Global Citizen MP: What is the best advice you could give to someone enthusiastic about effecting change but not sure where to begin?
Our earliest musical influences were artists from around the world who made us aware of issues beyond our own backyards. We hope to continue that tradition of raising awareness by joining an incredible group of performers on stage at the Global Citizen Festival to shine a light on the unacceptable fact that over 1.2 billion people on our planet still live in extreme poverty.
Photo:Richard Chapin Downs Jr. / Getty Images
I look forward to sharing the stage with such an amazing lineup of artists in an effort to raise awareness, educate others, and work toward the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. I truly believe it’s possible if we all work together.
To achieve this, we are working to make the Festival more interactive. We understand that only sixty thousand people can be there in person, so we want to use every possible digital tool to allow anyone, anywhere, to join us on September 26. MP: How can ORIGIN readers get involved with the Global Citizen movement?
Photo: Ben Watts
MP: Why is 2015 such an important year, and what can we expect at the Festival this year? RG: This is going to be the biggest Festival yet. Not only are the headliners incredible, but we are also at an incredible time in human history. This year, the United Nations will release its new set of global goals designed to fight inequality, protect our planet, and end extreme poverty by 2030. So the stakes are really high, and we want the Festival to channel the power of hundreds of thousands of Global Citizens all lending their voices to achieve policy and financial commitments that will shape the success of these goals.
RG: I think the best way to effect change is to do some research and find out which issues matter to you. On globalcitizen.org, you can take action on a range of issues from clean water to education to the environment. Our hope is that when you find an issue that matters to you, you’ll naturally want to learn more and then share that knowledge. Also, a lot of people are thinking that throwing money at the problem of extreme poverty is the solution. While giving money is effective, charity won’t end poverty. Over the last two decades or so, child mortality rates have dropped dramatically. The advocacy movements that led to the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, were the key reasons for this. With activist support across the world, bold partnerships like this have been able to mobilize and rapidly disburse billions of dollars. Since 2000, Gavi alone has immunized hundreds of millions of children in some of the world’s most vulnerable, remote, and socially excluded communities, saving an estimated seven million lives. My advice: log on, show up, get involved.
RG: Definitely check out globalcitizen.org, create a profile (like on many social media sites), engage with other Global Citizens, find a level of engagement that excites them, and have fun with it. These are serious issues, but many of the people who sign up to be a Global Citizen stay engaged because they really enjoy the sense of community it brings them and they can see the impact that is possible when working together on an issue, not to mention the opportunity to attend awesome free concerts across the world.
photos: Courtesy of Global Citizen | Getty/WireImage