2013 Events

Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit

Photo of Forbes Cover page "Entrepreneurs can save the world"

On 5 June, 2013, in partnership with Forbes Magazine and the UN Foundation, the United Nations Office for Partnerships co-hosted the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit at the United Nations. The day started with opening remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, honoring over 150 billionaire entrepreneurs and philanthropists who have turned their attention to some of the greatest social issues of our time. Attendees, such as Bill Gates, Bono and Warren Buffett, who represent close to half a trillion of the world’s wealth, discussed how they can use their wealth, fame and entrepreneurial talent to eradicate poverty.


The Summit reinforced one of the United Nations Office for Partnerships’ goals: to discuss the role of private philanthropists within public initiatives and ponder how market-based solutions can address global challenges. The Summit emphasized the responsibility the public, private and entrepreneurial sectors share in order to find large-scale solutions for peace-building and prosperity. Participants included UN Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of Grameen Bank Professor Muhammad Yunus, as well as Former President of Ebay and Founder of the Skoll Foundation, Jeff Skoll. Two Forbes 400 Lifetime Awards were also presented. Muhammad Yunus received the “Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship” and Warren Buffet earned the “Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy”.


To honor this event, on 2 December, Forbes’ Special Philanthropy Issue was released on newsstands. For more information, please click here


Social Innovation Summit

Foto of two panellists at the Social Innovation SummitOn November 19-20, 2013, the Social Innovation Summit held its West Coast forum at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, California. Annette Richardson, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Office for Partnerships was invited to moderate a roundtable panel discussion on the topic of “Women and Girls” with Wendy Hawkins, Executive Director of the Intel Foundation and Martha Adams, award-winning documentary producer.


The summit is a bi-annual event bringing together people on the nexus of technology, investment, philanthropy, global development and business to create solutions and catalyze transformational partnerships. Companies and foundations represented at the summit included Google, Apple, Credit Suisse, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs and will.i.am’s Foundation “i.am.angel”. This summit is a platform to explore “what’s next” in the area of social innovation.


For more information, please click here


MENA + Social Good


On 7 November, 2013, Annette Richardson, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Office for Partnerships took part in an interactive Global Summit entitled “MENA+ Social Good” discussing “The Power of One: Social Responsibility”, co-hosted by Al-Mubadarah, an Arab Empowerment Initiative. The Summit’s virtual panelists discussed the role of the internet, social media and technology in enabling and advancing social good in the Arab World, attracting a global audience of over 30,000 people.


Moderated by Hazami Barmada, MENA+Social Good Founder & Organizer, Al-Mubadarah, Founder & CEO, speakers from all over the world virtually came together and created global and impacting conversations, uniting under the idea that technology can shape both the future and productivity of the Arab World. Participants ranged from Dr. Kevin Dusneath, Director of Cisco in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Russia to Endeavor members in the region such as Omar Elsahy, reaching a wide range of thye private sector, philanthropists and civil society.


Options and initiatives aimed at eradicating poverty, youth unemployment, re-framing images of the region and increasing and directing philanthropy were amongst the most overarching themes of the event. For more information, please click here


Solution Revolution


Photo of ABC's Emmy Award-winning Sade Baderinwa, moderator of the eventOn the 6 November, 2013, the Office for Partnerships and the Democracy Fund co-coordinated an event with the Economic and Social Council & and the Economic and Financial Committee (2nd Committee) of the General Assembly and Deloitte, to find solutions for addressing sustainable development challenges and accelerating the achievement of the MDG’s.


Development challenges which were approached with perspectives from UN partners, the private sector, and also provided recommendations and policy alternatives to the international community on ways to move forward. The meeting gathered together senior officials from the UN and private sector to engage in an interactive dialogue with member states. Paul MacMillan, Global Industry Leader of Deloitte headed the panel discussion which was moderated by ABC’s Emmy Award-winning News Anchor, Sade Baderinwa.

For more information, please click here.



The World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship


Photo of the Event's panellistsOn 9 October, 2013, Annette Richardson, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Office for Partnerships took part in an innovative panel which discussed “Disruptive Innovations: Pushing New Frontiers”, at this year’s World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WSIE) at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image.


The WSIE is an annual platform where founder Sam Hamdan, brings “dreamers, drivers, and doers” together to discuss, challenge and innovate new ways to transform today’s enterprises, cities and labs. WSIE’s goal is to bring all kinds of people to interact, rumble and fuse together for a better ‘tomorrow’. Participants ranging from royal representatives such as Truls Burg from Norway discussing “Norway’s Future: Led by Innovation” or Suneet Singh, founder of DataWind discussing “Why Frugal Technology Matters for Billions” , allowed the communication space to be bigger and more powerful than ever before.


UNOP’s Senior Advisor's discussion was moderated by Adi Ignatius, Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Business Review and her fellow panelists included: Albert Green, CEO of Kent Displays, Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, Alan Dabbiere, Chairman & Founder of AirWatch, Eric Bonabeau, Chairman & Chief Scientific Officer of Icosystems and lastly Richard H. Hulit Jr., Vice-President of Product Management Market Technology at NASDAQ OMX. Each panelist was given the challenge to discuss how business norms are changing and how, with both technology and relationships between different sectors and industries, can businesses, entities and people be a part of the change to institutionalize ideals for a better world. The discussion revolved around the idea that partnerships are an essential key to being an integrated part the future. The panelists emphasized the need to filter through all the big data that we are faced with, through the amalgamation of the mediums that we have and are creating, in order to build more impactful global outcomes.



Global Citizen Festival


Photo of Stevie Wonder and former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on stage during the Global Citizen Festival concertOn 28 September, 2013, in support of the Secretary-General’s initiatives, the UN Office for Partnerships leadership participated in the Global Citizen Festival, an annual concert held in Central Park in New York City, produced and curated by the Global Poverty Project. This global event aimed to raise awareness on issues such as Sanitation, Food Aid Reform, Poverty, Gender Equality and Health through strategic advocacy partnerships.


This year’s Festival pulled in start power with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Bono, John Mayer, Kings of Leon and other celebrities performing throughout the day. Stevie Wonder advocated for “equal rights for women” and “education for all”.


The Festival succeeded in advocating issues linked to the Millennium Development goals to 60,000 Global Citizens via global live streaming and fostering global motivation to change positively for the future. Among its many outcomes, the Global Citizen Festival inspired Global Citizens to take over 900,000 actions to end poverty and support the world’s poorest populations. 50,000 of these actions were aimed at calling leaders of the condom industry to dedicate a part of their annual profits to family planning initiatives, to which many companies responded positively.


For more information on the Global Citizen Festival, please visit the Global Poverty Project  website.


MDG Success


Photo of the EventOn 23 September, 2013, the UN Office for Partnerships closely collaborated with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General on the planning and execution of “MDG Success: Accelerating Action and Partnering for Impact”, a high-level meeting hosted by the Secretary-General on the eve of the opening of the General debate of the sixty-eight session of the General Assembly.


This high-level forum was tasked with the mission to catalyze and accelerate further action to achieve the MDGs, with the emphasis on the “how” – bringing together examples from partnerships across the spectrum of MDGs and Secretary-General’s initiatives and focusing on concrete ways to scale up success and opportunities for more. The Secretary-General aimed at replacing multiple single issue events with one coherent day-long event that drew lessons across issue areas and mobilized support for the full range of MDGs. 


The event was articulated in structured dialogues on lessons and strategies across issue areas, focusing on key functional elements such as achieving scale, accountability and innovation, to ensure country-level implementation and ownership and key players with a critical role to accelerate progress. The event had input from multi-stakeholder initiatives and movements such as Every Woman Every Child, Sustainable Energy for All, the Global Education First Initiative, Zero Hunger Challenge, the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, and the Call to Action on Sanitation, which goals and activities span the MDGs. 


It showcased joint efforts pushed for refined, actionable and highly-motivated “last mile” commitments in each issue area and offered the experience of the different Secretary-General’s multi-stakeholder partnership initiatives as a model to chart the way forward.


Folding the initiatives into one full day session demonstrated an enhanced coherence around the development agenda and its means of implementation and helped push the debate on partnership as a critical tool for mobilizing finance, expertise, knowledge, and broad coalitions of leaders around UN goals and mandates.


MDG Success produced some very good outcomes including $2.5 billion pledged in support of Millennium Development Goals. Strong positive feedback from many stakeholders has been very well received. The event was an important proof of the concept for mobilizing across constituencies.


For more information about MDG Success and the Secretary-General’s multi-stakeholder initiatives, please click here. For more pictures of the event, please visit the United Nations Information Centre's link


Unveiling of the Winning Design for the Slavery Memorial


Photo of former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shaking hands with New York winning architect Rodney LeonOn 23 September, 2013, the United Nations Office for Partnerships participated in the unveiling of the winning design for the Permanent Memorial in Honour of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Rodney Leon, a New York architect, won the competition with a design entitled “Ark of Return”. He presented his work as “a symbolic spiritual space and object where one can interact and pass through for acknowledgement, contemplation, meditation, reflection, healing, education and transformation.”


The UN Office for Partnerships collaborated with the logistical organization of the international design competition administered through UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, in partnership with the Advisory Board and the Permanent Memorial Committee, chaired by the Permanent Representative of Jamaica. The competition received more 300 submissions by artists and architects from 83 different nationalities. Once erected in autumn 2014 at an easily accessible location at United Nations Headquarters, the memorial will be a symbol in acknowledgment of the tragedy of slavery and racial prejudice and will serve educational purposes for future generations.


To know more about the initiative and follow the progress of the Memorial construction, visit the Permanent Memorial website and the Permanent Memorial Facebook page. For more pictures of the unveiling ceremony, click here



“Made in Africa” Luncheon


Photo of three participants at the luncheon including Mr. Ozwald Boateng and Chris CleverlyOn 26 September, 2013, the UN Office for Partnerships supported the Made in Africa Foundation working luncheon co-hosted by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times at the New York Times offices in New York City.


The exclusive gathering included Mr Ozwald Boateng, Founder of the Made In Africa Foundation, Mr Chris Cleverly, CEO of the Made in Africa Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr Jamie Fox, Actor, Chinese private–equity giant Patrick Zhong of the Fosun Group, former UK Foreign Secretary and International Rescue Committee CEO David Miliband, Ms Annette Richardson, Senior Advisor at the UN Office for Partnerships and senior representatives of the African Development Bank.


The luncheon aimed to discuss the need to finance growing infrastructural projects in Africa as vehicles to employment and growth across sectors. The partnership between the African Development Bank and the Made in Africa Foundation act as a catalyst for growth across sectors, provide employment and spread wealth, focusing on commercially viable infrastructure projects that strengthen Africa.


The African Development Bank’s President, Mr Donald Kaberuka, explained via video that “in order to increase the rate of infrastructure delivery in Africa, we need to speed up project preparation and project development. The critical objective is to shorten the time between the idea and financial close from a current average of seven years to less than three years”.


For more information please visit the Made in Africa Foundation website.


Blouin Creative Leadership Summit


Photo of participant at the EventThe Louise Blouin Foundation and the UN Office for Partnerships co- hosted the eighth annual Blouin Creative Leadership Summit on 23-25 September 2013 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. The Summit is a think-tank style forum, established by the Louise Blouin Foundation in strategic partnership with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, that encourages a shared knowledge of culture, technology and a mutual confrontation of challenges posed by poverty, conflict and economic instability. Discussions brought together experts such as Martin Chalfie, a Nobel laureate and University Professor at Columbia University, Mr. Stephen Friedman, President of MTV, and many other leaders in the fields of diplomacy, media, arts, technology, culture and business.


This year’s Summit introduced a third day of conversations solely focused on the Arts and Culture with topics ranging from “The Art of Iran”, “Trends in the Art Market” and “The Museum of the Future”.


For more information on the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit, please visit their  website.



Investing In Africa


Photo of John Hyman speaking at the EventOn 22 September, 2013, in collaboration with the Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, the UN Office for Partnerships and Renaissance Capital “Investing in Africa” co-hosted a private dinner focused on discussions about the future of development in Africa through long-term investments.


The dinner, held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, brought together prominent global investors, representatives of African Governments, the African Union and Renaissance Capital leadership. 


Mr. John Hyman, Chairman and CEO of Renaissance Capital and Mr Roland Rich, Officer-in-Charge of the UN Office for Partnerships, welcomed guests with an open discussion on the future of African development. Mr Charles Robertson, Global Chief Economist of Renaissance Capital, led a successful presentation of the economic future of Africa and the benefits of long-term investments.


Mr. Robert C. Orr, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning, and Dr Anthony Mothae Maruping, Economic Commissioner for the African Union, were among the distinguished guests. The  “Investing in Africa” dinner fostered a new type of discussion centered on African investment for sustainable development. 


For more information about Renaissance Capital, please click  here.




Photo of Mallory Weggemann, world record-breaking US Paralympic swimmer, talking to the audienceOn 16 September, 2013, the Economic and Social Council Chamber served as the venue for the TEDxUNPlaza conference entitled ‘BRAVE: United in Action’. The day-long event featured short, engaging talks by thought leaders and change makers in various fields of global affairs, including technology, medicine, film, and entertainment. The goal of the event was to showcase innovative, multi-disciplinary solutions to complex issues in a manner that is accessible to the global public. The event was opened by Nikhil Seth, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development at UN-DESA and webcast around the world.


The aim of TEDxUNPlaza is to gather inspirational speakers in order to talk individuals into empowering themselves, thinking and acting for a better future, bravery was chosen as this year’s theme for being a crucial element enabling to implement the needed change. All through the different sessions - “Women’s Empowerment”, “Change Everything”, “Ideas to Action” and “Being Human” – participants from all background and ages shared their experiences as motors of change.


Among stories told, Mallory Weggemann, world record-breaking US Paralympic swimmer (pictured) talked to the audience about the importance of never giving up in order to achieve dreams. In a presentation called “Triumph after Tragedy”, she stated: “Everything happens for a reason. […] It is not the moments in life that define who we are: it is what we do after, how we react to events”. To listen to more speakers and watch the event, please click here.


TEDxUNPlaza is an independently organized TEDx event curated by local and international TEDx organizers, with the support of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the UN Office for Partnerships. It marked the beginning of various special events leading up to the very first session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.  


To learn more about this event, including the featured speakers, we encourage you to visit the TEDxUNPlaza website 



Social Innovation Summit 2013


OPhoto of the UN General Assembly Halln May 29th and 30th, The UN Office for Partnerships co-hosted, in partnership with Landmark Ventures, the Social Innovation Summit 2013.  The first day was hosted at JP Morgan Headquarters with the following day at the General Assembly Hall.


The Social Innovation Summit is a forum that explores “What’s Next?” in the world of Social Innovation.  The summit connects and inspires a global network of leaders to discuss the key strategies and business innovations creating social transformation across the corporate, investment, government, and non-profit sectors.  Participants include top Fortune 500 Corporate Executives, Venture Capitalists, Government Leaders, Foundation Heads and Social Entrepreneurs eager to discuss global challenges, analyze innovative approaches for problem-solving, and build lasting partnerships that enable them and their organizations to maximize social impact. 


Will Kennedy, Senior Programme Officer UNOP, participated in the Thursday evening portion moderating a panel titled “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.  Annette Richardson, Senior Adviser, also spoke on Thursday evening discussing women and girls empowerment.  The full day summit at the UN was opened up by Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General, and Roland Rich, UNOP Officer-in-Charge. 


Topics discussed varied from philanthropy, childhood development, personalized education, women’s and girls' empowerment to the role of technology and innovation in fueling economic growth and fighting poverty.  The diversity in the issues discussed and the partnerships formed was best represented in the panel centered on environment awareness in business, with Matthew Arnold, the head of environmental affairs at JPMorgan Chase, and Jason Clay, senior vice president of market transformation at the World Wildlife Fund, two sides that have been at opposite ends of the discussion in the past, now working together to further progress.


Attendees were able to vote for non-profit organizations to receive grants from JPMorgan. The 11 winners were granted $275,000 as part of the Chase Community Giving Program. They included: • Green Bronx Machine International, which teaches students in the South Bronx self-sustainability through cultivating edible gardens in the classroom • 10x10 Fund, a social action campaign around investing in adolescent girls' education in the developing world • Bright Pink, which supports the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women • Unreasonable Institute, which teaches entrepreneurs how to launch financially sustainable businesses and non-profits • Code.org, which supports the growth of computer programming education; charity: water, which works to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person in the world • Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which provides free transformational healing for seriously ill children and their families in the Northeast • Right to Play, which uses play to empower youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease • Venture for America, which provides a program for talented graduates to spend two years with a start-up to help mobilize them as entrepreneurs • K9S For Warriors, which provides service canines to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress • Dixon Center, which addresses the urgent needs of military service members and veterans and their families.


The summit utilized star power, like Rooney Mara, to champion her work as an ambassador for Oxfam America, where her role as the president of the Uweza Foundation, a charity that supports community-based empowerment programs for children and families in Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums, located in Nairobi, Kenya.  Actress Glenn Close was also there to discuss her work as the co-founder of Bring Change 2 Mind, a San Francisco-based non-profit working to end the stigma and discrimination that stems from mental illness.



African First Ladies Health Summit


photo of African First LadiesThe 2nd African First Ladies Health Summit was held on April 2-4 2013 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Stemming from a collaboration between the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) and the African Union Commission to the United States, the Summit was attended by the First Ladies, Second Ladies and government representatives from Ghana, Gabon, Nigeria, Congo, Guinea, Congo-Brazzaville, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola. Also in attendance were many other African government officials, business leaders and foreign assistance agency representatives.


The discussions focused on improving health care for women and children in Africa and highlighted the UN Secretary-Generals ‘Every Women Every Child’ initiative aiming to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. The First Ladies called for definitive action steps and multi-stakeholder commitments which complement each nation's priorities and vision for a better future for women and children.


Consultation on Ethanol Cookstoves and Fuel at the UN


Photo of the Clean Cookestove project in HaitiOn April 4th, 2013, the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP) was a co-host of The Public-Private Alliance Foundation (PPAF) consultation in support of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The consultation focused on a pilot project supporting the commercialization of ethanol cook stoves and fuel in Haiti. The consultation brought together a range of actors to advance the expansion of the project.


This clean cookstove project is underway in towns of Southeast Haiti where growing sugarcane and alcohol production have a strong tradition. The high-proof alcohol distilled by small-scale Haitian sugarcane distilleries provides the fuel for the project stoves. Commercialization of the cookstoves and fuel takes advantage of existing equipment and technology and creates a new value stream for farmers and distillers. The project responds to a growing desire by Haitians at all levels to overcome the poverty, respiratory disease and deforestation trap of the country’s heavy reliance on cooking with wood or charcoal.


The cookstoves can be used by a large cross section of the population including low-income mothers, community organization representatives, small business owners, government officials and by hotels. It is the first project of its kind in Haiti. PPAF works with collaborators to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment in the developing world at household and small business levels.


For further information on the PPAF and this initiative please visit the website.


Pearl Initiative Roundtable on Corporate Accountability and Governance


Photo of Roland Rich speaking at the EventOn March 7th, 2013, the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) participated in a roundtable discussion with the Pearl Initiative in Manama, Bahrain. The Pearl Initiative, developed in collaboration with UNOP, is a GCC-based, private sector-led, not-for-profit organisation set up to foster a corporate culture of transparency, accountability, good governance and best business practices in the Arab world. Pearl Initiative seeks to influence the thinking of business leaders in the region, and has achieved much through tangible initiatives on anti-corruption, corporate governance, ethics and integrity, integrated reporting, corporate disclosure and responsible business practices.



This event brought together over forty executives and senior officials from GCC public companies, private sector, state-owned enterprises, United Nations, financial institutions and other government entities. Roland Rich, UNOP Officer-in-Charge, expressed his pleasure in working with the Pearl Initiative to advance fundamental principles within the region. He stressed the importance of working with the private sector to advance progress on key global issues.


The other discussion leaders were Jamal Fakhro, Chairman at KPMG MESA Region, Mahmood Al-Kooheji, CE


O of Mumtalakat and Chairman of ALBA, and Hala F. Almoayyed, Executive Director at Almoayyed Contracting Group. The discussion focused on the need for strong culture of corporate governance and the importance of being proactive to avoid government mandated regulation. Protocols are needed from the top of an organization to the bottom to ensure integrity and transparency.


International Women’s Day Forum: How ♀ Economic Empowerment Strengthens Business

On March 8th, 2013, the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center and United Nations Office for Partnerships will celebrate on the occasion of International Women’s Day at the Ford Foundation headquarters.


This annual forum brings together leaders committed to the economic empowerment of women and explores the influential role women play in the global business value chain. As more women formally enter into the economy, positive macroeconomic externalities include increased productivity for business, increased school attendance for civil society, and higher economic growth. However, woman and girls still face many challenges in attaining economic independence. This forum will highlight the influential role women play in the business sector and how companies and their partners are working to catalyze the economic empowerment of women in global markets.


This event is by invite only. For more information please click here.

Beyond Money Roundtable



The UN Office for Partnerships is pleased to co-host the Beyond Money Roundtable discussion with Recipco, which will be held on Thursday, February 7th, 2013. Beyond Money is a public-private initiative to engage relevant and affected parties to cooperate in, and contribute to, the development, dissemination and implementation of innovations in economic theory and practice designed to improve global economic and social conditions.


The intention of the initiative is to inspire and motivate worldwide changes to the current mechanisms of trade and finance that will be more inclusive and will improve the global economy through better use of the world’s available and often wasted capacity. Issues related to capacity exchanges, alternatives to sovereign currency-based trade and other new market methodologies will be discussed. The event will bring together UN staff for a discussion on current and new mechanisms of economic trade and development and how the UN system can utilize and contribute to this initiative to impact the fulfilment of the UN goals and objectives.


The event will be hosted in the North Lawn Building at the United Nations Headquarters at 3:00 on February 7th, by invite only. For further information on Recipco, please visit their website.


Past events