Washington, D.C., October 3 /3BL Media/ – The Global Engagement Forum: Live 2018 has reached full capacity. Hosted by PYXERA Global, the Forum will convene more than 300 leaders and innovators in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area October 10 & 11. Leaders and experts from business, government, and nonprofit organizations will come together for two days of collaboration around specific global challenges within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“We are overwhelmed at the enthusiastic response to our third Forum,” said Deirdre White, CEO of PYXERA Global. “We knew that leaders and experts were hungry for an opportunity to do real work and make progress on imminently solvable problems when we started this effort in 2015, and we’re thrilled to have an opportunity to do it once again.”
Participants from around the world will break into groups, including experts from the field, to focus on four solvable problems:
1. Closing the Skills Gap in STEM
Employers around the world need analytical thinkers and problem solvers, yet they struggle to find qualified candidates for entry-level positions, much less advanced or mid-career positions. Employers have jobs available with no one to do them. Meanwhile, more than 75 million unemployed youth around the world can’t enter the workforce. They, and many more mid-life workers, have never had the opportunity to gain the qualifications required, nor guidance about how to set themselves on the right path to learn. It’s a basic math puzzle that we are getting wrong—a significant market failure based on an equation we can, and must, solve.
2. Eliminating Marine Debris
Waste carried by tidal currents accumulates along waterways and coastlines and spans the ocean surface down to the deepest sea floors. It damages coral reefs, ensnares marine species, and is often mistaken for food and ingested. Vast advances are attributable to plastics, from expanding food access and reducing food waste to improving transportation security, building lighter vehicles, and increasing access to shelter. Yet these gains often come at considerable cost—plastic waste does not biodegrade, and as such it is here to stay, becoming a bigger problem day by day. The problem has grown so large that a ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ three times the size of France floats between Hawaii and California.
3. Reducing Post-Harvest Loss
Our planet produces enough food to feed the entire global population. Yet one-third of all food produced is never consumed and an estimated 815 million people go undernourished. Meanwhile, an astounding amount of fresh water used in agriculture—three times that of Lake Geneva—produces food that is never eaten. Most of this food loss happens before produce ever reaches a market. In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 75 percent of loss occurs during the production, handling, and sorting stages. Collectively, this results in economic costs of approximately USD $750 billion. As a rapidly growing global population places growing demands on our available resources, businesses and communities can no longer afford these types of inefficiencies in agricultural value chains.
4. Ending Energy Poverty
More than a billion people live without consistent access to electricity. Over 3 billion people still rely on kerosene, wood, and other biomass to cook and heat their homes. At the same time, low-income populations in the United States face eviction due to high fuel costs. Beyond the glaring disparity, energy poverty has a direct connection to poverty indicators such as community health, education, and economic growth. Without reliable electricity in their homes and schools, children cannot study to learn the skills they need to thrive as adults. Hospitals cannot store lifesaving vaccines, nor operate after sundown. Women’s safety remains at risk, job growth remains stagnant, and workers remain unemployed.
Leading sponsors include The Dow Chemical Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., John Deere, PIMCO, SAP, PepsiCo, U.S. African Development Foundation, 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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Roger T. Bain
Media & Thought Leadership Manager