with the Summit:
1. Blogger Fellow Preparation Meeting
Prior to meeting everyone else, I’d only known one of the Fellows, who’s been one of my University friends for many years. Though intimidated at first, I soon felt inspired by all the fantastic people around me: the current U.S Youth Observer to the U.N, Munira Khalif, recent graduates working for the Department of Energy at Southwest Airlines, aspiring German Chancellors, and former Department of State interns. The energy radiated in waves, and I was ready to take on the Summit! Shoutout to Anna and Sarah for the preparation work and for putting together so many resources!
2. Feeling Official at the Digital Media Lounge (DML)
Stepping into the DML made me feel like some sort of up-and-coming journalist. Sitting at different workstations with influencers and communications professionals was a fantastic way to get into the Summit’s spirit, and remember the importance of delivering our voices in a fact-based and respectful manner.
3. Inspirational Speakers that Ignite the Spark of Change
Coming into the Summit, I had a solid idea of who I was excited to see: Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Filippo Grandi, and Whoopi Goldberg, to name a few. However, I didn’t expect to be as awed as I was, or brought to tears (special mention to the “White Helmets” and “On the Other Side of Freedom” sessions). The Summit was a gathering of people who don’t just claim they’d like to live in a better world: they make it a reality through their words, actions, and daily lives. As Whoopi Goldberg said:
4. Attending the Global Goals World Cup (GGWC)
One of the surprises I had during the Summit was speaking to one of the organizers of the “Global Goals World Cup,” an international soccer meet-up comprised of all-female teams from around the world. As a former soccer player, I was happy to accept the invitation and got ready for the matches, which took place on Tuesday, September 19. It was thrilling to see fantastic athletes playing with every ounce of passion possible while representing their Sustainable Development Goal of choice! (I even got to take a picture with the Cup’s official ball!)
6. Meeting Nikolaj Coster Waldau, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and Game of Thrones star, and Victor Ochen, World Peace Ambassador and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
To be honest, this was probably my number one favorite moment, but for the sake of sticking to a somewhat chronological order, it had to be number 5. As a huge Game of Thrones fan, and having visited the Nobel Museum last month, I was thrilled at the opportunity to meet them! Both served as referees during the GGWC, and are fierce advocates of girls’ rights and spreading awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is something many of us can relate to.
6. Bonus: Pokémon Go gears up for Global Goals Week
Because who doesn’t enjoy spreading awareness of the most relevant and inclusive international development agenda of our time? If you play Pokémon Go, be sure to use it as a platform to tell your friends all about what the Global Goals are, and why they’re important for current and future generations.