My name is Emily Rodriguez from USA. I attended the Novus Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on July 17, 2016 on behalf of WAGGGS. This inaugural summit showcased voices of positive change to support the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (Global Goals). This platform for positive change highlighted innovations, entrepreneurship, and transformative ideas. The short, thoughtful and inspiring presentations felt like a live TED talk. There was also an awards session, and Lakshmi Puri, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women was awarded for her commitment to gender equality. She spoke about the “revolution” in gender equality.
Linking to my personal background in environmental science, several speakers discussed space exploration, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and environmental technologies. Anousheh Ansari said, “I love using technology to solve problems.” She works in engineering and has also traveled into space. She spoke about inspiring girls to dream big! Jack Andraka spoke about using data collection and algorithms to protect the environment by uncovering environmental exploitation. Raymond McCauley shared knowledge about bio-hacking and suggested that hands-on learning and biotechnology have the potential to solve environmental problems.
I enjoyed the featured session on “Women in Innovation.” Lesless Udwin challenged us to think about the content of education, and proposed a system-wide change in education. She suggested that holistic and experiential education, including social and emotional values are the cornerstone of human rights. Mona Hamdy spoke about courage, and about eradicating poverty with technology, design and innovations. Shiza Shahid mentored Malala, and Shiza said, “if we invest in women like Malala, we can change the world.” This resonated with me since I mentor high school Girl Scouts in my community; girls are changing the world!
Overall, the event was very interesting and provided a platform for experts to share their insights on leveraging technology and innovation to solve global problems, to achieve targets in the Global Goals.