Opening of Global Hackathon #connect2effect

Video Message by Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly at Opening of Global Hackathon #connect2effect

 10 – 12 March 2017


Hello everyone from the Headquarters of the United Nations!

Thank you for coming together today and bringing your energy, enthusiasm, skills, and ideas to the Hackathon!

Humanity has before us the challenge of our lifetimes – to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to find the game-changing solutions that will shift humanity’s trajectory away from a future of unsustainability, and towards one that is safe, secure and prosperous for all.

Turning the Sustainable Development Goals from commitments into action requires us to harness the potential of all people, and to find new ways of thinking, working, and partnering to find collective solutions to global challenges.

As entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors, you are critical to these efforts.

Your work over the next few hours to hack SDGs 9, 10 and 12, will be fundamental to saving humanity from the devastating effects of poverty, armed conflict, climate change, environmental degradation, armed conflict, gender inequality, and inadequate opportunity.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in Silicon Valley, where I spoke to leaders of major innovation and technology companies about the potential for technology to transform our societies through achievement of the SDGs.

The possibilities are clearly enormous. But it requires that we think and work in innovative ways!

I therefore call on all of you to be visionaries, be creative, be disruptive, think outside of the box, and, most importantly, to maintain your commitment to SDG implementation beyond this Hackathon!

Remember, it took more than one day for Facebook to become a billion-person platform, or for PayPal to become such a powerhouse that it advises the World Bank, or for Tesla to become a pioneering leader in environmentalism.

The future that we all want is in our hands.

I wish you all the best for the Hackathon!

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