Washington, D.C., October 15/ 3BL Media/ – Last week, the 2018 Global Engagement Forum: Live convened leaders and experts from business, government, and nonprofit organizations to collaborate around solving specific problems within the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Hosted by PYXERA Global, the Forum convened over 300 leaders, experts, and stakeholders in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
The forum was headlined by author, speaker, and humanitarian activist Dan Pallotta, Director of Peace Corps, Jody Olsen, and Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region and Head of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase & Co, Peter Scher.
Participants from around the world held conversations in hopes of future collaboration on four “solvable problems.” As defined by PYXERA Global, “solvable problems” are social challenges within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for which there are known and tested solutions. The specific challenges addressed at the forum included Closing the Skills Gap in STEM, Eliminating Marine Debris, Ending Energy Poverty, and Reducing Post-Harvest Loss. Throughout the Global Engagement Forum: Live, participants heard from global leaders working on these issues and broke out into tracks to understand the problem and collaborate on finding solutions.
“The Forum provides leaders at the highest levels an experiential understanding of cross-sector collaboration,” said Katie Levey, Senior Director of Communications at PYXERA Global. “Whether a participant works in a multinational corporation, government agency, social enterprise, or a nonprofit, she or he brings this learned experience back into their organization and transforms it into action.”
Day one’s activities brought cross-sector participants together to understand and sit with these solvable problems. Speakers included Ahsiya Mencin, Director of Global Employee Experience at GSK, Gabriela Burian, Global Director for Sustainable Agriculture at Bayer-Crop Science, Lisa Jordan, Campaign Director at Shine, and Kristina Kloberdanz, SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer at Mastercard.
In the session entitled “Solving the Solvable,” Gabriela Burian, Global Director for Sustainable Agriculture at Bayer—Crop Science challenged the audience to think about where we want to be in 12 years—in 2030. She described the conference as the “best time, best place, with the best people” to make decisions and consider the long-term effects of post-harvest loss and climate change. Opportunities for innovation that Gabriela mentioned include improving storage for produce during the transport process and overcoming investment challenges. “If we focus on food loss and waste, we can solve many of the UN SDGs,” said Gabriela Burian.
Day two activities included workshop style collaborative sessions where cross-sector participants imagined and planned ways to work together. Participants investigated the barriers to finding solutions within their respective “solvable problem” tracks. In the “Reducing Post-Harvest Loss” track, working groups continued to refine their problem statements and consider questions such as:
- How do you improve financial literacy and increase trust between lenders and farmers?
- How do you promote communication about buyers’ needs to farmers?
- How do you use existing data and research to promote effective policies around post-harvest loss?
Experts were able to provide some context as to what solutions or strategies are already in place to tackle these issues, while participants from differing sectors were able to bring a fresh perspective to conversations.
Day two speakers included Rob Vallentine, President, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation and Director, Global Citizenship and North America Global Corporate Affairs, Amanda Gardiner, VP, Sustainability & Social Innovation, Pearson, Matt Dunne, Founder & Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation, and Virendar Khatana, Project Director for PYXERA Global’s Joint Initiative for Village Advancement program (JIVA), among others.
Leading sponsors for the Global Engagement Forum: Live 2018 include The Dow Chemical Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., John Deere, PIMCO, SAP, PepsiCo, U.S. African Development Foundation, IREX, Keep America Beautiful, GSK, Ocean Conservancy, Johnson & Johnson, Shine, World Food Programme, and IBM.
About PYXERA Global
For nearly 30 years, PYXERA Global (@PYXERAGlobal) has facilitated mutually beneficial partnerships between the public, private, and social sectors worldwide to create social impact projects that enrich lives and livelihoods, inclusively and sustainably.
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