The Concordia Summit and The Power of Partnerships

The world’s most prominent business, government, and nonprofit leaders convened during September’s UN General Assembly in New York at The Concordia Summit to examine how to catalyze effective partnerships for impact, discussing issues from global food supply to the refugee crisis to waste disposal.

The power of partnerships is no secret to SSG, as multi-lateral engagements have been the cornerstone of our work since the beginning. We have developed more than 200 partnerships in 50+ countries across every sector of development: poverty alleviation, natural resource management, economic development, education, health, climate resilience, gender, and conflict. Our work across the development space positioned us to engage around several issues at the Summit:

  • SSG’s Tim Moore is the Senior Partnerships Advisor for the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (Oceans), and has been leading the development of multi-stakeholder partnerships to combat illegal fishing and promote sustainable fisheries management in Asia Pacific through the development and adoption of electronic seafood traceability systems. At the Summit, he facilitated a discussion on the role of seafood traceability through partnership in addressing labor trafficking.
  • SSG’s Managing Director, Steve Schmida, presented updates on the TV White Space Partnership (TVWS) in the Philippines, which won the P3 Impact Award at Concordia in 2015. This partnership is a unique collaboration betweenMicrosoft, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) ECOFISH project, and the Government of the Philippines to improve the lives of fisherfolk and the management of coastal fisheries in the Philippines by extending Internet access to remote and underserved coastal communities. In the last year, the Government of the Philippines built on the TVWS partnership success to scale its investments in the technology throughout the country as a critical component in its strategy to provide countrywide coverage for all of its citizens.
  • James Bernard , Director of ICT4D at SSG, and Tom Buck, Director of Natural Capital at SSG, participated in a round-table discussion focused on digitally-enabled partnerships. SSG’s work on a number of ICT4D projects – from business models for connecting the “bottom billion”, to using data to track sustainable fishing, to developing online badging programs to create jobs for underemployed youth – proved to be a valuable part of the discussion, which was attended by Qualcomm, Google, University of Notre Dame, Project Concern International, USAID, and other organizations.

This Summit is testament to the increasing importance of partnerships, in both the development and the diplomacy space. SSG has been at the forefront of harnessing public-private partnerships and private sector engagement to address the most challenging global development issues, and we must continue to innovate. The Concordia Summit inspired us with the work that others are doing and reminded us of the continued importance of collaboration to ignite opportunity and advance global good.