Social Good Summit

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Broadband can accelerate the end of poverty, says Sachs | 

Jeff Sachs
Jeff Sachs

(New York) – Expanding access to technology works hand in glove with the end of extreme poverty, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and beyond, says Jeff Sachs.

The Columbia University economist arrived late to a special round table discussion before taking the stage at the Social Good Summit in New York City. As he did last year, Sachs delivered praise for broadband as he sat alongside Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Swedish tech giant Ericsson.

“It has changed how everything about development is done,” said Sachs to a small group of reporters.

Vestberg agreed with Sachs. He described how Ericsson wants to expand broadband access around the world and feels that it should be a part of the post-2015 discussions.

“What can we do beyond 2015 using technology to fight the biggest challenges we have on earth,” said Vestberg. “Everything from poverty, a no-carbon economy, education and healthcare.” Continue reading

5 reasons to pay attention to a badly named meeting at the UN | 

Flickr, Ashitakka

Next week, in New York City, the United Nations is holding a big meeting that could affect the future of global health.

If all the gab actually translates into policy changes and action, it could redefine global health in a fairly significant way.

In an apparent attempt to scare off normal people from paying any attention, it’s called the UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (aka NCDs). I’ll be there, joining a group of journalists granted fellowships to attend from the UN Foundation (which got money for this from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).

A lot’s going on next week in New York — the UN General Assembly (to which it has been reported Iranian President Ahmadinejad will be bringing gifts this year as well as his usual rants), the Clinton Global Initiative, a new media confab called the Social Good Summit and the poorly named meeting on global health focused on this poorly named category of diseases.

But don’t let the words, or acronyms, fool you. The NCDs are big killers, much bigger than that virus in the current blockbuster movie Contagion could ever hope to be. Continue reading