New York, NY (October 2, 2012) — On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the Global Poverty Project (GPP) hosted the Global Citizen Festival on the Great Lawn of New York's iconic Central Park. The Global Citizen Festival, which celebrated achievements made towards ending extreme poverty in this generation, featured performances by Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Band of Horses and K'naan, with a surprise performance by John Legend.
Sixty-thousand people joined the socially conscious musicians, celebrities, leading NGO partners, dignitaries and philanthropists while millions viewed online. The Festival made history as the largest syndicated music charity webcast and broadcast, supported by Vividas, VEVO, YouTube, AOL/Huffington Post, Yahoo!, VH1.com and NYTimes.com. Television partners included AXS TV, Palladia, Globo Brazil and Fuse. Short films were shown throughout the event, produced by Discover the Journey and narrated by Blair Underwood, Rachel Brosnahan, Whoopi Goldberg, and America Ferrera.
During the Festival, GPP initiated four calls to action for concert-goers and at-home viewers to become global citizens: signing up at www.globalcitizen.org; urge Obama and Romney to explain their plan to fight extreme poverty at www.takeaction2012.org; call for the end of polio by signing the petition at theendofpolio.org and join GPP's Live Below the Line 2013 campaign at www.livebelowtheline.com.
The Global Citizen Festival was part of the Global Citizen Campaign, a social media and live-event campaign to urge world leaders to act towards ending extreme poverty in this generation. Tickets for the concert were earned through the Global Citizen platform (www.globalcitizen.org). Through the platform, The GPP aimed to motivate a generation to take 100,000 actions against poverty by the end of September. As of September 30, the website has received more than 3.8 million page views, registered 76,253 global citizens who took 696,979 actions through the platform that ranged from sharing posts on Facebook and Twitter to watching videos and signing petitions.
Produced by Goldenvoice /AEG Network LIVE and delivered by AEG Digital Media, the Global Citizen Festival was timed to create awareness around the UN General Assembly in New York, when world leaders convened to discuss the Millennium Development Goals and make commitments to end extreme poverty. During the Festival, supporting non-profit partners announced a total of $1,314,700,000 in commitments that will support crucial anti-poverty initiatives. They include:
Hugh Evans, CEO and co-founder of The Global Poverty Project said, "The Global Citizen Festival was beyond our greatest expectations. But the hard work has just begun. We need everyone in America to see themselves as Global Citizens and be part of the ongoing call for more and better aid, fairer trade and good governance for our world."
While many of these organizations intend to raise funds to support their individual causes every year, the Global Citizen Festival served as a high profile event to turn internal funding goals into public commitments. The Global Citizen platform is designed to hold these organizations accountable for following through with the commitments that were announced on stage at Saturday night's event.
The Global Citizen campaign drove incredible amounts of action around extreme poverty issues in the lead up to the Festival and at the Festival itself. People around the world learned more about the issues, shared content through social media, signed petitions and made donations to causes that they were newly impassioned around. Working with its partners, The Global Poverty Project built the movement offline as well as online. "Donor governments have consistently told us they want to hear from their constituents that they favor resources being spent on ending extreme poverty, including ending polio. The Global Citizen platform ignites a global movement, encouraging tens of thousands of people around the world to easily voice their support for children everywhere being free from polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Engaging the broader public on these issues is critical if we're going to succeed in helping all children, no matter where they live, lead healthy, productive lives," said Melissa Covelli, Senior Program Officer, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Global Poverty Project drove their NGO partners to reach far above and beyond what they had already planned. The platform offered by the Festival as well as the monitoring and evaluation plan that will be implemented by the Global Poverty Project will hold these organizations accountable to achieve these ambitious new commitments in the coming years.
Bob Prouty, Head of Global Partnership for Education (GPE) said, "We applaud the organizers of the Global Poverty Project for mobilizing a growing movement of young people to be actively engaged in reducing poverty. Using the megaphone of this wonderful concert to announce these pledges will help hold NGOs and governments accountable for their promises. Our pledge was part of the Global Partnership for Education's recently completed strategic plan. Now that it is in the public domain, our partners can collaborate with Global Poverty Project and other groups to make sure we all work together to help children in areas of conflict and humanitarian emergencies get an education."
A spokesman from Half the Sky commented, "Because of the platform offered by the Global Citizen Festival, 15 of our partner non-profit organizations declared bold commitments to achieve incredible outcomes for women and girls living in extreme poverty. The Global Citizen platform drove new and incredible attention to issues facing women and girls around the world. The coalition of 15 NGOs representing the Half the Sky Movement announced $167.5 million in new commitments."
The Festival's impact in mobilizing public opinion in support of life-saving interventions has been acknowledged at the highest level. Calling for more urgency to the final phase of polio eradication at the UN last week, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the Global Citizen Festival was "a fantastic display from civil society."
In a statement made on what's next to come for the Global Citizen campaign Evans said "The GPP team have an exciting announcement in partnership with a major American rock band in October/November. The movement to end extreme poverty is going to continue to grow from here."
Guests of the Festival included: Katie Couric, Jeffrey Sachs, Chelsea Clinton, Selena Gomez for U.S. Fund for UNICEF, John Legend, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sophia Bush for Pencils of Promise, Olivia Wilde for Half the Sky Movement, Colin Hanks, Lauren Bush Lauren for World Food Program, Katharine McPhee for Malaria No More, Erin Heatherton, Petra Nemcova, Karolina Kurkova, Carol Alt, Quddus, Michelle Trachtenberg, among others.
Global Citizen will continue to serve as a permanent platform and provide on-going information and announcements for action that can lead to lasting change. Visit www.globalcitizen.org to learn more and take action to end extreme poverty.
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About World Vision:World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injutice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews
About The Global Poverty Project:The Global Poverty Project is an international education and advocacy organization working to catalyze the movement to end extreme poverty. An Australian grown project, The Global Poverty Project creates campaigns with the purpose to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to end extreme poverty, with the vision of a world without extreme poverty, within a generation. Join the conversation on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheGPP and visit: www.globalpovertyproject.com.
Global Citizen Festival Supporters:The Festival was produced by Goldenvoice, and was generously supported by a range of Foundations, private donors and businesses. The Pratt Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Capital for Good, provided generous support for Global Citizen and the Global Citizen Festival. Sumner Redstone Foundation provided critical funding that allowed the Festival to move forward. Other sponsors included David Leppan and Billionaire.com, Nur Khan Sessions, Fedex, Square, Eventbrite, Alternative Apparel, Time Out New York, Clear Channel Communications, FC Barcelona and the FC Barcelona Foundation.
Principal Partners:World Food Program USA, Rotary International, Pencils of Promise, Malaria No More, US Fund for UNICEF, Half the Sky Movement, Earth Institute, World Vision, Global Partnership for Education, Earth Day Network.
Associate Partners:Catapult, Vitamin Angels, charity: water, Kidnected World, Rainforest Foundation,
HOPE Campaign, Afghan Institute of Learning, Opportunity International, Apne Aap Women Worldwide,
Fistula Foundation, Futures Without Violence, International Rescue Committee, Kashf Foundation,
Population Council, CARE, The Voice Project, Room to Read, Save the Children, Shining Hope for Communities, Somaly Mam Foundation, Tostan, Women of Vision, Women's World Banking.
Commitment Details:All NGO commitments made at the Global Citizen Festival were entirely new commitments, not broadcast in any other forum before September 29, 2012. They will all have significant impact on the world's poor within the next five years. The GPP will monitor and evaluate the progress on these commitments by meeting with the organizations six months post‐Festival to look into progress on meeting accountabilities. The GPP team will generate a post‐Global Festival review document to evaluate progress of NGO partners in meeting commitments and accomplishments to date at one year post‐Festival, Two Year post‐Festival and Five Year post‐Festival increments.
Breakdown of the Calls to Action: