Listening to the “Birth of the Global Mind”

Posted · Add Comment


Wikipedia defines synchronicity as “the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described in this terminology by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.”

It was the only way I could describe the last few days. Starting with one of the most brilliant presentations I have ever seen by Tim O’Reilly on the “Birth of the Global Mind,” I found myself reporting on the Social Good Summit. The event was a three-day conference, held on September 22-24 during the United Nations week, where big ideas met new media to create innovative solutions.

In a very real way, the conference gave rise to a whole new way of defining the UN in the Digital Age, but that’s another post. This year, the Social Good Summit brought together an amazing and diverse group of global thought leaders to discuss how innovative thinking and technology can help solve the greatest global challenges.

The Big Question is: How can we unlock the potential of new media and technology to make the world a better place, and then translate that potential into action?

Google Earth

The stated goals of this year’s summit were:

  • Bringing together a new dynamic community of leaders (and followers) — technologists, innovators, social entrepreneurs, bloggers, and more.
  • Raising awareness for the global challenges to be addressed by the General Assembly during UN Week.
  • Discovering, encouraging, and showcasing new and innovative solutions to those global challenges.
  • Igniting a conversation between a live audience and a worldwide audience via Livestream.
  • Connecting leaders already working in the social good space with technologists and other leaders who can collaborate and share best practices.
  • Creating a sustainable thought-leadership forum that sparks important discussion and inspires new solutions.

According to one of the key sponsors, Zaw Thet, Founder and Executive Chairman, Palindrome Advisors, and member of UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council:

[T]he United Nations Foundation unveiled the Global Good Challenge… The Foundation’s largest and most ambitious digital initiative to date, the Global Good Challenge rewards participants with unique prizes for ‘donating their voices’ by taking action and engaging their online networks to support the work of the United Nations. […]

Those who take the Challenge will raise awareness and take action to help the United Nations prevent malaria with Nothing But Nets, empower girls with Girl Up, and protect children from preventable diseases with Shot@Life. Now through mid-November, global citizens can sign up for the Global Good Challenge at or, and join the conversation on Twitter: #GlobalGood and @unfggc.

Synergy. Tim O’Reilly talked about the global mind, a planet united by technology that for the first time in history can work as one on the problems faced by all of us. And the Social Good Summit was all about how we can use technology to make it happen.

The “Birth of a Global Mind” is a long presentation, and I’ll just point to it here and recommend you watch it.

You can also follow the progress of the ideas that were hatched at the summit. This year’s Social Good Summit was the most engaging one yet as people from around the world, in both the developed and the developing countries, from Beijing and Nairobi and all points in between, united in person and online to participate in The Global Conversation.

The summit centered around the world’s largest conversation on how technology can grow communities and improve life for all of us as we move toward being a networked society, aka global mind. It was just the beginning of the global conversation about collaboration and innovation at the intersection of a global technology.

I just wish I knew where to send the card congratulating the Earth on the birth of the global mind.

Source: “Tim O’Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind,”, 09/05/12
Source: “What to Expect from the 2012 Social Good Summit,” YouTube, 09/06/12
Source: “The Global Good Challenge — Engaging New Networks of Supporters on Global Issues,” The Huffington Post, 09/25/12