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The 2019 Concordia Annual Summit


Taking place on September 22-24, 2019 in New York, the 2019 Concordia Annual Summit will 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 2019 Concordia Annual Summit will provide a powerful forum to catalyze action through shared value approaches and social impact objectives.


Innovative Financing for Sustainable Development

Innovative financing can unlock whole-of-society solutions towards achieving the SDGs, but it has not yet succeeded at the scale and rate required. Enhanced efficiency in funding scalable projects, brought forth via multi-sectoral dialogue, the public mapping of viable financing opportunities, and the creation of a universal agenda for investing groups, is essential for effectively leveraging innovative financing. The Annual Summit will continue its legacy of programming on financing the SDGs as framed by its Innovative Financing Coalition, which aims to bridge “talk” with “action,” advance progress and know-how within the innovative financing ecosystem and catalyze investment into impactful projects.

Mental Health Is Health

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults lives with a mental illness. On a global scale, the burden of disease attributable to mental disorders has risen in all countries over the last decade, and the World Health Organization (WHO) cites mental health as one of the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. Despite substantial research demonstrating the potential to prevent and treat mental disorders and to promote mental health, as many as two-thirds of people with mental health disorders never receive help from a mental health professional because of stigmatization, gaps in policies, and lack of resources. Americares and Concordia will be focusing on mechanisms to reframe the global dialogue around mental health, with the idea that “mental health is health” to serve as the priority element guiding this partnership.

Supporting Children in Crisis

One hundred years ago, Save the Children was founded by Eglantyne Jebb, a visionary who challenged the world to stop wars on children. Progress has been made, but today, at least one in five children in the world are still suffering the unacceptable impact of conflict. If the world is to achieve Jebb’s vision and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in the next decade, we must collectively ensure children in crisis are protected. While governments need to uphold international laws and bring rights violators to justice, NGOs and businesses play a role in developing and supporting programs to protect children and help them rebuild their lives. Children are resilient but must be given the education, mental health, and psychosocial support, and other programs they need to recover and look to the future. Save the Children and Concordia will examine the importance of public and private sector programming, strategic partnerships, and the need for greater investments and advocacy for children in crisis.

Concordia Africa Spotlight: Youth Employment & Entrepreneurship

Africa represents the fastest growing and youngest population, but as a continent, it faces challenges around industry growth, capacity building, and attracting long-term sustainable investment. Opportunities abound, however, to scale partnership-led initiatives that foster innovation, job creation, and economic growth. This programming will build on prior Partnership Accelerator initiatives held throughout 2019 with the aim of uncovering models that have proven effective, shaping youth and employment-oriented policy, and spurring investment in leading interventions from across the continent.

Program outcomes will shape the Concordia Africa Summit (March 2020, Kigali) goals and objectives.

The Future of Food: Innovation & the Role of the Smallholder Farmer

Rapid population growth and climate change have had significant impacts on global food security, nutrition, resilience, and livelihoods. As such, agricultural systems across the world are becoming increasingly more complex and dynamic – calling for innovative solutions to feed 10 billion people by 2050. Africa sits at the heart of the issue, and is key to achieving inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformation to meet growing global demands. This session will focus on innovative approaches to drive sustainable agricultural development, drawing insights from the OCP Group – an African agriculture company fully integrated across the phosphate value chain.

Cannabis as a Source of Economic Growth

Public perception as well as legal regulation of the cannabis industry has changed drastically over recent years. Globally there is a constantly shifting landscape of laws, innovative products, financial mechanisms, and speculation that has fueled a rapidly growing, but still unstable industry poised for exponential growth or epic failure. With the potential upside of restorative justice, economic empowerment, and agricultural sustainability, multilateral organizations and governments are reconsidering legalization and regulatory frameworks that could serve their citizens. Yet serious doubts still remain and many still argue against governments or multilateral organizations supporting legalization or declassification of cannabis.