20 Thought Provoking Leaders at the Social Good Summit

The Social Good Summit 2016 was held over the weekend at the impressive new Sydney University Business School, and with so many incredibly good people in one room, the Summit is certainly one place where it’s very hard to stand out from the crowd. 

With the theme, #2030NOWAU, we asked the question “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” to both coincide with and expand the conversations from the September meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. 

In one short Saturday, we were lucky enough to hear stories from more than 20 of the most impressive and talented social thinkers, advocates and entrepreneurs in Australia - all examining the impact of social good initiatives around the world and rethinking what we need to do to change the world for better by 2030.

The Futurekind team joined around 300 like-minded Australian changemakers, and we’d like to share just a few of the incredible ideas we were lucky enough to hear about at the Summit.

The day’s discussion revolved around finding solutions for the greatest challenges of our time: how to end poverty, fix climate change and tackle inequalities. The 2016 Summit covered some of the most important and poignant issues of our time, uniting a community of leaders from Not for Profits, Corporations, Government, Universities and Industry bodies as well as grassroots contributors.




Ed Santow on Human Rights and the Danger of Inevitability
Human Rights Commissioner at Australian Human Rights Commission

If we accept the doctrine of inevitability, we risk the tragedy of doing nothing...
If you do nothing, generally that produces no change

To become a true Agent of social change, there are 3 rules that you need to live by. The 3 key elements to creating change:

1. You have to be prepared to fight (and this does not mean with your fists) - be patient
2. Be ready to advocate publicly - be methodical and make use of the system to ensure that the law and policy respects human rights
3. Be ready to educate - be informed and ready to inform others

Ed’s core piece of advice as a social changemaker is that we must reject doctrine and be patient, persistent and hard working

Reverend Graham Long
The Wayside Chapel

Social isolation is not caused by fanatics with guns hunting rebels.
Social isolation is mostly caused by people with university degrees and a good job, looking for a problem to solve.

We need a Copernican shift in the way that we think about addressing the social issues that we face in modern society. Just as no longer does the sun revolve around the earth, there is no such thing as a single human being... because the smallest unit possible is already 2 people.

The most commonly misunderstood word in the English language is 'I'. Because of Power of One thinking and the focus on everyone having to have a dream, we think of people as problems to solve, rather than people to meet.

Instead of dreams, we should talk about destiny. Can you imagine a world where the work 'I' was a word of relation, not distinction?

There are two great dangers of philosophy and religion
1. God disappears up your bum; and
2. You disappear from the equation altogether

Connection is the goal. To be necessary, to be significant, and not to be central
It’s the moment of realisation that there are people there with you, to help you move forward 

Nicola Gray on New Humans of Oz
Quality Assessor at NEAS

Currently, 3x the population of Australia, or 65M people, are displaced, dispossessed or refugee... that's one in every 113 people on the planet.
Australia takes only 0.5% of these poor people.
Most, or 87%, are now in sub-standard conditions in 3rd world parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Simon Rowe on the Sleepbus Story
Founder of Sleepbus

When you discover a problem, you have the possibility to make a difference.
Simon took the time to find out why a poor homeless man was sleeping in the entrance to a bank in the middle of the day, and discovering that it was because of no places to sleep safely at night, that the incredible idea for Sleepbus was launched.
The power of crowdfunding via Gofundme.org has helped to bring the idea of Sleepbus to life, for a safe place to sleep for people on the streets, with so many homeless people who have no other place to go. Over $100,000 raised!

Kath Leong on Transforming a Bank: How can banks provide the funding needed to deliver the SDG’s?
Social Innovation at NAB

The current global fund to support us meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) is only $140bn of many many trillions that are required.

There is an evolution of corporate investment into social good that now has 3 distinct parts: Corporate Philanthropy, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Shared Value.

Kath believes that a bank has a responsibility to fill the capital gap in making the success of social enterprise an actual reality. Finding innovative ways to address problems that are sustainable, and scalable.

In the next 3 years, NAB till try to introduce natural capital into how they assess risk, alongside financial risk itself.


Lara Davenport & Darren Smith on Red Dust Role Models
Lara is Healthy Living Program Coordinator, Red Dust Role Models & Olympian
Darren is CEO, Red Dust Role Models

Red Dust is a not-for-profit that partners with remote communities to deliver innovative health promotion programs and community development projects.

Red Dust uses the influence of positive role models from a variety of backgrounds to deliver curriculum and activity based health programs in partnering community schools, seeking to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous youth living in remote Northern Territory communities.

Red Dust believes that good health is the key to a bright future and that health outcomes can only be made possible through a two-way exchange with communities, with programs to raise awareness of the link between lifestyle choices and chronic disease:

1. Nutrition
2. Hygiene
3. Substance misuse
4. Physical activity
5. Personal Development

Richard Deutsch
Managing Director of OzHarvest

OzHarvest is Australia's leading food rescue charity. We collect quality surplus food, distribute it to people in need and divert food waste from landfill.

OzHarvest isn’t just rescuing food and helping to feed countless in need, but also Educating and raising awareness about food waste, food rescue, food security and sustainability is central to our vision. Protecting and improving the environment through all our actions matters deeply to us. Promoting nutrition education is paramount. Providing hospitality training and mentoring for disadvantaged youth drives us onwards and upwards, together.

For every $1 that OzHarvest invests, it is able to create a $5.68 Social Return on Investment (SROI).


Ranjit & Archana Voola on Partnerships for Global Goals
Ranjit is A/Prof, University of Sydney Business School. Co-Founder, Social Good Summit, AU
Arching is Ewing Postdoctoral Research Scholar at The University of Sydney

In a touching speech by Mother, Father and Daughter, the Voola family raised questions on what our children can expect for their future, to be able to share some of the same experiences and abundance that our generation has been blessed with.

Like Green-washing, SDG-Washing can only be detrimental to people in poverty, who are the most sensitive to change. It needs to involve partnerships, and that's the only way to ensure that SDG-marketing and advertising is genuine in its push for positive change. So if you see an ad on TV, you have to do some research to find out if it's really genuine.

Gender Equality means partnering with men - instead of allowing them to stand by and switch off, and be outside of the conversation.

To institute change though we must be resilient. In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, ‘First they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win'.

Jamie Isbister on Needing to do more before a humanitarian crisis to ensure we achieve the SDG goals
First Assistant Secretary, Humanitarian, NGOs and Partnerships Division, DFAT

Year on Year, 10% more people are being displaced, and now it's more than 1 person every single second as a result of natural and made made disasters.
Australian Aid was $3.7bn in 2005 and it is now over $20bn.

The power of Climate Change now means that 1 in every 3 disasters is classed as serious, and the effects are both conflating and compounding. We need to manage, mitigate or prevent the chaos that comes with climate change, and the ability to deal with the SDG's will reduce dramatically and catastrophically as this worsens.

The architecture in place that can be used to deal with issues, and directly connect those in need and those with the capacity, resources and ability to help, is dramatically changing with technology.

Prateek Gupta on How will we create a better world by 2030: Helen Keller’s approach to zero hunger in Indonesia
Country Director at Helen Keller International/Indonesia

Malnutrition is a serious problem, with a 37% rate of kids becoming stunted in Indonesia alone.
The Helen Keller Institute looks at a variety of ways to help overcome manageable and preventable problems, like Diabetic Retinopathy and looking for ways to help mothers and children to maintain a healthy and diverse diet in the critical first 1,000 days from conception into childhood.

Jayne Meyer Tucker on The GoodSave case study

Jayne is a social engineer and champion for long term sustainable change, with a strong interest in keeping Australia the lucky country.

Jayne put forward the idea that ‘Measurement without purpose is futile’.

Grow your outcomes, rather than growing an organisation - by being ready for outcomes (#rfo) and being ready to collaborate (#r2c).

If we’re going to enable social change, we need to embed what we do with purpose. Fulfilling the not for profit moral obligation is about growing the outcome over growing the organisation #goodsave.

Australia is missing from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) ranking table, because it has never before committed to an overarching outcomes-based framework to meet the SDG’s.

Caterina Sullivan on The Global Goals Australia Campaign
CEO, The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Our governments have a plan to save our planet… it’s our job to make sure they stick to it.

The Australian Social Good Summit is part of a global effort to drive global social change by creating awareness and inspiring others to act under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals were set by UN and signed by 197 countries as a plan to significantly improve the world until 2030.  If these Goals are completed, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030.

While Julie Bishop signed off the Global Goals in September last year, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is not actually responsible for any domestic implementation of those goals. It is now up to local and national government to take the forward.

Around 14% of our energy in Australia is currently provided by renewables, but with ambitious commitments like that of the ACT to reach a 100% renewable energy target by 2020 - an advancement on the federal Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme - we are starting to lift our game. 

The Global Goals are only going to work if we fight for them and you can’t fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are. We believe the Goals are only going to be completed if we can make them famous.

Anna McGregor on Pollinate Energy: Can and Will Save Lives - The role of each individual
National Manager, Pollinate Energy

Around 50% of the world’s population are currently under the age of 30 years old.
We need to look towards solutions that involve the younger generation to better innovate and drive positive change.
- Engage our young people by making social education mainstream
- Support a system for scale - with strategic governmental partnerships; and greater opportunities for small enterprise to scale
- Foster collaborations and partnerships to create Share Network resourcing

Mark Raven and Kristy Sanderson on a Collaborative Partnership between VOICE and NEAS

Mark and Kristy met at the Social Good Summit in 2015, and promptly found the common ground on which to form an exciting partnership between each of their two social enterprises, VOICE and NEAS.

Challenge yourself to be more than just inspired. Don’t just be in-spired, take that inspiration and do something positive with it.

Futurekind would like to suggest a new terminology to think about this - Be ASPIRED!

NEAS endorses English language centres in universities, colleges and high schools. Endorsed centres are granted the NEAS quality mark, internationally recognised and valued by students, teachers, agents and governments.

VOICE is a humanitarian organisation working with people in crisis in Cambodia.  VOICE believes that with the right tools and support, everybody has the potential to change their own lives for the better. VOICE uses an individual case-by-case approach to achieve sustainable, long term solutions.

Kelly McJannett on Food Ladder: Addressing hunger and malnutrition through innovative food security solutions
CEO, Food Ladder

Food Ladder is changing the landscape of food production for better food, independent production and sustainable development of communities. The organisation uses commercial hydroponic technology to deliver innovative greenhouse growing systems to disadvantaged communities, both in Australia and abroad, as well as providing training to allow locals to run production themselves.

The customised artificial environment can grow healthy food like spinach, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs, with improved agricultural efficiency – up to five times greater than traditional methods.

Pete Yao on Thankyou - a model of social enterprise
Chief Impact Officer, Thankyou

Chasing the impossible is incredibly hard, but it can be done… and it should be done.

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Muhammad Ali

Thankyou Water is now outselling many global multi-nationals and is using all the profit to support life-changing food, water and health and sanitation programs around the world.

"Do you think bottled water is fundamentally stupid? Yes? That’s ok, so do we... But, have you ever bought a bottle of water…?"

Natalie Isaacs on One Million Women fighting climate change
CEO, One Million Women

How can one person really make a difference?
Natalie had an epiphany in 2006, and everything changed when she realised she could reduce her electricity consumption by 20%, just by making a few small changes… and she thought, what would happen if everybody did that?

We spend around $10.5bn each year on stuff we either don’t use or don’t need. 
Natalie started One Million Women to create sweeping lifestyle change. And Natalie is open in admitting though, it’s a hard thing to create when nobody really wants to change.



Futurekind would like to thank all of the team from Social Good Summit 2016 for their incredible work in putting on such a seamless and enriching day. While we hope we've captured a few of the highlights from so many great speakers, there's much that we have also been unable to cover. Fortunately, there is great footage from the day's session that's available from the event organisers, who can be contacted at their Social Good Summit website.