brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 22, 2013 12:26 PM
Somewhere, a world exists where more people have access to smartphones than toilets. Oh, wait. That's us.
Today marks the 20th annual World Water Day, observed on March 22 since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared a global effort to improve access to clean water. Today, hundreds of multinational brands, political figures, celebrities and NGO's are offering up innovative ways to participate.
While Americans are drinking more water than ever before, the rest of the world's water crisis is becoming increasingly pressing, making it to the agenda of the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos. That's when a report ranked water among the top five global factors equal in impact to systemic financial failure and fiscal imbalance, with 2.7 billion people affected by water shortages, compounded by climate change and a global population nearing 8 billion.
Two official meetings—in The Hague, The Netherlands and at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City—are taking place today to facilitate a global conversation on water cooperation, this year's theme, but hundreds of initiatives have launched across the globe in support of the effort.
In keeping with the theme of 2013 being the year of water cooperations, we've found some inspiring examples of the type of public-private partnerships spurring sustainable innovation to address the world's water crisis.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 11:10 AM
Women's issues are top of mind, with International Women's Day on March 8th and the the 57th Session the main focus of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women now underway in New York, with about 700 related events taking place March 4-15.
Kicking off CSW, UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet today formally convened the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (follow on Twitter at #CSW57). The recent gang-rape and murder of a student in Delhi and the One Billion Rising campaign drew global attention, Bachelet notes: "2012 demonstrated that this [violence] is a terrible reality for many women every day. I'm an optimistic woman and I believe it's clear that we can't continue in the 21st century with this terrible violation of women's human rights."
More than 6,000 UN officials, NGO workers and women's rights activists are expected in New York to debate and create action around the issues, lobbying behind the efforts to counter the work of rightwing groups and countries such as Iran, Russia and the Holy See who are already calling for “removal of key lines of this year's draft document that relate to reproductive health and rights, and those that suggest governments take responsibility for tackling gender violence,” notes the Guardian.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2013 11:02 AM
Matt Damon, looking for a way to “persuade people to give a shit about toilets,” staged a press conference in anticipation of World Water Day, March 22. The actor's latest move pushes the continuing efforts of his non-profit, water.org, which educates people about the lack of basic sanitation and clean water for 2.5 billion people around the world.
At the faux press conference, Damon announced that “in protest of this global tragedy … until everyone has access to clean water, I will not go to the bathroom,” and he’s asking everyone to join him at Strikewithme.org.
The aim of the tongue-in-cheek campaign is serious: to move people to click on a link enabling water.org to "occasionally" use their social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook for six week (because physically relieving yourself is comparable to the mental relief felt after posting a status update?)
Damon—who might consider refreshing the campaign for World Toilet Day—added that “Six billion people have cell phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to improved sanitation.”
"Welcome to the petri-dish," said Mike McCamon, water.org's chief community officer. "The idea is you sign in and give permission to us for a finite period." Content will be generic yet personal, "so it looks like you posted it."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 26, 2012 10:36 AM
With the United Nations back in session, the flood of philanthropic partnership announcements includes Sesame Street's tie-in with the UN Foundation's Every Woman Every Child public affairs initiative, which held a VIP dinner in New York last night:
"Sesame Workshop is proud to announce its partnership with the United Nations in support of the Every Woman Every Child movement; raising awareness, providing motivation and presenting health-related solutions to women and children around the world. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is joined by Kami from Takalani Sesame in South Africa for this heart-warming public service announcement."
Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010, Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 24, 2012 04:17 PM
"Designing for impact” is the theme of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting, the annual philanthropic TED-like session now underway in New York.
Former President Bill Clinton framed the discussion in his opening remarks on Sunday, as noted in TIME: “Today we want to talk about how you can design your actions in advance to make it more likely they will succeed.”
He went on to challenge Walmart to open a store in Libya creating jobs in the world's hot spot for trouble and woes. "If the new president of Libya asked you to open a store in Tripoli, would you consider it?" Clinton asked Walmart CEO Mike Duke, part of the opening panel that included U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Queen Rania of Jordan and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Duke's dry-witted response: his "small company from Arkansas" has operations in regions of sub-Saharan Africa, but no presence or plans for Tripoli.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced, "I'm going to sound an alarm to all the leaders. We are living in an era of insecurity, injustice, inequality and intolerance, and what should we do?" as he called on business leaders like Walmart to act "for humanity" and not just for profit.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 22, 2012 05:05 PM
The United Nations on Friday wrapped up the Rio+20 Earth Summit, a once-a-decade conference on sustainable development, with the message that the world needs to clean up its act. Some major-league companies signed on to put some financial muscle and their brands' influence behind the effort. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have found something they can agree on as both have put cash behind the UN’s goals. Others involved include Microsoft, and Bank of America, according to Bloomberg.
The pledges are worth billions of dollars and will help to “curb the use of fossil fuels, conserve water and encourage wider use of renewable energy,” Bloomberg reports. There are at least 517 commitments from different companies and at minimum $2 billion will be coming from the U.S. “We won’t save the world alone, but we’ll get half of it done, and we’ll get some momentum,” said Bank of America Chairman Chad Holliday at Rio+20.
For its part, Coca-Cola is allocating $3.5 million to help create more sustainable water access in some African countries. "Access to safe water is essential for our company and our world,” stated Bea Perez, the company's Chief Sustainability Officer. “The sustainability of water resources is a top priority."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 21, 2012 11:04 AM
Africa hasn’t received much good press in recent years. Such things as genocide, child soldiers, elephant slaughters, and human trafficking can do that for a continent, overshadowing any good news and efforts.
However, the continent is attempting to rebrand itself, according to the International Herald Tribune.
“They are not my own words — they come from Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan — but I do believe in the ‘rebranding’ of Africa,” said Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia, to the IHT about the May/June issue of L'Uomo Vogue that focuses on the continent.
The cover of Vogue's Italian men's fashion magazine, shown at right, features Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations — not your typical cover story.
“Africa does not need charity — Africa needs investment and partnership,” Ban Ki-moon states in the magazine, as translated by the IHT. “Joining forces with civil society and private sector, including non-traditional players, like the fashion industry, has become indispensable. Sustainable development is my top priority.”Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 22, 2011 12:01 PM
Human Rights Day 2011 takes place worldwide on December 10 and the UN Human Rights Office is tapping into social media for the first time, collaborating with Lowe and Partners and Fantasy Interactive.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone 30-article document establishing fundamental human rights to be universally protected was enacted in 1948 after the atrocities of Nazi Germany called for greater clarity in defining rights of the individual as contained in the United Nations Charter.
Sixty-three years later, and the UDHR will be celebrated in a social marketing campaign from Lowe Bangkok, supported by Lowe Deutsch NY and Lowe and Partners London with Fantasy Interactive, as co-creators.
“Thanks to hundreds of thousands of brave people, armed only with words and ideals, 2011 became the year of human rights, in a way we could never have imagined 12 months ago. They took to the streets and squares, and to the social media highways, and demanded change,” said Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.Continue reading...