An Insider's Look into Social Good Summit 2012

August 27, 2012 BY Kaitlin Thurman Barry


Since 2010, I have had the privilege of helping organize the Social Good Summit, meeting amazing speakers from all around the world, and working with our incredible partners to make UN Week accessible to everyone.
When you work at an event, you don't always get to see it like someone in the audience does.  What I see is a rush of people coming through the doors, a bustling green room full of anxious and excited panelists, staff rushing around to catch the next interview on Flip camera, bloggers networking and asking each other for the other's Twitter handle, laptops being plugged into whatever free outlet is left, and laughter from the audience.  It is the most incredible ecosystem of diverse people from all around the world coming together around one cause: the power of social media and technology to make the world a better place.
What I love is that it isn't always the "usual suspects" that you find at the Social Good Summit.  When Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke last year, I was desperate to take off my staff badge and sneak into the audience for a glimpse of his talk.  Silently peering through side door of the auditorium, I witnessed him pull out his iPhone and give that endearing laugh that only "Arch" (as I learned he is known to friends) gives off.  His talk was on the "transformative power of human connection" and while he wasn't one of our many entrepreneurs or CEO's diving into the latest technology-for-development projects, even he understood that world we live in is interconnected in a way it has never been before and we can only begin pursuing the greatest solutions to our greatest issues if we realize our tools for doing so have changed.  A mobile phone and a Twitter account may have just as much power as a billion dollar grant.
I hope you will join me this year at the 2012 Social Good Summit.  I'll be the one running around like crazy making sure you have your badge and standing on the side of the street hailing cabs so that speakers can get to their next commitment.  Yet I'll also be the one on my Macbook, making sure my friends and networks are connected to what's happening right then and there at the 92nd Street Y.  I don't want them -or you- to miss out on some of the most powerful conversations any of us will witness and take part in all year long.  See you soon!




Submitted by Carrie Lee Ferguson on: August 28, 2012 Thanks for this blog Kaitlin. I'm beyond excited to attend this years summit. You got me even more pumped up, picturing so many diverse people joining together for common cause.

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