Educator Development

Live blog: The 2017 Social Good Summit

Look for the Helpers

Mr. Rogers shared some good advice that his mother gave him in scary times: “Look for the helpers.”

The Social Good Summit is about making the helpers more visible and reminding us that they don’t always wear capes. Helpers wear white helmets and high heels. They wear hijabs and blue vests. They wear stethoscopes and cameras. From all of the helpers who graced the stage of the 92nd St. Y to tell their stories, a few themes emerged that shed light on what it means to be a helper.

  • Pay attention. Helpers ask questions, seek answers, and challenge assumptions.
  • Make connections. Helpers find commonalities that link them to the rest of the world and see the humanity in people everywhere.
  • Have hope. Helpers truly believe that the world can be better.
  • Take action. Helpers do something, no matter how small, to make the world a better place.

These are things that all of us can do in our own way, no matter our age, gender, geography, or language.

Updated 5:10 p.m.

Global Education: XPRIZE

XPRIZE recognized five organizations developing innovative education solutions, providing access to reading, writing, and math to children around the world through technology. These organizations are semifinalists for XPRIZE’s $1 million prize to advance their work. You and your students can learn how to promote quality education for all people around the world through this free course.

Updated 4:01 p.m.

Aaron Huey, Executive Director of Amplifier, calls on educators to use art as a vehicle to discuss cross-cultural identity in classrooms. You can learn more and get access to webinars, newsletters, a free education art pack, and more.

Updated 3:51 p.m.

The Importance of Stories

Another theme of the day has been the importance of stories in reminding us of our shared humanity. Carolyn Miles from Save the Children advises, “Pay attention to individual stories. Get beyond the numbers. See the human impact.” Stories help us connect with each other. They help us see people in three dimensions, beyond statistics, assumptions, or differences. Narratives (and as Joumana Haddad reminds us, counter-narratives) tap into how our brains are wired and expose a shared humanity.

So who gets to tell these stories? Which stories get told? Who gets to decide? Deray Mckesson reminds us, “Social media flattened the world in terms of who became storytellers.” It’s up to all of us to ask ourselves: What stories are we paying attention to?

Updated 3:25 p.m.

The Global Goals Jam brings together people from all over the world to design the future we want to see. Get your students involved in the Sustainable Development Goals through design challenges and projects, and download this free kit to get started!

Updated 2:21 p.m.

Counting the Beans: The True Cost of a Plate of Food Around the World

David Beasley and Arthur Potts Dawson demonstrate the exorbitant cost of food in countries ravaged by war, poverty, and disease.

What can you and your students do to combat hunger and food insecurity in your local community and around the world? This free course can get you started with vetted resources and lesson plans.

Updated 1:44 p.m.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, urges people to get to know refugees in their own community to better understand their experiences. He explains the importance of empathizing with people who have left everything behind to flee persecution. See resources for teaching about refugee crises around the world in this collection.

Updated 1:27 p.m.

At the heart of global leadership is one’s connection to the rest of the world – the feeling that you are a part of a global community, that what happens across an ocean impacts you as well. There’s not us and them. As Whoopi Goldberg (!!) said today, “It’s just us, as human beings.” This sense of connection to and responsibility for the world has been present in every single session so far today— it is, in fact, the purpose of this whole event.

When Participate Learning adopted PISA’s definition of global competence and started applying it to our programs, the idea of uniting our world emerged as foundational to all the work we do. It is neither an ends nor a means, but woven throughout as the what, why, and how of global education.

Updated 12:48 p.m.

Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC news anchor, speaks about the need for desks in schools in Malawi so students do not have to sit on the floor. "Something truly magical enters their lives," O'Donnell said of when they receive their desks. Often schools meant to accommodate 30 students will have over 100. O'Donnell has partnered with UNICEF to continue delivering materials to students in Malawi.

Updated 12:21 p.m.

Cooling in a Hotter World

Rachel Kyte, CEO of SE4ALL, explains that we take cooling for granted most of the time —our air conditioning and the refrigeration of our food and medicine. Progress is happening in eliminating greenhouse gases in countries around the world, but more needs to be done to combat the effects of a warming world. What can you and your students do to curb the effects of climate change? This free course on climate action can help you get started.

Updated 12:09 p.m.

Watch the Social Good Summit through Mashable's live stream!

Updated 11:48 a.m.

Jayathma Wickramanayake, Youth Envoy to the UN, issued this powerful challenge: “Youth are already leaders. The question is: can the world keep up with the young people?”

Our students are open, curious, and passionate, and they deserve a world and an education that meets them where they are. This is the heart of our work at Participate Learning: supporting teachers to create learning experiences and environments that live out the values of sustainability, equity, and justice. We must expand young minds and open our world to them— not in the future, not when they graduate, not even tomorrow— NOW. Our students won’t wait to participate in their world. Young people are already leaders. Let’s take their lead.

This weekend, Participate Learning is heading to New York City for the annual Social Good Summit that coincides with the UN's General Assembly Week. The Summit brings together a global community of people passionate about using technology to make the world a better place by 2030.

As educators, we want you to experience and learn alongside us at the Summit! We will live blog throughout the conference on Sunday, September 17, so check back here often for updates, recaps, and resources.

Here are a few resources to help you follow the conversation: