Yulu’s leadership team jetted off to the bright lights of New York City last week and joined world leaders, social entrepreneurs and 2,000 other grassroots activists at Mashable’s Social Good Summit. The theme #2030NOW asked the question, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?”

Our managing director Clare Hamilton-Eddy reports back:

Despite the packed auditorium and buzz of many like-minded people eagerly anticipating the A-list agenda, we soon discovered that the done thing was to say “hello” to our neighbours via Twitter. Ever the fearless networker, Melissa was straight on the case and, before you could say “social impact”, she had arranged to meet with influencers, podcasters, comms pros and potential clients (shout outs to the John Hopkins comms team, Branden Harvey and Lucky Iron Fish), all interested in talking impact relations, sharing communications best practices, and meeting fellow B Corps.
How to meet people on Twitter How to meet people on TwitterIn terms of the conference itself, a single blog post cannot do the talks or takeaways justice. But here are a few of the many highlights that stood out:

The universal pursuit towards health and well-being 
Norway’s former Prime Minister and Canadian physician and leading international advocate for inclusive peace processes, Dr. Alaa Murabit, discussed how we can get closer to providing everyone with quality and accessible health care. One step in the right direction is to frame the conversation around the economic benefits good health brings instead of us focusing on the cost to the government.

Accessible healthcare and social justice are two things close to Yulu’s heart and what our team works closely on with the Department of Family Medicine at Providence Health Care. Understanding the issues on a macro-level certainly helps us identify communications solutions on a micro-level that will help us guide our client to a point where they are having a more significant impact in this area.

Staying on the health care topic, the city came to a standstill on day two as the secret service moved in and combed the streets, people and anything else they could find in order to roll-out the red carpet for U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden. This was a personal highlight and one that seemed to inspire the entire room judging from the standing ovation and extremely loud clapping.

Cancer Moonshot
Biden talked about the goal of Cancer Moonshot: to double the rate of progress of curing cancer in five years instead of 10. He shared that it’s about hope and, importantly, action on an international level. Speaking from his own family tragedy relating to cancer, he discussed the importance of research funding and modernization, the necessity of making data readable and immediately reportable, the need to take advantage of technology and data aggregation, the need to break through cultural norms, and the urgency of now. He ended his eloquent and passionate speech by stating, “there’s so much we can do – TODAY. It’s about never giving up. It’s about promise. We can’t change it overnight but we can reduce cancer numbers every single day.”
Joe Biden #2030Now
Finally, a few of the talks focused on the current refugee crisis. While Yulu has yet to directly work in this area, it certainly underlined the need for us, as global citizens, to think about how we can do our bit to make the world a more sustainable place and support the more vulnerable populations around us – starting in our own backyard. It also highlighted the importance of always searching for longer-term solutions versus finding shorter-term fixes – something we are constantly challenging our clients on.

Refugee children in crisis

Filippo Grandi from The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Carolyn Miles from Save the Children threw out some pretty shocking statistics around the reality of the world’s current refugee crisis:
  • 65 million people have been forced to leave their homes
  • 50% of refugees are kids
  • 50% of refugee kids are not in school; only 1% go to university
  • A high percentage of refugee kids under the age of five die
The ensuing debate, moderated by the BBC‘s Alan Kasuija, focused on the need to invest in the future and in a sustainable solution. It was agreed that it was imperative to move away from short-term humanitarian resources responses such as blankets and magazines and that collective conversations needed to take place to help solve this dire situation. The importance of education and play and the need to give kids back their childhood was continually reinforced.
The conference behind us and spurred on by the energy, pizza and Times Square mascots of the city that never sleeps, we decided to cast our social net away from our Mashable friends and find some other A-listers – or at least individuals we at Yulu find inspiring. We made stops at Soho House to share a cocktail or three with our friend and entrepreneur, PandaPay founder Charles Huang; we lunched with Florence Quinn of Quinn PR, a mentor and agency that has provided Yulu with a lot of its creative inspiration over the years; met up with our client, SoundCloud; and toured the Center for Social Innovation (where we met our agency crush, Agency!)
Yulu #2030Now

Believe it or not, this took three tries.

After a whirlwind week, we’ve come back educated and inspired, ready to look at how we can continue to have the best possible social impact in the work we do in the areas of social justice, health care and technology, to name just a few. Give or take some poor conference recycling options, limited networking and the frightening Chelsea bombings that took place on our first night, it was a magical carpet ride that we’d likely want to jump on again (incidentally, we went and saw Aladdin on Broadway. It was pretty awesome).

On that note, I’ll leave you with a few quotes to contemplate from some of the Summit’s speakers:

Helen Clark, ex-New Zealand Prime Minster:

When you get to the top, don’t drop the ladder – let other women come up too.

Chelsea Handler:

If you have a soapbox, stand on it and scream.

Jason Harris, CEO Mekanism Ad Agency:

Tell me and I forget; Show me, I may remember; Include me, I’ll get involved.