Category Archives: Events

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Thinking Of Millenium Development Goals Post-2015

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The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) were laid out  by global leaders 13 years ago with the mindset to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Due to a strong commitment from millions of world citizens and tremendous global effort, these goals are considered within reach. While the official countdown is on until the 2015 deadline, many have started to wonder what will come next once the 2015 deadline is reached. What will be the Millenium Development Goals post-2015?

Early chatter has talk about maintaining current goals and infusing new MDGs with new deadlines. As well marketed and global an effort the MDGs have become, they have been received and effective in some regions better than others. Some estimate that no more than eight percent of the world is fully aware of the MDGs, a meager figure in the context of our global population. Even when I ask people around me, most are only vaguely aware of the MDGs at all. It is a message that needs to be reached  to a greater number of people, something that can be better accomplished through early education, involvement with government agencies, NGOs and the private sector.

Emphasizing broader familiarity with the MDGs can lead to a stronger platform to expand on the goals and the world’s needs. The MDGs as a platform for further change is how some individuals, such as Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, who wrote that the MDGs for 2015 are just the beginning. He feels all of the MDGs can be expanded in time, including all levels of education, not just early childhood, encompassing more diseases, and paternal health as well as maternal health. He lays out more or less every conflicting issue you can think of, whether it is reducing terrorism, inter-religious harmony, greater global government participation, even a revamped United Nations. While it may seem like too much, the point is that these Millenium Development Goals should be embedded in our thinking, even if they take longer to achieve. Hence the “millenium” in MDGs.

The bottom line is the more people aware of MDGs, the more ideas and contributions to their development can be made. No one is saying no to world peace or conflict resolution. However, the world is a big place with billions of people, and it is going to take an increased global effort on a localized level to reach people in the most effective way possible. That is what organizations such as World We Want intend to do by reaching out to people the world over to understand what priorities are on a cultural level to help build a collective vision for future development goals. The march toward the deadline is on, but it is never too early to start thinking about the Millenium Development Goals post-2015.

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World Economic Forum on Latin America 2013

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The World Economic Forum (WEF), a Swiss-based nonprofit,  has just wrapped up the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2013 in Lima, Peru. Originally a gathering of European business leaders in the 1970s to exchange business ideas to match their U.S. counterparts, the WEF has morphed into a much broader collection of leaders and ideas geared towards the improvement of the world community. In its 42-year history, the organization has expanded to encompass figures from business, politics, entrepreneurs, and other leaders of society. These leaders discuss topics to shape global, regional and industry agendas in the effort to “improve the state of the world.”

Most widely known for its annual meeting at the Davos-Klosters Swiss Alpine ski resort where big names and global leaders gather, The Forum has branched off to include six to eight regional forums each year. The World Economic Forum on Latin America was April 23-25th, and was the 8th such forum in Latin America. The Latin American Forum articulated a bevy of ideas and hosted over 650 participants to discuss the region’s dynamic development and maintaining its growth trajectory.  Sports for Sharing’s very own Dina Buchbinder Auron was one of these participants on behalf of S4S and its parent organization, Deport-es Para Compartir!

Under the theme, “Delivering Growth, Strengthening Societies”  some of the main talking points included fostering strong partnerships to consolidate the modernization of Latin America’s economies and institutions, innovations to create a more inclusive society, and building resilience towards a continued path of sustainable development. The emphasis on inclusivity and consolidation across institutions pertains especially to Latin America’s burgeoning middle class. With over 70 million people having moved out of poverty in Latin America over the past decade, the needs of the developing population and the expectations of their governments/institutions have grown considerably. The onus is on these institutions, both public and private, to grow alongside the population, working together to provide “buoyant economics, improved government institutions, responsive businesses and environmental protection.” Otherwise the new demands  will overwhelm these institutions. The growth of the middle class will become unsustainable and lead to stagnation.

Although the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2013 is now closed, audio, video, blogs, and other forms of media have been uploaded onto the WEF website, which you can access here. These resources cover all the events, topics discussed, and partners who attended the regional gathering. You can look over some of the commentaries and share them with others as a way to increase awareness. While the discussions of this regional meeting are localized to Latin America, it is important to recognize that these events send a positive message as they are happening all over the world, and that we must engage ourselves to improve the state of the increasingly global community.

(Source: Thomas Steinmetz)
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Autism Speaks

MLB, NBA Raise Autism Awareness

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April is Autism Awareness month, and several of the nation’s most popular professional sports leagues are working together with Autism Speaks to bring autism awareness to the public focus. MLB, NBA, even NASCAR are marketing awareness campaigns within their own sporting events and commercial spaces.

MLB will be having each of its 30 teams raise awareness for the disorder during one home game in April or at another point in the regular season. Furthermore, the league will provide special opportunities in a safe, friendly environment for families and individuals affected by autism.

The NBA is raising awareness in a variety of ways. It will also have several teams host Autism Awareness nights during the month of April. On April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, Madison Square Garden and the NBA TV Studio were lit blue as part of the Light it Up Blue initiative, where more than 2,000 buildings worldwide were lit blue to raise awareness for the growing disorder. Similar to the pink ribbons used for breast cancer awareness, coaches and announcers on April 1st wore the blue Autism Speaks puzzle lapel pin, and did so again the following night during TNT’s national broadcast of the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Los Angeles Lakers basketball game.

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, and has grown tremendously since it’s inception in 2005. Autism, a general term used to describe a group of complex disorders of brain development, affects nearly 1 in 88 American children. It has been far more prevalent with boys (1 in 54) than girls (1 in 252), but still affects over 2 million American children, and tens of millions worldwide. While most cases of autism seem to be related to a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development, research is ongoing. That large, high profile sports leagues such as MLB and the NBA team up with Autism Speaks is a responsible initiative to generate fundraising and good visibility on such a important issue.