We are not a generation of bystanders, we are Global Citizens

We are not a generation of bystanders, we are Global Citizens

 “In 15 years, we went from no space program … to boot prints on the moon. I remember the day, because that was made possible … everything else was possible as well.”

– American astronomer and author Neil deGrasse Tyson

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.12.57 AMIf human creativity can historically achieve that sort of progress in 15 years, why should we not be able to do it again, but this time not with the aim of reaching the moon but ending extreme poverty.  For the first time ever this is a generation that has such an ambitious goal within its grasp. 2015 is thus an extraordinary year. In fact Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, has said that it is the most important year for the United Nations since its founding 70 years ago.  The reason for this is the launch of the 17 Global Goals [AF1] to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change.

From the Foundation’s perspective job creation and entrepreneurs is clearly articulated in Goal 8 of the Global Goals: Decent work and economic growth.  Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell is the United Nation Foundation’s first Global Advocate for Entrepreneurship in support of this goal. In this role, he has set the mission of paving the way for the next billion jobs by advocating for the No. 1 creator of jobs: entrepreneurs.

As he says: “The overarching goal of the Global Goals is to end absolute poverty by 2030. How is that possible without new and better jobs? And who is creating those jobs? Entrepreneurs. Start-ups and fast-growing, new businesses create 70 percent of the net new jobs in the world (up to 90 percent in some emerging economies)”

The launch of global goals was celebrated in unique way the day after being approved at the United Nations on 25 September 2015, with the Global Citizen Festival [AF2] in Central Park, New York.  This event brought together star studded musicians, including Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Cold Play and Pearl Jam, with a number of world leaders such as the First Lady of America, Vice President Biden, Secretary General of the UN, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala, Bill Gates and many others – all united in the cause of ending extreme poverty. It was an extraordinary event attended by over 60,000 people, not least because all those attending had not bought their way into the festival but had earned the right to attend, by taking action as global citizens.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.13.16 AMIn the 2014 Global Citizen Festival it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India who had explained how this change will happen:

“Some believe that the world changes with the wisdom of the old. I think that the idealism, innovation, energy and “can do” attitude of the youth is even more powerful. To put the light of hope in every eye, and the joy of belief in every heart. Lift people out of poverty. A roof over every head. I know it is possible”

So in support of this generation defining moment, we are encouraging our community and friends to join these passionate individuals working together to effect a movement of change – to heed the words of  Bill and Melinda Gates in his newsletter earlier this year: “We want to raise the visibility of these problems. We want to give global citizens a way to lend their voice, urging governments, companies, and non-profits to make these issues a priority. ”

Don’t be generation of bystanders, be a Global Citizen.

Sign up at www.globalcitizen.org

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