Long Island Entrepreneurs Engage at International Entrepreneurial Summit at the United Nations to Address UN Sustainable Development Goals

Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) hosted the two-day event at the United Nations, 25-26 June 2019, focused on inspiring, educating and connecting business and global leaders to promote sustainable business practices.

Long Island Entrepreneurs at the United Nations

​​​​​On June 25-26 2019, the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 14,000 influential business owners with 192 chapters in 59 countries, presented a two-day International Entrepreneurial Summit at the United Nations (UN). The interactive Summit focused on supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -- 17 goals and 169 targets to eradicate poverty, reverse inequality and halt climate change by 2030.

Local Participation in Global Discussions: EO New York Long Island (EONYLI) was represented at the Summit by opening keynote speaker Stephen Distante (EO Global Ambassador to the UN for Entrepreneurship; EONYLI President) alongside Mark and John Cronin of Huntington's John's Crazy Socks who were among more than 180 entrepreneurs and business leaders interacting in substantive panel discussions to formulate concrete actions that business leaders can implement to tackle issues surrounding the following four SDGs:

  • SDG 4 ̶ Quality Education​
  • SDG 5 ̶ Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 ̶ Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8 ̶ Decent Work and Economic Growth

"It was an honor to represent EO New York Long Island at the International Entrepreneurial Summit at the United Nations," said Stephen Distante. "In my years as an EO member and now as the EO Global Ambassador to the UN for Entrepreneurship, I've seen how strongly EO encourages the vital role entrepreneurs play in driving positive change. I'm excited by the opportunity to engage with the SDGs to lead substantive change both in our local community and around the world."

In Distante's opening keynote speech, he premiered the trailer for his new documentary film, Igniting Impact. This film (due to release later this summer) highlights stories of entrepreneurs from around the globe that are infusing the SDGs into their businesses to incite positive change and solve many of the world's toughest challenges.

Outcomes: By hosting the International Entrepreneurial Summit, EO aims to create momentum among leading entrepreneurs from around the world and incite connections with key stakeholders from the broader UN SDGs ecosystem—forming a network of connections that will empower business leaders to contribute in solving pressing global challenges—starting locally in our Long Island business community.

Distante, Mark and John Cronin were on the floor of the United Nations during the panel discussion and among the signatories of the Outcomes Declaration, delineating 14 concrete actions that entrepreneurs can take to further the UN SDGs locally.

"As a signatory of the Outcomes Declaration, I will adopt these actions in my own company, and encourage other local businesses and organizations to do the same. As an awareness campaign, John's Crazy Socks will release a special series of Sustainable Development Socks to support the UN's SDGs and we will donate a percentage of the sales of those socks towards sustainable development," Mark Cronin continued.

The specific outcomes generated by EO participants during the International Entrepreneurial Summit include:

  • Develop a children's educational program to engage member kids in social impact and teach the significance of the SDGs.
  • Partner with Model UN organizations for programming, and ultimately host a global gamified competition among member kids.
  • Increase business participation with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with a goal of achieving a minimum 20 percent UNGC engagement among member companies within 12 months.
  • Designate a Social Impact Day to celebrate social impact on one day globally, including education on ROI to businesses, key executive involvement and community action.
  • Support more women in leadership: in the local and national community, in civic leadership, in local and global businesses, and on the boards of private and public companies.
  • Create a gender equality certification program specifying equality in recruitment and selection during promotions, clear parental leave policies, safe environments for women, equal compensation, and equal opportunity to board positions.
  • Commit to holding your company accountable for using no single-use plastic.
  • Create and support a competition for companies to fund a sustainable water supply for 5,000 people in water-stressed areas of the world.
  • Use B-Corp B-Lab Assessment to aggregate data and measure company impact.

EO is an avid supporter of the UN's Sustainable Development Agenda: In September 2017, EO members pledged support for the UN SDGs during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, recognizing the importance of solving real-world problems through sustainable business practices. In May 2018, former EO Global Chair Brian Brault and EO Global Ambassador to the UN for Entrepreneurship Stephen Distante were keynote speakers at the UN's International Council for Small Business and Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, where they signed a declaration emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship in driving positive change by addressing sustainable development challenges.

Global Speakers: The engaging line-up of speakers for the International Entrepreneurial Summit included H.E. Dr. Michal Mlynar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the UN; Dr. Derrek Kayongo, Global Soap Project; Andrew Wilson, ICC; Shamina Singh, Mastercard; Joshua Williams, Ashoka; Rosemarie "Bubu" Andres, EO Global Chair; and Warren Rustand, Dean of the EO Leadership Academy.

 To learn more about EO, please visit: www.eonetwork.org

About the Entrepreneurs' Organization: The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 14,000 influential business owners with 192 chapters in 59 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond.

For interviews or hi-res photos, contact: Jeso O'Neill, Marketing & PR, EO New York Long Island at [email protected] or 631-389-3668


Source: Entrepreneurs' Organization NY Long Island


Tags: entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Long Island, Sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations

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