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LookToTheStars.org’s CMO Edward Martin attended the launch of the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health in NYC last week and filed this report.

Bill and Melinda Gates seem to always to be at the center of so many global humanitarian efforts. But at this press conference, they sat at the end of the table and not the center. I’m sure this was at their request.

A small thing perhaps, but it underscores one of their main points. Its going to take far more than billionaire donations to solve these most critical social challenges. It’s going to take the full throated efforts of governments, private sector, humanitarian groups, faith based groups… all of us. We all have something to contribute and its all significant.

Other major leaders at this briefing included Carolyn Miles, the iconic CEO of Save the Children US, as well as Amina J Mohammed, Special Advisor to General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.

18-year-old Anoyara Khatun called for an end to human trafficking at the event.
18-year-old Anoyara Khatun called for an end to human trafficking at the event.
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But it was the younger leaders that set the tone of how the world has changed for the better: Anoyara (18), a leading campaigner against human trafficking, and Suhalia (17), a leader in Tanzania combatting prejudice for children affected by HIV/AIDS.

These two young leaders have both been impacted by the issues and are now changing their own circumstances, that of their communities – and the world.

They are two powerful examples of what will in the end create the largest positive change in the world.

The two key concepts I took away from this event were

1. Save The Children US announced an enormous $250M in 2016 to be focused in the area of women and children

2. Its going to take an major increase in partnership, innovation and commitment to make these critical social impact areas a reality

Business was one of the areas highlighted at this event. As the CMO to LTTS, CEO of goodxchange.com and Senior Advisor to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum for Business Innovation and Peace, its probably not surprising I had an extra keen focus on how business could contribute.

There are a number of ways for business to grow while contributing to the greater good. That’s the key. Focus on how companies can drive profitable growth in a way that also supports global poverty, health, education, and the environment. Thats sustainable! Companies will ALWAYS want profitable growth!

What is a simple example of this? If a company is doing great work in girls education (as an example), let LookToTheStars.org and our celebrity influencers tell your story vs using traditional advertising to tell your own story.

Why? We only share authentic stories of good work so people will know its real – AND we want the money that would have been used by a company to share this message in traditional media to be re-directed to fund even more girls education!

This is a simple example of a virtuous circle that can create sustainable change.

Between this event, the Pope’s well received messages to the world on helping the poor, the UN’s announcements and the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park mobilizing youth to help the poor, I came away from NYC hopeful, inspired and ready to go back to work with each of these groups and others.

I think we all can agree that each human being is a beautiful creation and deserves the right to a life where there is hope and opportunity. And we really do all have the ability to do something to move the world forward in this direction.

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