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The Social Good Summit in NYC 2013 #2030NOW

The Social Good Summit in NYC 2013 #2030NOW

Elizabeth Atalay at Social Good Summit 2013

 I was enraptured a couple of weeks ago as I soaked in information at the three-day  Social Good Summit in NYC sponsored by Mashable, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 92Y, the United Nations Foundation, United Nations Development Program, and Ericsson .  This to me is what being front row at the Super Bowl or The Oscars would be for others. The summit  coincided with both the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative, and so the city was abuzz with global leaders, humanitarians, media, and advocates, and the vibe was infectious.

The Social Good Summit is a three-day conference where big ideas meet new media to create innovative solutions. Held during UN Week from September 22-24, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders to discuss a big idea: the power of innovative thinking and technology to solve our greatest challenges. The most innovative technologists, influential minds and passionate activists will come together with one shared goal: to unlock the potential of new media and technology to make the world a better place, and then to translate that potential into action.- www.Mashable.com/SGS 

To kick off the conference World Moms Blog founder Jennifer Burden hosted a pre-game dinner party the night before for World Moms Blog editors & contributors in from out-of-town. Wave Bars sponsored our travel into the city the next day and kindly supplied us with a treat basket including a cache of their healthful snack bars for sustenance. To make us feel fully feted the creator of Dragonfly Designs had sent over a basket of gorgeous custom wine glasses, “Eat,Drink,Blog” perfect for our evening, and to get us going the next morning for a packed conference schedule.

Elizabeth Atalay w/ World Moms Blog Crew

Bright and early Sunday morning a Wave bar served as breakfast on the train into NYC to take part in the RUN10FEED10 10K with fellow Shot@Life Champion Myrdin Thompson, and my cherished childhood friend Maria. This was my first 10k and I could not have done it without their company.   I loved the idea that between Maria, Myrdin and I, we started off the morning of the Social Good Summit having donated 30 meals with the run, while providing life saving vaccines, and supporting Parkinson’s Research by using the Charity Miles app we used. All before 9am. I knew that both Gene Gurkoff, Founder of Charity Miles, and Lauren Bush Lauren, Founder of FEED projects (two people I greatly admire!) would be speaking later that week at the summit.Elizabeth Atalay at theRun 10 Feed10

Each day in fact, for the following three days, many of the people whose work I admire most took the stage and elucidated us further on the impact we can all have for social good, on emerging technologies, and best practices leading the way.  The speaker line-up was star-studded (for the humanitarian world) and included  Melinda Gates, Richard Branson, Al Gore and Malala Yousafazai, and tackled ending poverty by 2030, food security, Global health, and how mobile technology is transforming our world.  Speakers ranged from humanitarian celebrities such as will.i.am, founders of inspiring NGO’s and non-profits, representatives from UNICEF and the World Food Program to HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. The full list of speakers and their topics can be found on the Mashable site. Each panel offered hope, solutions and actions toward the universal goal of ending extreme poverty by  the year 2030 (hence the hashtag), and tackling the multifactorial root causes collectively.

A couple of my favorite snapshots include the National Geographic photographer Marcus Bleasdale calling us all out for using technologies that have conflict zones minerals in them. With his photographs he documented mineral mines where lives are lost for the necessary elements found in our cell phones, iPads and cameras. He urged us all to be more conscientious consumers, and let companies know that we will not purchase products produced in an environment that is harmful to others. An important message for a room full of social media producers.  Jessica O. Mathews demonstrated the soccer ball that she invented with her company Uncharted Play, Inc., that harnesses power during play. To me her brilliant design was such a hopeful example of how young people are creatively solving the challenges we  face. And Sir Richard Branson pointed out that the choice between saving the planet or saving our economies is a false choice. Al Gore would later expand on that calling the climate reality the most pressing challenge to the survival of human civilization as we know it.

#2030 Now

Jessica O. Mathews, Marcus Bleasdale, and Sir Richard Branson

As electric as the energy was inside the 92Y, some of the highlights for me occurred outside of the summit itself, such as  meeting our World Moms Blog Tanzanian contributor Nancy Sumari. Attending a roundtable lunch session with ONE, the Gates Foundation, and Save the Children focused on the Syrian refugee crisis and tackling the MDG’s.  Joining other bloggers at a dinner meeting with WaterAid where we heard an update on implementing running water in the Madagascar schools several of us have written about.  Attending a ONE.org panel at the United Nations on Millennial Factivism, and an inspiring blogger breakfast with (RED) to discuss upcoming products that help fund the fight against AIDS. Gathering in person with so many of the amazing people that share my passion for raising awareness and striving towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals, and the true possibility of ending extreme poverty by 2030. I am still processing all of the information that came home with me, in what feels like unpacking a duffle bag stuffed with the whole world of issues. One by one I aim to pull them out, and write.

LtoR: WMB Tanzania contributor Nancy Sumari, Carolyn Miles CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon Third Eye Mom, Jennifer Barbour Another Jennifer, the author, Phil Carroll  of Save the Children

LtoR: WMB Tanzania contributor Nancy Sumari, Carolyn Miles CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon of Third Eye Mom, Jennifer Barbour of Another Jennifer, the author & Phil Carroll Save the Children Media & Communications

Behind The Scenes At The ONE/FashionABLE/AnchorArtists Photo Shoot

Behind The Scenes At The ONE/FashionABLE/AnchorArtists Photo Shoot

A photo of Maren taken the same year we met

I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on my friend Maren. I was sitting in a classroom freshman year of High School.  My curly hair was probably pulled back by a painted barrett on each side, with my bangs straightened and curled under. Most likely I was sporting some chinos and a Lacoste shirt, just trying to fit in.

The “new girl” who walked in the room had just moved East from California. She was as exotic to our East Coast high school as I imagined California to be. And she was spectacular. She had short red hair feathered to the side and was decked head to toe in purple, right up to her eye shadow!  I eagerly told her that I was going to California soon to visit my aunt and asked her what it was like. I had never met anyone like Maren, and knowing her is to understand the phrase “she has  je ne sais quoi” .  Dressing with such style, often in patterns, bright colors, designs made by her mother, and jewelry by actual artists, made it hard to fit in at our New England high school. Maren never wanted to, or tried to change to fit in, and this was one of the things I loved about my new friend.  She always remained confident and true to herself, and our peers liked her even more for that. She stood out as an individual. Being friends with Maren is similar to the way someone with a British accent is perceived to have a higher IQ.   It makes you feel that much more cool and hip, just by association.    Lord only knows why she took gawky little me under her wing, but she would meet me in the bathroom early before school and yank my unruly hair into tight French braids. We have been best friends ever since, and I continue to feel lucky to be graced by her friendship, and especially at this point in life, cherish the long shared history we have together.  She has made me a better person, taught me so much along the way, and continues to influence my style to this day. 

It is no surprise that by now she has spent over 25 years as a leader and style-maker in Boston’s fashion industry.  Maren grew up to become a stylist, Run an agency for stylists, and now is at the helm of her own company, Anchor Artists. Maren founded Anchor Artists out of her dedication to the success of clients and artists, and to use her unique creative vision to see them thrive.  Still willing all these years later to continue to help me with my own fashion challenges, I recently asked her advice on styling my gorgeous new ONE/FashionABLE Genet scarf.

This scarf, the Genet, is a collaborative effort between ONE, fashionABLE and the Alt Design Summit. Each Genet scarf is handmade, taking three days to make with the handiwork of three women. The Genet scarf design was created as a limited edition in honor of  Mother’s Day, and  is only available while supplies last through ONE.org or fashionABLE.  Each scarf purchased helps to support improving the lives of women and children in Ethiopia.

Photo by Hornick/Rivlin

Maren had immediately connected to the story behind fashionABLE and the Genet scarf. Her own mother, Joanne Rossman, had once been a single mother, like Genet, the woman for whom my scarf is named. Also, like Genet, she had supported her own children by designing, and creating scarves (along with some of the fabulous clothes Maren wore back in high school).  Instead of just showing me how she would style it, as only Maren could, she generously assembled a professional team of stylists, a hair and make-up artist and top photographers to take on the challenge, ultimately telling the story of Genet in a beautiful, visual way.  I visited the set on the day of the photo shoot to give you a peak behind the scenes!

Hornick/Rivlin were the photographers gracious enough to donate their day to beautifully capturing the stylists interpretations of how to wear the Genet scarf.   The Hornick/Rivlin Studio is a collaboration of 2 photographers, Rick Hornick and Sandy Rivlin.  They joined together in 1981, destined to make photographs which go far beyond commercial, toward a classic interpretation of picture taking enjoyed by the industries of home/interiors, lifestyle, portrait, apparel catalogue and still life.  They work in concert technically and aesthetically, and were both compelled by the story behind the women who create the FashionABLE scarfs to help make the shoot a success.

Photographers Sandy Hornick & Rick Rivlin at work

Of course to polish any photo shoot you need the perfect hair & make-up artist , enter Anchor Artists Kathleen Schiffmann, a true professional with a big heart.  Her talent is legendary and Kathleen is the artist of choice for many of Boston’s top photographers.  She has travelled the world on commercial and fashion shoots applying her magic touch to the worlds top models, able to produce just that right look for any photo situation, yet she remains  grounded and friendly in her attitude .

Hair & Make Up Artist Kathleen schiffmann puts the finishing touches on Alisa.


The Shoot location was at the home of Joanne Rossman, designer, one of the models, and Maren’s mom. Behind the scenes you can see her home studio where she creates her own line of goods to be sold at her store Joanne Rossman. Maren and her mom are both consummate foodies so of course they provided the talent and crew with an amazing food for sustenance. Rita Rose, Joanne’s Muse and often the subject of Joanne’s blog, acted like the diva she is lounging by the fire, while Maren’s pug Hugo looked on.

Photo of Joanne & Rita Rose by Hornick/Rivlin

Check out the fabulous results of the day, and see the styles created by Anchor Artists Anna WallackJenny Wilson, and Alisa Neely  that were posted on the ONEMoms website.

ONEMoms and FashionABLE Mother’s Day Scarf

ONEMoms and FashionABLE Mother’s Day Scarf

I’m sure that you remember the gorgeous fashionABLE scarves in the Documama holiday gifts that give back guide.  Each style is more beautiful than the next, but the best part is that each scarf also helps to employ a woman working towards a better life for herself and her family in Ethiopia.  A few months ago in December and January there was a ONE | fashionABLE | ALT challenge / contest held where the Alt community was challenged to design a scarf to be voted on by conference attendees.  The scarf was then handmade in Ethiopia for an exclusive ONE | fashionABLE Mother’s Day Scarf.  The Altitude Summit Community meets up for an annual conference in Utah geared towards design-oriented bloggers, lifestyle brands and companies that want to connect with them to discuss theory, and the love of all things design.  More than 60 designs were submitted to the contest, 12 of which were produced by FashionABLE in Ethiopia.  Four of the twelve were voted on by the ALT community, and the winning scarf is being produced now and will be available on April 15.

As a ONEMoms community partner, today, Thursday, April 4 we are able to offer our documama readers a pre-sale of the chosen design and both ONE.org and FashionABLE are offering two full days of free shipping.  After April 5th the pre-sale will continue with regular shipping. All scarves ordered will be shipped on April 17 in time for Mother’s Day. The scarf is gorgeous, and each handmade scarf takes three days to make.  The chosen scarf is named The Genet,  after one of the amazing women who helped produce it, and is available for purchase through the ONE Store  and fashionABLE websites.

Read Genet’s story to get an idea for the opportunities you are supporting by purchasing a FashionABLE scarf:

Photo of Genet and her daughter provided by ONE.org

“I don’t remember my birth mother, and I don’t know my birthday or actual age, so the timeline of my story is based on my best guess . I was brought from the countryside into the city of Addis at age 3 by an aunt who promised my family I would be sent to school and have a “better life .” Instead, I was groomed to be a housemaid and given so many responsibilities that the load of work become impossible and overwhelming . By age 12, I ran away and began living on  the street . I felt lost and I was continually raped . Eventually, I became pregnant . With a baby at 15, I learned to have sex for money so I could support her. I coped with life through drinking, drugs and smoking . I recently learned about this program and am enrolled in counseling to work through my addictions, my childhood trauma, and learn ways to reconnect with my now 6-year-old daughter.  I am also working at fashionABLE and grateful  to have a job that provides dignity. “


This scarf  is definitely on my Mother’s Day wish list!


Mindful Giving Guide: Gifts That Give Back

Mindful Giving Guide: Gifts That Give Back


10 Gifts That Give Back:

1.FashionABLE  Scarves: The scarf pictured here was exclusively made for ONE by fashionABLE out of 100% light weight African cotton. The Feleku scarf was created when the ONEMoms (Including my amazing sister-in-law Jeannine Harvey) were on their recent trip to Ethiopia. ONE has partnered with FashionABLE, a company that works to create economic opportunities for women in Ethiopia by creating handmade scarves.  Each style is named after the woman that designed it and includes a tag describing what she is able to do as a result of having a job. This scarf is named after Feleku, who is now ABLE to face new challenges.

2.Lollie Beads Bracelets are created from fair trade recycled glass beads made in Uganda. So they are not only gorgeous (the glass beads look and feel like sea glass) but they are good for the environment AND help support sustainable livings in a developing country.



3.I first heard of The Anchal Project at the Rhode Island School of Design Student and Alumni Art sale where I bought a small moleskin notebook to support it.  Since then they have branched out into an incredible array of crafts including these beautiful quilts to support  their mission: “Anchal merges design, business, and education to empower marginalized and exploited women living in India.”-Anchal Mission Statement

4.These Tom’s wedges are at the top of my teenage daughter’s wish list, so you know they are cool! Tom’s keeps its designs fresh while still managing to provide shoes and glasses to those who need them. I know I’ve said this before, but I love their One for One business model (and pledge to support it with as many shoes as I can get away with!)

5.Whenever I carry my FEED bag I get compliments and inquiries about it, and I love promoting their wonderful program.  Products from

FEED Project make perfect gifts that give back, each product tells you how many kids you are feeding by purchasing it, and you can choose the product based on what efforts you wish to support.  This season I’m lusting after the DKNY collaboration Survival Tote and  NYC  hoodie sweatshirt that supports relief efforts for hurricane sandy victims.

6.Sari Bari  Sari Bari is a safe place of employment where women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to trafficking can experience a new life in the making. Gorgeous Indian textiles are woven into clothing, accessories and home goods. Tee-shirts, bags and jewelry all help these women live free lives of restoration and hope.


Alex & Ani jewelry is a favorite gift of mine to give, not only is it made from recycled materials, locally owned and founded by a woman, but has a Charity By Design division where a percentage of proceeds from each Charity By Design bracelet goes to a specific cause.You can also customize your gift to the recipients personality or interests with their amazing selection of charm bracelets and charm necklaces.



7.1000 ShillingsUgandan Paper bead necklaces.  The women artisans earn capital for their own small businesses by making limited-edition products for 1000 Shillings. Each product sold through 1000 Shillings helps a woman establish a small business, which enables her to support her family. We also aim to tell the in-depth story behind each artisan.  The company works with six single mothers in the Namatala slum, Uganda.


A Gift As A Gesture:

Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect gift for someone who has every material thing they desire.  Still you want to give something as a token of your appreciation to them and the below gifts are the perfect solution that everyone can feel good about.

Photo by Elizabeth Atalay

8. Heifer International :

“Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.  It all started with a cow.  Moved by the plight of orphans and refugees of the Spanish Civil War as he ladled out meager rations of powdered milk, Dan West, an Indiana farmer, volunteer relief worker and Church of the Brethren member, grasped that the people needed “a cow, not a cup”—cows that could produce milk so families would not have to depend on temporary aid. From that simple idea, Heifer International was born.” – From the Heifer International Website

9. Save A Life This Christmas with Maternity Worldwide :  “No mother should die while giving birth. By ordering a Safe Birth Certificate you will enable a mother in a developing country to safely give birth to her baby.  Long after the bubble bath has been used and the Christmas hampers have been eaten you will have given a lasting gift which will save a mother’s life and enable her baby to grow up with their mum.”- From the Maternity Worldwide Website

10. UNICEF Child survival Food Pack: “One amazing gift, that does it all. The Child Survival Food Pack has everything needed to save a severely malnourished child, from the time they are brought into an emergency feeding center on the brink of death, till when they are healthy again.  Therapeutic Milk and Therapeutic Food are the miracle supplies that treat severe acute malnutrition. Water Purification Tablets provide clean and safe water and prevent water-borne diseases. Multiple Micronutrient Powder and High-Energy Biscuits give a child the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy.  Your precious gift can bring a child back from the brink of malnutrition, with enough supplies to nurture them to good health for several months.”- UNICEFUSA.org


I am a proud member of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health. Some of the suggestions for this post came from the Global Team of 200.   Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.  Follow along with us here on Tumblr, on TwitterPinterest, and Facebook for the latest Global Team of 200 news.

Sea Of Glass

Sea Of Glass

When our boys were toddlers my friend Michelle and I used to let them walk along side us on the beach while we combed the sand to find beautiful treasures of sea glass. Two states and six years later, when Michelle decided to start a business creating jewelry made from sea glass, she ran into an interesting problem.  The now common practice of recycling has made Sea Glass increasingly more difficult to find.  Part of her desire was to create jewelry using environmentally friendly recycled materials.  When researching alternatives to sea glass she came across recycled glass beads made in Ghana.  She fell in love, and her Lollie Beads creations were born.

African glass beads have been made by tribes for centuries in areas such as Kenya and Ghana, but have seen a recent resurgence in popularity due to the global heightened desire for environmentally friendly products.  The glass beads have a similar texture and translucent look that is reminiscent to that of sea glass.  I love the fact that she only sources her beads from Fair Trade suppliers to ensure that the artists who make the beads benefit directly.  Fair Trade partnerships were created, and strive to ensure that the trade and retail of handmade creative products are produced in safe and fair practices.  Their goal is to continue to improve the working conditions of those in developing countries, to ensure fair trading partnerships between organizations and producers, and to sustain the economic growth of developing countries by linking producers to new trading avenues.

I had first seen Ghana glass beads when through social media I followed my sister-in-law on the ONEMoms trip to Ghana last spring. There ONEMoms helped to  usher in the inaugural vaccine program with the GAVI Alliance.  The ONEMoms team also visited a glass bead factory  on their trip  where they observed how they were made, and posted photos of the resulting gorgeous glass beads that I had never seen anything like before.

 I suppose part of my close bond with my sister-in-law and my friend Michelle comes from sharing the values of caring for the environment, and the desire to give back. It still felt like some amazing full circle somehow when within 6 month they both introduced me to these stunning beads, that had been around far before any of us, but that I had never seen before last spring.  I fell in love with the African continent when I spent six months traveling through it in my twenties. Ghana was one of the countries I did not get to go to, but I tend to gravitate towards anything made in that region, and love to support tradespeople there.  With the holidays approaching I scooped up a bunch Lollie Beads Bracelets to give as gifts, and of course a few for myself to wear too!  Michelle is now selling Lollie Beads at craft shows, a few boutiques, and they can be purchased at www.lolliebeads.etsy.com.  Sea Glass lovers rejoice!