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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Social Good Summit 2018

Entered in Social Good Campaign


The Social Good Summit was created as a direct response to traditionally closed-door talks during the United Nations General Assembly. In providing an alternative, public forum to talk about global issues with the people who are most affected, the Summit looks to unite a lively community of global citizens and progressive thought leaders around a common theme: #2030NOW. A dynamic exploration of the world we want to live in by 2030, the Social Good Summit explores how through connectivity--both technological and cultural--we have the potential to make the world a better place.In its 9th year, the 2018 Social Good Summit sought to re-inspire our audience through thoughtful conversations and activations. As nontraditional leaders emerge across all sectors, in 2018, more than ever, we wanted to ensure that we highlighted voices from the outside-in instead of the inside-out to ensure that no one is left behind in the quest to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Strategy and Execution

The Social Good Summit is truly a collaborative effort that relies on the strength of the partnership between Mashable, the UN Foundation, the UN Development Programme and the 92nd Street Y.

Mashable's year-round coverage of social good and technology's impact on culture fuels the content and programming of the annual Social Good Summit. Mashable's Editorial team leads coverage of the Social Good Summit's onstage conversations, while Mashable's Experiential Marketing team leads production and coordination of the event. This includes, but is not limited to recruiting speakers, managing sponsors, event promotion, guest registration and vendor management.

The United Nations Foundation works to connect the United Nations with the world. This mission sees no bigger stage than that of the Social Good Summit, where heads of state and UN officials are granted the opportunity to directly address a cross-cultural global audience. Utilizing its partnerships with businesses, NGOs, media companies and more, the UN Foundation is key in curating the conversations had onstage.

The UN Development Programme plays a crucial role in making sure that the Social Good Summit is truly a global conversation. In working with its office network in nearly 170 countries and territories, the UN Development Programme connects the tentpole Summit in New York, with local meetups happening across the globe.

The 92nd Street Y, a world-class cultural and community center, serves as the physical home of the Social Good Summit. Hosting nearly 1,200 in-person attendees, and 500+ bloggers/journalists during this day-long Summit, the 92nd Street Y continues to extend its contributions to social good through initiatives such as #GivingTuesday, and the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact.

With a renewed focus on amplifying outside voices, the 2018 Summit team altered its approach to speaker outreach and event promotion.

Rather than simply recruit traditional conference-circuit thought-leaders themselves, we invited those individuals to provide suggestions and recommendations for the "unsung heroes"--speakers who are up-and-coming talent, and putting in the grunt work to create tangible change. Beyond that, our speaker team made a conscious effort to make it as easy as possible for speakers to promote the event to their own audiences by providing them with personalized social media assets.

In a first for the Summit, 2018 saw discounted student ticketing offered to students at local universities. This involved extensive targeted outreach to relevant student groups and organizations.

In an effort to extend the social good conversation beyond the 92nd Street Y, the Summit is livestreamed into 7 different languages. In 2017, the Social Good Summit incorporated American Sign Language translations into the programming; and this year, we promoted the event as deaf-friendly, allowing for a previously untapped audience to attend and participate.


The 2018 Social Good Summit hosted 34 sessions, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first U.S. speaking engagement. With 72% female speakers, this year's Summit was reflective of the increasing calls for gender equality.

The increased outreach and promotion proved successful, as Summit attendance was up by 300 people. Online, the Summit garnered 1.3 billion social impressions, up 273 million from 2017. On Twitter, the Summit hashtag, #2030NOW, was trending on Twitter throughout the day.

In 2018, Forbes identified the Social Good Summit, as one of the "5 Social Impact Conferences Guaranteed to Inspire You." As a staple of UN General Assembly Week and the unofficial kick-off of Global Goals Week, the Social Good Summit continues to deliver on its promise to democratize the social good conversation to ensure that no one gets left behind.


Video for Social Good Summit 2018

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme & the 92nd Street Y