Monday marked 100 days until world leaders will gather in Rio de Janeiro to renew their political commitment for a sustainable future at the Rio+20 summit. But what does the rest of the world have to say about creating a sustainable future?
Yesterday, an innovative partnership and special event called Rio+Social was announced which aims to ensure that the dialogue on global issues ranging from sustainable energy to poverty eradication and food security moves beyond the meeting rooms of the Rio+20 summit and into all corners of the world.
Rio+Social will be a one-day event that will take place on June 19th in Rio de Janeiro on the eve of the high-level sessions at Rio+20. It brings together the United Nations Foundation, Mashable, 92nd Street Y, Ericsson, and EDP, to create South America’s first-of-its-kind, in-person gathering and global, online conversation on the potential of social media and technology to be a force for good and power a more innovative and better future for our world.
“In a time when there are so many global issue capturing our attention, social media gives us the opportunity to participate in as many conversations as possible”, said Pete Cashmore, Founder and CEO of Mashable. “Rio+20 will answer people’s call to be part of the conversation at one of the most important UN summits”.
20 years ago, when the UN convened the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, technology played a minor role in setting global development agendas. Twenty years later, the world is a very different place. We are now living in a digital age, where social media is used widely as a channel of communication to engage audiences around the world. At the end of 2011, approximately 1.2 billion people used social networking sites at least once per month – that’s over a sixth of the current world population. And its power to reach people all over the world, and quickly, is not to be underestimated. You only have to watch Kony 2012, a recent video viral campaign that had 100 million views in under a week, to realise why.
Rio+Social comes from the organisations that produce the acclaimed Social Good Summit each year in New York (Mashable, 92nd Street Y, and the United Nations Foundations). Everyone is invited to take part as the event will be broadcast live worldwide. Topics of focus on the day will include energy, cities, jobs, food, water, women, oceans and disasters. It unites stakeholders and digital leaders around a historic global meeting – taking full advantage of the promise of what social media can do to build a constructive, authentic, meaningful discussion about issues that matter to all of us.
Social media has become a part of everyone’s life as more and more people recognise the importance of using social media, and embrace it for both personal and business use. For businesses, social media is a game changer. Companies that invested early to harness the power of social media claim returns as high as 20 to 1, with even greater gains predicted to be on the way. Meanwhile, those on the wrong side of this customer-driven uprising have already learned the hard way how quickly brands and reputations can be built—or destroyed—by this phenomenon.
This entry was originally published on the Glasshouse Partnership blog, Glasshouse Partnership is the specialist CSR and sustainability unit within Lexis.