On Saturday June 2 2018 the University of Sydney hosted the annual ‘Social Good Summit’ event. I was invited along to represent the Jane Goodall Roots n Shoots team. The event was hosted by Andrew Klein and several speakers took part.
Outside the lecture theatre there were blank posters on the walls with the message ‘I dream of a …’ and everyone was encouraged to write up their ideas. It was wonderful to see so many young people sharing different ideas such as:
“better health for all”
“sustainable cities and communities”
Bianca Hunt spoke of the importance of promoting education within Aboriginal communities – she herself was not encouraged to go to university at school. Rochelle Courtenay, referring to herself as ‘the crazy pad lady’ spoke of her organisation ‘share the dignity’ – an organisation providing homeless women with sanitary pads and tampons. David Spriggs shared his company’s app for homeless people called ‘askissy’, which has so far received over 1 million requests for help.
In between the speakers were short clips such as a skit showing kids approaching adults in a coffee shop. The sometimes intrusive questions that the kids were asking were entertaining but the overall message was clear – we need to step out of our comfort zones and learn to ‘make friends again’.
Sam Moore from Bendigo bank talked of the positive impacts they have on the community. Sue Papadoulis outlined how the news is too depressing – stressing that we have reached ‘peak negativity’ when actually our world is at its most peaceful. Her organisation, the good news movement, seeks to change this.
Gary Bencheghip made a plastic canoe with his brother to clean up the worlds dirtiest river in Indonesia. Melanie Mokken spoke of the ethical benefits of ‘following the frog’ (the rainforest alliance) when buying food products.
I haven’t mentioned all the speakers in detail – there were so many wonderful ideas shared, and many speakers which are all listed below.
What I’ve learned from the Summit is that whatever avenue you may find yourself in, you have the potential to contribute to a positive future. All it takes is an idea, the courage to speak up about it, and the motivation and persistence to keep at it. Furthermore, we have such power to cause change – from the products we do or don’t buy, to the super/banks we choose to invest in, to what we eat and what we share.
Big thanks to all the speakers listed below, MC Andrew Klein, Sydney uni for hosting the event and the wonderful volunteers!
AUDETTE EXEL AO / Founder – ADARA GROUP
DAVID SPRIGGS / CEO – INFOEXCHANGE
GARY BENCHEGHIB / Founder, Creative Director – MAKE A CHANGE WORLD
BIANCA HUNT / Co-CEO for 2018 – AIME
ROCHELLE COURTENAY / Founder – SHARE THE DIGNITY
NIC MARCHESI & LUCAS PATCHETT / Founders – ORANGE SKY AUSTRALIA
MASAMI SATO / Founder – B1G1
KAT DUNN / CEO Australia – GRAMEEN BANK
SAM MOORE / Head of Shared Value – BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK
JESS MILLER / Deputy Lord Mayor – CITY OF SYDNEY
LEAH WILLIS /Head of Client Relationships – AUSTRALIAN ETHICAL INVESTMENT
MELANIE MOKKEN / Market Development Manager – UTZ & RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
ARCHANA VOOLA / Founding Member – ASAP – Academics Stand Against Poverty
NICHOLE GEORGEOU / Co-Chair – ASAP – Academics Stand Against Poverty
AFRA ABDEEN / Sustainable Business Manager – SEAA UNILEVER
LAURENCE MARSHBAUM / Co-Founder & Chairman – 10×10 PHILATROPY
SUE PAPADOULIS / Founder – GOOD NEWS MOVEMENT
Rebecca Godwin is a Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council member and an aspiring Landscape Architect who hopes to foster design solutions that will allow wildlife to survive and flourish as humans encroach on their habitat. You can read more about Becky’s work on her website.