Photo by Alexandra Semyonova

“Our impact is unimaginably amplified when we work together.”
—Asha Curran, CEO of Giving Tuesday 

The 2019 Social Good Summit (presented by 92Y, Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, and the UN Development Programme) kicked off its tenth anniversary. This year brought together global changemakers to focus on one of the most crucial issues of our time – climate change. Throughout the day, the stage featured a diverse range of voices to educate and advance climate change solutions from global changemakers, policymakers, youth advocates, and leaders from different countries and industries. 

On a personal note, the social good summit always leaves me energized after connecting with leaders from varying fields, committing to a unified vision. From the marathon sessions, we gathered three of the boldest ideas that provide power-packed insights from the summit to help carry our efforts forward to tackle climate change:

Climate action needs to start at home through our own actions (and our families). How? By getting educated and building our awareness on what harms the environment on a local to a global scale. 

There are simple actions that we can take to play a bigger role. Christina Figueres, Founding Partner of Global Optimism and Former Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Convention, highlighted easy steps we can start taking today, for example, reducing our meat intake, using public transit (or walking/biking), reducing our energy use and getting political. 

While it may be easier to feel overwhelmed by the large task at hand, our actions have an effect, and we can make a difference. 

The consequences of climate change affect everyone (and everything). Climate change is showing its effects from Colorado to Cambodia and touching upon every community differently. We see its impact through raging wildfires, terrifying hurricanes and storms, irregular weather patterns, air pollution, soil pollution, and even in the faces of climate refugees. 

We may all work across different fields, focus on different types of work, but tackling climate change will be a collective effort. It will be a global effort. Climate change makes delivering on the sustainable development goals on a worldwide scale more difficult as it brings new uncertainties across every region. 

At the Social Good Summit, Yurok tribal member Amy Cordalis described how our actions are affecting her indigenous lands. Climate change has transformed the landscape of the once bountiful salmon that were a part of her community ecosystem. The consequences for our food productions are leaving ecosystems dire.

Days before the Social Good Summit, an estimated 4 million people in 185 countries participated in coordinated global climate change strikes as part of the youth-led Fridays for Future movement begun by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Within the United States, young climate activists from the north to the south came together to convey their messages through a unified voice to demand action from world leaders. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth reminds us,

“Individual change is great, but it’s not enough. To tackle the biggest crisis that our planet has faced and continues to face, we need to change systems.” 

 Jay’len Boone, 2019-20 Youth Observer to the UN, shared a personal narrative on coming face to face with climate change. Hurricane Harvey left Boone witnessing the crippling limitations within his region. Kids were barred from education because schools closed, and individuals across all boroughs were unable to access simple items as groceries due to flooding. Instead of feeling powerless as a young person, he catapulted forward to educate young people on how to leverage their ideas to make an impact in their communities. Jay is just one of the many young advocates taking everyday actions to bring forth climate solutions. 

We challenge you to start thinking about your everyday actions on how you can become a more socially conscious consumer. The actions you take today will affect future generations—and it with all of our actions, our voices to reach a world where no one is left behind. 

At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.