The annual Social Good Summit (September 23, 2018) is held during the United Nations General Assembly week in New York City. The event unites global citizens and progressive thought leaders around a common theme: #2030NOW. The event focused on how we can unlock technology’s potential to make the world a better place to live in by 2030. This year’s panelists included New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern; Deaf activist and America’s Next Top Model winner, Nyle DiMarco; YouTube creator, Lilly Singh; rapper and activist, Sonita Alizadeh, and CEO Save the Children UK, Kevin Watkins, among many others.

Let’s celebrate the good with these powerful thoughts and ideas from the speakers.

Photo credit: Mashable

On governing: “Unless there is a culture that accepts that mothers and children are part of our workplaces, we won’t change anything. As one of our 12 priorities as a government we want to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. Not to raise children, but to be a child,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

On youth: “No decision should be made about kids without kids,” as told by Lilly Singh

On education: “Having access to education and language is human rights. Think more about inclusion and how it matters.” Shared deaf activist and 2015 America’s Next Top Model winner, Nyle DiMarco.

On environment: The dangerous of plastics explains Dia Mirza, a Bollywood actress, producer, and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador. “I think the beat pollution campaign comes to me as one of the most significant campaigns of our times and one of the most successful, because now more than ever before, people understand how useless single-use plastics are – and how dangerous they are for the environment.”

On empowerment: “At no point anyone said I couldn’t or shouldn’t. Girls can do as much as boys, and accomplish more things.” As told by Zuriel Oduwole, a 15-year-old filmmaker and an advocate for girl education. Whereas Sonita Alizadeh, a rapper and an advocate to end child marriage said, “Even if it’s a small action, if you start, others will follow you.”

On mental health: “We all have mental health. This [issue] is urgent. This is important. There are solutions, and we need to light it all around the world.” Elisha London, Founder & CEO, United For Global Mental Health. Together with Sitawa Wafula, a consultant best known for bringing mental health conversations to the forefront in Africa, were sharing about Access and Inclusion for Global Mental Health.

On food: “Cooking is life. Cooking is love. Cooking is happiness.” On the topic of A Chef’s Manifesto to Fight Hunger with Manal Al Alem and Anahita Dhondy.

On children’s future: Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save The Children UK, quoting his partner in Kenya. “When I’m with those children, I feel them looking at me. And their eyes saying to me, to fight for me. Fight for my life.”

On sex education: “Kids want to learn about sex-ed but they’re not preoccupied with the biology side of it. What they do think on a daily basis, is the relationship side of it. And they want answers from adult with accurate and non-judgemental answers for their questions,” shared by Nicole Cushman, Executive Director of Answer an Advisor to AMAZE, on sex conversation among youth.

On amplifying our voices: “Often woman does not have a voice. We’re scared to speak up and worried the society is judging what you’re look like. We’re supposed to be in a box. At times right now, however, this box does not exist. You can become who you are right now, and feel empowered,” said Ingrid Silva, Professional Ballerina with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Activist, Founder of EmpowHer New York