Helen Clark, former PM of New Zealand and Member of World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM), led a mission to Reykjavik (Iceland) to participate in the What Works Summit, a gathering organized by Social Progress Imperative (SPI).
“Don’t bring speeches on SDGs to the UN Assembly in September. Come with a plan,” Clark advised to political leaders gathered at the summit
Clark spoke on SDG Implementation at a “Fireside Chat: The Road to the SDGs” with NetPLUSS Member, David Donoghue, former Irish Permanent Representative to the United Nations and co-facilitator of the UN Open Working Group on the SDGs.
The objective of the annual What Works Summit’s is to highlight that Gross National Product is not always the best indicator for measuring the well-being of a country and its citizens. Alternatives like the Social Progress Index (SPI) give much a more general view of citizens’ well-being, better-identifying weaknesses in a country’s development.
WLA-CdM’s project Shared Societies (SSP) identifies the need to move away from GDP and introduce other indexes, like the Social Progress Index. Shared Societies, therefore, pairs very well with the Social Progress Imperative, as both initiatives identify many interrelated areas of improvement, some of which the WLA-CdM’s project has explored in depth.
Sessions of the What Works Summit focused on topics such as inclusivity, gender equality, the social contract, and how to finance the Sustainable Development Goals. During an inclusivity session, a particularly moving presentation was given by Özlem Cekic on how to build bridges and disarm hate speech and racism.
The Summit showcased case studies, debate and interactive workshops, that allowed us to learn new tools and innovative solutions, and to stress the Shared Societies approach to inclusive sustainability. It was stimulating to collaborate with so many like-minded individuals committed to realizing values that are on par with those of the SDGs.
In addition to attending the What Works Summit, PM Clark met with the President of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson and had the opportunity to introduce the work of the WLA-CdM and explore areas of collaboration within the framework of the Shared Societies Project.