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The Social Good Summit

September 20, 2011

The Social Good Summit

The first question and the first day

Why? Why would a guy working for a lot of big corporate brands bother to go to the Social Good Summit, a conference based on the idea that Social Media could help to make this world a little better. Well first of all, I believe Social Media can do much good. The world gets more connected every day and we are making an effort to connect to everyone on this planet.  But the truth is providing “just” Social Media is not enough. We think we are connected to anyone and everyone, but we are only scraping the surface if we are talking about getting that special 1-to-1 connection that really makes a difference in developed and undeveloped countries.


Secondly, there are a lot of ideas on Social Media, and the use of Social Media but they lack the commitment and the right mindset. On the Social Good Summit everyone is committed and  in the right state of mind.  So put those two thoughts together and you are getting a great pool of opportunity. The need to make this world better educated (see the one laptop per child initiative) , or provide clean drinking water for everyone (see the Charity Water organization) in the world is actually the motor to create some of the most innovative, and intuitive technical and interactive designs that are available right now.

Why is that? Because it’s needed to succeed. The need is so obvious and strong that people are honing their designs and ideas constantly. They have a goal, a true goal to change the world with their ideas. And I know this all might sound a bit to “Goody-Good”, but putting this in a marketing and communication perspective, it helps to have this goal. The most succesful companies in the world have a strong goal to change the world in their way. Think about Nike, let’s get people to enjoy and embrace sports by “Just Do It”. Google, make all the world’s information available to everyone. And Apple, life is all about good design and functionality.


And thirdly, It’s a great conference to meet new people and get in contact with new ideas. I have been to the Picnic Festival in Amsterdam last week where I was attending the National Postcode Lotery’s Green Challenge Awards.

And seeing the initiatives of the Green Challenge Finale really put me in the right mindset for this conference. The “Great” William McDonough was one of the lead speakers talking about his  book Cradle to Cradle, which if you haven’t read it yet, you really should. William was making his case for a new way forward. He was talking about the idea of getting rid of the idea that we will use the words reduce, and limit when we are talking about our Carbon footprint.

He said: “We should not talk about doing less evil, this is not the right way. We should be talking about doing more good. Saying that as a company you’ll reduce your carbon output with 20% over the next ten years is not the right way. It’s like saying you are travelling towards Stockholm (when you are in Amsterdam) and you are taking a train to Rome. You may succeed  in getting the train to go slower, but you are still going in the wrong direction”.

I like that idea, doing more good. It’s sheds a whole different light on personal, governmental and corporate responsibility. Imagine Google saying in their Mission statement “we will do more good” instead of  “we will do no evil”.

More tomorrow, stay tuned.

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