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Takeaways from the Global Engagement Summit 2024

Embracing Global Change: Insights from the United Nations Associations Global Engagement Summit ✨🌍


It was an inspiring journey of meeting visionary changemakers from around the world at the United Nations Headquarters during the Global Engagement Summit. The summit echoed with passionate discussions, highlighting the pivotal role of exchanging best practices among local communities in driving social impact initiatives worldwide.



One of the most illuminating aspects was witnessing the power of collaboration and learning from diverse grassroots movements. From sustainable fashion initiatives to climate action campaigns, each attendee brought a unique perspective and invaluable experiences to the table.



The importance of exchanging local community best practices resonated profoundly, emphasizing the transformative potential of sharing insights and strategies. It’s through this collective knowledge-sharing that we can amplify our impact and pave the way for meaningful change on a global scale.


At the heart of the summit was the recognition that addressing global challenges requires a holistic approach. By fostering dialogue and collaboration, we can cultivate a more interconnected and resilient world.


As we left the summit, the message was clear: our actions matter, and together, we have the power to shape a brighter future for generations to come. Let’s continue to exchange ideas, advocate for change, and work tirelessly towards building a more just and sustainable world. The journey towards global change has only just begun, and we are all integral players in this transformative movement.


Below key takeaways from several of the sessions.



Key recommendations for developing a career with the United Nations, as discussed during Career Connex at the Global Engagement Summit:


1. Stay updated on entry-level test schedules, as they occur annually, particularly for roles in foreign affairs. Be prepared to retake the test if necessary to increase your chances of success.

2. Prioritize language proficiency and consider participating in projects or studying abroad to enhance your global competence. Embrace flexibility in post assignments and pursue advanced degrees to deepen your expertise.

3. Focus on building transferable skills that are valuable across various fields and sectors. Actively engage in networking and seek mentorship opportunities to expand your professional connections.

4. Embrace diversity in your career path by integrating multiple fields simultaneously, and develop strategies to navigate and capitalize on this diversity effectively.

5. Begin planning for your UN career early, ideally within 5-7 years into your professional journey. Cultivate strong writing skills, as they are highly regarded and essential for success in UN roles.


Here are the key learnings from the Global Engagement Summit 2024 session on “The Intersection of Human Rights & Emerging Technologies”:


- Speakers included Sanskriti Deva, UNA-USA GES Planning Committee Chairperson and STEM advocate; Kevin Kissell from the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at Google; and Ursula Wynhoven, ITU Representative to the United Nations.


- Understanding the historical context is crucial in assessing the impact of technology on society.


- Utilizing technology inclusively, affordably, and positively can empower communities and bridge societal gaps.


- Initiatives such as the Broadband Commission’s 7 targets aim to close the gap between

technology access and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


- Google’s focus extends beyond mere technological advancement; they prioritize reaching a broader audience while ensuring security. Collaborations with communities and the United Nations, such as developing multilingual tools, exemplify this commitment.


- The ITU, as a multistakeholder entity, plays a significant role in shaping technology policies and standards globally through initiatives like the ITU Academy.


- Effective management of social reactions to emerging technologies requires coordinated efforts from various entities, as self-regulation may not suffice.


- International standards, often facilitated by the UN, are crucial for governing the ethical and responsible use of technology.


- The technology industry has undergone significant cultural shifts, moving away from rigid business dress codes towards a more experimental and relaxed environment, fostering innovation and community engagement.


Key Takeaways from the Global Engagement Summit on “The Enduring Heartache of War: Navigating the Psychological Impact of Crisis”:


- Prioritize enhancing the support system for caregivers, emphasizing sustainability through collaborative efforts involving grassroots organizations, governments, and partnerships.


- Recognize the challenges within patriarchal societies, where women’s involvement in various efforts may be hindered, and strive for inclusivity and gender equality.


- View refugees not only as beneficiaries but also as potential solutions to local challenges, highlighting their resilience and contributions to communities.


- Focus on building resilience and promoting mental health awareness, particularly among humanitarian workers, while acknowledging the importance of self-care and avoiding burnout.


Key Takeaways and Resources from the Global Engagement Summit on Gender Apartheid:


• Encourage dialogue and empowerment within communities, ensuring women’s voices are heard by higher leadership, as exemplified in Afghanistan’s strategic approach to demonstrations.


• Examine women’s labor rights in the USA through the lens of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN’s stance, emphasizing accountability of leaders and elected officials.


• Highlight stories of grassroots movements, such as Latin America’s Green Wave, to amplify women’s rights issues and hold leaders accountable, as demonstrated by the Center for Reproductive Rights.


• Acknowledge the importance of respecting community needs, such as providing safety for youth obligated to wed without completing school, while addressing other daily and societal issues like feminine products, consent and gender equality.


• Emphasize inclusivity, such as ensuring access for women with disabilities, as exemplified by the United Nations’ openness to all individuals, including those from marginalized groups like the deaf community.


• Advocate for government collaboration on disability-related data and empower women and young people with disabilities, as demonstrated by initiatives like “We Decide.”


Key Insights from the Global Engagement Summit with David Ohana, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, UN Foundation


- Explore impactful campaigns that mobilize large audiences, exemplified by initiatives like Beyoncé’s support for clean water projects.


- Recognize the power of unconventional voices, such as a 7-year-old delivering a Ted Talk about the United Nations, showcasing diverse perspectives and the importance of youth involvement.


- Address pressing issues like plastic pollution through innovative approaches, such as personal plastic toxicity kits, to raise awareness and drive action.


- Embrace big, bold ideas to tackle complex global challenges, highlighting the role of UN Brand Ambassadors and the necessity of ambitious and sometimes unconventional approaches.


Key Takeaways from the Global Engagement Summit on Sustainable Fashion:


- Fashion transcends mere clothing; it reflects our identity and values. Emphasize making sustainability a core aspect of our fashion choices.


- Recognize the environmental impact of fashion, with each garment representing a complex journey involving numerous individuals. Consider the message conveyed through clothing choices.


- Balance financial success with the accessibility of sustainable products, fostering innovation in materials and promoting a circular economy in textiles.


- Acknowledge the interconnectedness of various aspects of daily life, such as food and clothing, in communicating messages about sustainability.


- Harness the power of upcoming major elections, like 2024, to advocate for climate action and drive systemic change.


- Hold leaders accountable for their commitments to sustainability, prioritizing concrete actions to achieve lasting change. Explore initiatives like remake.world for inspiration and guidance.


Key Takeaways from the Closing Plenary at the Global Engagement Summit:


- Celebrate the victory of young environmentalists like Claire Vlases, Time Earth Award Recipient on behalf of youth plaintiffs in Held v. Montana, a landmark climate change ruling in that State; highlighting the potential for meaningful change at the grassroots level.


- Emphasize the importance of bringing local environmental issues to the attention of state governments, recognizing that climate change is fundamentally about protecting human rights.


- Stress the urgency of climate action, emphasizing that it is in everyone’s self-interest to preserve the planet, transcending political divides and reflecting a collective responsibility.


- Challenge the normalization of climate change and the prioritization of profits over people, advocating for dialogue and inclusive decision-making processes to address controversial actions and engage communities in systemic change.


Looking ahead with key takeaways from the Closing Remarks at the Global Engagement Summit offered by Farah Eck, C.C.P. UNA-USA Senior Director of Programs and Policies


- Acknowledge the profound challenges we face, recognizing the complexity of the current moment.


- Celebrate the success of advocacy efforts, such as the USA rejoining UNESCO, highlighting the importance of collective action.


- Embrace the opportunity to engage with the present moment and prepare for what lies ahead.


- Consider how to effectively respond to the challenges at hand, including joining UNA-USA, staying informed, and actively sharing your voice with members of Congress to support UN initiatives.



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