4 Essential Lessons to Change the World from Leaders at UN Global Goals Week

Global Goals Week is an annual week of action where the United Nations and partners from around the world come together to drive change, raise awareness and take solving the Global Goals into their own hands.

Here’s the low down from world leaders in 4 simple lessons, which you can apply to your impact projects today!

  • Hult Prize Foundation Global Final: The power of crowdsourcing


After 150,000 applications from 121 countries later, 6 teams pitched for 1 million USD in seed investment at the Hult Prize Global Final, answering the challenge of how to harness the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people.


Sunrice, who promise to increase rice production and losses across SE Asia took home the investment. They were selected from a panel of all star judges including Verizon CEO, Hans Vestberg, Arianna Huffington and Earthday President, Kathleen Rogers.


Despite only one winner, what was even clear at the event was the power of the crowd. Not only had the crowd brought 6 game changing startups to the United Nations from nothing but it had created a vested audience from around the world in supporting all of the impact startups that were part of the Hult Prize competition. In the past, Hult Prize startups have created whole industries on their own, in the case of Aspire Food.

When you ask the crowd, the crowd will answer. As an entrepreneur, crowdsourcing is a powerful tool to ensure the success of your project. A collaborative approach is the best one to taking on the world’s problems and getting your impact business off the ground.  

  1. World Innovation Summit on Education: Education Education Education

The World Innovation Summit@ NY gathered practitioners, thought-leaders and creative architects who are empowering learners for future challenges, designing new learning environments to foster inclusion, innovating inside and outside the classroom. I was fortunate enough to join a list of speakers including The Director of the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative on Education, Jim Shelton, and Deputy Secretary of the United Nations.


My takeaway was of the true importance of education. Education underpins all of the other SDGs – whether it’s education on climate change, literacy or health care. When you think about your solution, think about who you need to educate to make it a success: your employees, end users, the public on the importance of your problem or the need for life long education for yourself.

Don’t forget to invest in education.


  1. Social Good Summit: It’s time to be a leader now, not tomorrow


The Social Good Summit brings together technology and the media to innovate around the SDGs, produced in partnership by Mashable and UN Foundation.

At the Summit, Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, shared some wise words. “To those who are saying young people are the leaders of tomorrow, this is the proof that we are the leaders of today”

As global youth we need to act now and take our seat at the table. As an entrepreneur, you don’t need to wait until tomorrow, your time is now – this is exactly what I saw at the summit. Being part of the global youth who believe in making the world a better place is your unique proposition not your disadvantage – own it.

  1. Global People’s Summit: Diversity Wins

The Global People’s Summit provides a space for a truly global conversation to take shape—a place where people and organizations around the world can collaborate, share best practices, foster innovation, build community, celebrate success, influence global agendas, and find new ways to translate their vision into action—together online.

This year the summit was held had a digital reach of 100 million in 160+ countries. You can join this from anywhere in the world next year at Global Goals week. With so many countries involved, the collaboration and views shared from speakers across the world showed the importance of diversity. Diversity helps find better solutions, from different perspectives. So not only should you attend next year but you should ask seek to get diverse feedback, diverse support for your solutions and diverse talent.

Follow these 4 lessons and you could be pitching in the Hult Prize Final at Global Goals week next year!

James da Costahttps://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/people/jamesdacosta/#5883ee581da8
European Regional Director at Hult Prize Foundation, inspiring the creation of for-profit, for-good start-ups to change the world.

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