We asked our community for questions to take to the leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Here, UN Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin responds to this question from Yangbo Du (@mitgc_cm)

Has there been much discussion of emergent, bottom-up innovation in ICT for development as part of this discussion? Based on my observation of concerns that the conversation about global development is still heavily top-down oriented I look forward (cautiously optimistically) to a shift in the discourse towards solutions more responsive to local needs. What can you tell me about this discussion?

Yangbo Du

Global community shapes conversation in Davos

This morning, our global community joined in a conversation about people power and social good via Twitter at the World Economic Forum in Davos, quite literally changing the shape of the conversation.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of our favorite posts.

Before the session, we asked for examples of  #peoplepower at work for #social good…

During the panel, we heard from those at the session at Davos, and those following the conversation online…

Now, we want to hear more from you. What will #peoplepower change next? 

Tweet your answer to @Global_Convo using #PeoplePower!

What will people power change next?

Follow our live Twitter coverage of a special session on technology, social media, and mass-participation on Thursday, January 24 at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Recent developments in mobile and social technology—combined with the emergence of mass participatory models in business, media and politics— are rapidly changing citizen expectation about empowerment, democracy, choice and engagement— not just in the North, but globally.

What do world leaders think about this emerging trend? And what should they know about how people power is shaping your world?

Join us on Twitter @Global_Convo  Thursday, January 24th  at 7:30 AM CET (1:30 AM EST) for live, behind-the-scenes coverage of this special session at The World Economic Forum.


Speakers include:

We want to hear from you: Where is people power at work for social good in your community? Tweet your replies to @Global_Convo using #PeoplePower and #SocialGood.

What’s working in mHealth? Visit Tanzania to find out

The mHealth Alliance is headed to Tanzania next week for a hands-on workshop with mHealth leaders in East Africa. Community Manager Mandy Sugrue previews the workshop here for The Global Conversation, and invites us to follow along on HUB: Health Unbound

Driving Change on Mobile Innovation

by Mandy Sugrue


As it currently stands the mHealth (mobile phones for health) field is fairly fragmented.  The term “thousand flowers bloom” is a commonly coined phrase at this point.  This is a far leap from where we were not too long ago—Where conference goers and thought leaders in the mHealth community were advocating on the power of mobile technology as a global health solution. 

Since then, mHealth projects have cropped-up by the thousands, proving in several ways, that mobile is an innovative solution and can broaden the reach of healthcare to developing and rural communities.  Now, the problem isn’t proving the value of mobiles, but how to create standards on the global level and work together to identify what’s working and what’s not.

The 2012 Social Good Summit focused a common theme—Utilizing social media for global collaboration to drive positive change.  Following that same vein, the mHealth Alliance is organizing a workshop in Tanzania that will focus on mHealth evidence in the East African region.

The driving purpose for this workshop is to bring together  thought-leaders,  representing the different sectors that make-up mHealth, to one table.  What mHealth programs are currently happening in East Africa? What makes them successful? How can we build these programs up from the pilot stage? Who will pay for the programs to continue? How can the government change policy to incorporate mobile as a healthcare intervention?  These are the questions that we aim to address in this workshop.

You don’t have to be in Tanzania to get involved in the workshop! In an effort to continue the “Global Conversation” the Alliance has created an online forum www.healthunbound.org/tzw that will include video interviews from our workshop participants, blog updates from the workshop discussions, and resources recommendations on mHealth evidence. 

As the Community Manager for the mHealth Alliance, my job is to build collaboration for more and better for knowledge sharing.  This workshop is a huge step in moving that needle and opening the discussion to the broader audience.

Credits: This post and the accompanying photographs originally appeared on HUB: Health Unbound. 

Do global summits help to tackle poverty? Not without you.

COP18, Rio+20, the G20: These and other big global summits have come under increasing scrutiny from the media. Do they actually do any good?

In his recent post for The Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog, Oxfam’s Stephen Hale (@SHaleGeneva) says they can—but only when the global community takes their seat at the table:

The voice of civil society is vital at global events because it enables us to confront the stories our leaders want to tell their public, and to tell home truths about the progress made and the action needed. Civil society mobilisation and media work can do much to shift the terms of debates on, for example, the true causes of global hunger and the inadequacy of debt relief.

Should we invest more or less in global processes? What if civil society ignored these completely? Of course, we could then divert substantial resources to strengthen national campaigning. But it would leave our leaders free to make global commitments and proclaim their benefits without a strong voice outlining the scale and urgency of action needed, and the scrutiny of civil society on the (in)action of our leaders. It also risks limiting advances at a national level, which on issues from women’s rights to arms negotiations is often highly influenced by progress (and setbacks) at global level.

It’s not time to walk away. But we’ve got to get much smarter. We need to be far more ruthless about our priorities, and clearer about what we’re trying to achieve.

Later this month, world leaders will meet up again in Davos for a sort of global summit season opener: The World Economic Forum. It’s a great opportunity to pull up a chair and add your voice. What items would YOU put on the agenda? Tweet your ideas to @Global_Convo.

From our inbox: Facebook and the power of social media

We’re always on the lookout for great stories about our community using social media for social good. That’s why we were delighted to find a Jay Jaboneta’s email about The Yellow Boat of Hope in our inbox last month.

What started as a simple Facebook status update has grown into a foundation serving eight communities across the Philippines. Jay shares his story— and the lessons his organization has learned along the way— below.

Facebook and the power of social media
By Jay Jaboneta

Last December 6, 2012, Facebook released a video called “Beyond the Yellow Boat” through their Facebook Stories platform.  It has been an amazing ride for each one of us on board the Yellow Boat (of Hope Foundation) during the last 24 months.

The organization which basically started from my Facebook status at the end of October 2010 is now a foundation – registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines.

We are also now present in 8 communities around the Philippines and also assisting various other causes in the Philippines from time to time especially during natural disasters.  One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned so far is that solutions must always come from a local perspective.  And that is basically one of our driving philosophies – we look for and partner with talented individuals who already have existing organizations or projects in their own localities.  We get to learn from them and they get to learn from us.  More importantly, we also get to learn from the communities we are helping.

When we set out to build the very first school boat for the first community in Layag-Layag, Zamboanga City, we never realized that we were beginning a relationship with this community and build relationships in 7 more communities in Masbate in the Bicol region, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro and Negros Occidental.  We are now collectively touching almost 10,000 lives.

The Yellow Boat has taken me to the US, Singapore, India, France, Italy, Spain and now Pakistan.  Hoping to learn more on how to run nonprofits and social enterprises, I applied to be a Global Fellow of Acumen Fund.  And that’s why I’m currently in Lahore, Pakistan working with a social enterprise that distributes affordable high quality drinking water to the underprivileged.

I know the recently released Facebook video is also an ad for the social network behemoth but again our organization would not have been possible without it.


We are still using Facebook Groups creatively to connect with friends, donors, partners and supporters.  It is a platform for our communities to discuss and to engage in ideas.  It allows us to transcend borders.

It also allowed me to meet wonderful people along the way. One of them is my Co-Founder, Dr. Anton Mari Lim, who is the driving force behind our organization

It allows us to tell our story better – in a way, that we can share our successes and failures.  The best kind of relationship is one where your donor or supporter can see your mistakes, your faults and you both work hard at it to make it better.

Collaboration is so much better than competition.  We believe that leadership needs to be shared – because at the end of the day, we are all leaders of our own destinies.  It is our individual and collective responsibility to help make the world better especially for children.

We believe that leadership is about sharing powerful stories that will empower and inspire even more leaders.

We believe that leadership has two key responsibilitiesone of inspiration and another of reproduction.  For leadership to be truly shared, a leader must empower others – empower them to do something about the things they are passionate about.

We believe that for leadership to last, a leader must nurture more leaders and not just followers.

Social media allows us to bridge this leadership gap.  My experience tells me that people want to do something good, they want to be part of something bigger, and they want to lead authentic and fulfilling lives.  And all these mentoring and coaching is possible now in the age of Social media.  Facebook for one has allowed us to connect with amazing donors, leaders and partners around the globe who empower us with the resources we need to make a difference.


We collaborate with individuals and organizations from Taiwan, the United States, Australia, France, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Botswana, and Kenya.  The world has truly become flat and interconnected.

We now have the world’s greatest minds at our fingertips.  And we also now have more access to each other.  The best inventions and discoveries were made by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  And social media allows even more collaboration, even among people who haven’t met personally.

That is the true power of Facebook and Social Media and explains why a simple yellow (school) boat built in a far-flung community in the Philippines has sailed across the world and touched more lives than we can possibly count.


Jay’s post originally appeared on his blog, "Hope"  You can also find the video on www.facebookstories.com. To learn more about The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, please visit http://www.yellowboat.org.

Add your voice to our special report

This September at the Social Good Summit, we launched The Global Conversation—a  record-setting worldwide dialogue about the change-making potential of new media and technology.

Now, we hope you’ll help us shape the dialogue again.

Tokyo Meetup

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be working with our community to co-create a special report.

Our report will be centered on the big themes we heard coming out of the summit. We’ve outlined our top picks here, but want to hear from you:

  • Do these themes resonate with you and your community?
  • What themes and topics arose in your Meetup that others should be aware of? What are we missing?
  • What’s happening now in your community? Do you have any examples of new collaborations, projects, or connections you can share?

We also want your help as we think about what’s next for 2013. How can we continue to come together as a global community to take on big challenges, celebrate new solutions, and share what we’re learning.

Our favorite things

Today, Armchair Advocates came out with their list of favorite things of 2012. We’re honored that The Social Good Summit and The Global Conversation made the list!

Here’s what they had to say:

Image courtesy of Armchair Advocates

The Social Good Summit and Global Conversation was no ordinary conference.  This international discussion on “the role of digital technology to advance social good” extended beyond the walls of the Summit in New York City, and included panel discussions via live-feeds from China, Kenya and Somalia. Meanwhile, over 200 “meet-ups” in cities around the world – organized by Mashable‘s Meetup Everywhere platform – added thousands of diverse voices and perspectives to the dialogue.

What’s on OUR “favorite things of 2012” list? Our Meetup organizers, and our amazing online community. We couldn’t have done it without you! 

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