Taking place on September 24-26, 2018 at the Grand Hyatt New York, the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit is set to be the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum alongside the United Nations General Assembly. Bringing together decision-makers and opinion-formers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, as well as the next generation of partnership-builders, the Annual Summit will advance critical global discussions and transform conversations into action. As our signature gathering, the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit will provide a powerful forum to catalyze action through shared value approaches and social impact objectives.
There has been a rise in extremist politics facing democratic countries around the world, resulting in the polarization of attitudes and policies on both the “left” and the “right”. What happened to the “missing middle”? Concordia programming will bring together moderate viewpoints to identify specific trends influencing American politics today, as well as explore at a deeper level what motivates candidates, campaign financiers, and political activists ahead of the 2020 elections.
Someone is displaced from their home every three seconds, meaning that today there are over 65 million displaced men, women, and children around the world, classified as migrants, asylum seekers, or internally displaced by the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). The international system must work across sectors and systems to develop sustainable solutions that not only help stem the drivers of forced movement but are also capable of absorbing into society a greater number of people than ever before. The Annual Summit’s programming will bring together industry, political, and third sector leadership motivated by multi-faceted goals, including: bolstering financing mechanisms to encourage investment in refugee response; identifying opportunities for the private sector to meaningfully improve pathways to quality employment; and, bettering public perceptions of refugee narratives through advocacy.
Diversity of background, gender, and race defines the most successful teams in any workplace. In 2012, Google’s Project Aristotle aimed to define qualities in their teams critical to success and concluded that the ways in which team members treated each other were a direct indicator of the success of their team. Yet, oftentimes this aim is not reflected in policy or the boardroom. This session will explore how the top companies are translating intention into action and responsibility to create a 21st Century workforce that will ensure their success, both economically and socially.
Every dollar invested in disaster preparedness and mitigation witnesses a $6 savings in the U.S. federal response, saving government money in an era of reduced resources and, more importantly, saving lives and livelihoods of those most vulnerable. With a rise in unprecedented extreme weather events and climate change-related natural disasters, investing in community resilience and disaster prevention is no longer a priority, but is now a necessity, for an increasing number of communities around the world. Global voluntary frameworks have pointed national governments in a general direction but the challenge now lies in activating the same level of commitment to disaster preparedness at the local level. This will require a whole-of-society response and the adoption of a culture of preparedness. Concordia programming will look to frame “preparedness” for the range of stakeholders influential on the ground and craft clear goals for translating national commitments to preparedness at the local level.
Africa is home to 43% of the world’s out-of-school children population, with 10 million children dropping out of primary school every year. With a population that the World Bank estimates could increase to 1.8 billion by 2060, a crisis looms: how does Africa gain sufficient workforce development and economic capacity to meet population growth in the coming years? With a large and young population abounding with new ideas at their disposal, investors have an incredible opportunity to finance cutting-edge projects while preparing and utilizing one of the fastest-growing workforces in the world. However, infrastructural challenges and a lack of transparency in government impact the ability to train the workforce and provide meaningful and stable jobs. Public-private partnerships can provide the platform to promote innovative economic capacity building and harness Sub-Saharan Africa’s large natural and human resources to improve its economy and overall quality of life.
A private sector commitment to assessing supply chains and mitigating risk of human rights violations within its workforce is critical to the global effort to eliminate modern day slavery. Yet too few companies have taken meaningful steps to fully identify risks and put in place processes to support their public policies in support of fair and safe labor conditions, citing the complexity of the challenge as reasoning for their muted response. Concordia programming will build on several years’ worth of convenings in support of the private sector taking an active stance in the fight against labor trafficking and modern day slavery, and showcase leading practices and resources that top-performing companies have utilized.
From Chile’s “Chilecon Valley” to Mexico City’s recent tech boom, entrepreneurship and innovation have taken hold of the Americas. The Global Innovation Index ranks Chile 46th in the world for innovation, with Mexico at 58th and Colombia at 65th. Although applicable in every industry from government to energy to agriculture, breakthroughs in medicine, information, and communications technologies create jobs and invent new sectors in regional economies. As a powerful engine of economic and social change, pioneering a market-disrupting invention or prioritizing innovative approaches within existing companies are now tenets of economic growth. Promoting innovation requires investment in human capital, working in tandem with efforts to invest in higher education and nourish local job markets in the Americas. The global economy is increasingly interested in addressing complex issues like climate change, labor conditions, health care, poverty, electrification, and access to the internet. In these regards, public and private actors must encourage innovation to promote new approaches to these persistent global challenges. Concordia’s programming will look to frame entrepreneurship and innovation as an asset for private and public sectors alike, seeking to foster a conversation about their direct and indirect benefits and how they can best be encouraged.
The Middle East is witnessing a wave of democratic openings: just this year, Saudi women were granted the right to operate motor vehicles and study law at three universities, while Tunisian Muslim women are now allowed to marry non-Muslims if they please. In addition, the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has led to laws that protect children from abuse, neglect, and exploitation in many Middle Eastern countries. However, despite this progress, there are still many issues to address, including differences in access to education for women, the illegality of homosexuality, the lack of protections for domestic abuse victims, and unenforced equal opportunity initiatives. By engaging local voices and convening cross-sector leaders, Concordia’s programming will explore collaborative solutions to advancing democracy in the Middle East.
Clinical trials serve as one of the primary methods of conducting biomedical and behavioral research in order to advance the development and treatment of health issues. More often than not, these clinical trials are only available at the most prestigious institutions, making it difficult for patients without the means to travel to receive the healthcare they need. By expanding access to clinical trials, researchers will be able to accelerate the process of starting, completing, and implementing the trials so that the final treatment can be administered.
Ten years ago, nearly 80% of humanitarian aid went to natural disaster response. Now, MercyCorps estimates that 80% of humanitarian aid is directed towards violent conflict response. The world has invested in conflict resolution, the refugee crisis globally, and the many side-effects that have been caused by violent outbreaks. But has it invested in prevention, or peace, at the same scale? Investing in preventing violent conflict, rather than responding to it, offers an opportunity to prevent the disruption, pain, and trauma caused by these waves of brutality and often presents a more desirable investment-to-impact ratio. In addition, investing in sustaining peace provides a more stable platform for working towards other Sustainable Development Goals, like fighting poverty and climate change, while also allowing more space for strategic alignment across sectors. The formation of public-private partnerships can provide the financial leverage of firms with the conflict knowledge of local stakeholders in order to provide incentives for long-term peace as well as a platform to discuss peace maintenance more objectively.
Concordia and the Global Blockchain Business Council will partner together to bring Blockchain Central to the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit in New York City on September 24-25, 2018 during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Blockchain Central will be the premier venue during UNGA for all things Blockchain, including blockchain specific programming and a Blockchain Central lounge for networking and demonstrations throughout the conference. Blockchain Central will be seen by the thousands of attendees to the Concordia Annual Summit. Inclusive programming, including small roundtables, strategic dialogues, and high-level plenary sessions will allow for a range of discussions by the leading voices in this groundbreaking field to create unmatched opportunities for innovators to collaborate with policymakers and business leaders.
Additionally, the Blockchain Central lounge will encourage informal networking across the range of public and private sector attendees at the Summit to better understand the applications and potential of blockchain technology. Blockchain Central will allow partners to engage at the highest levels and explore how Blockchain technology can facilitate more stable and efficient solutions for challenges and opportunities facing companies, institutions, and society.