DAY 1 SUMMARY: Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020

By Daniel Alves, Researcher, Business Fights Poverty

Today at Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020 we discussed the future we want. 

Today at Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020 we discussed the future we want.

Our brilliant speakers considered what rebuilding better means, how we can build a future that is more inclusive and greener, what the role of business should be in addressing social and economic divides, and how we can best measure progress.

In the midst of unprecedented challenges, we are faced with a unique moment of opportunity to build more capacity to health care systems and integrate sustainable targets into companies’ missions, highlighted Daniella Foster, Global VP and Head, Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability, Consumer Health, at Bayer. For Daniella: “what is on my mind is how do we really rebuild better collectively, and how do we make sure we have health and education available for everyone.”

Our diverse sessions analysed immediate responses to crises, and the planning and delivery of long-term goals:

A fireside chat between Jane Nelson, Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, and Beth Hurvitz, Senior Vice President of Global Social Impact, at Visa gave insight into the importance of investing in equitable and sustainable growth, and of galvanising collective action to address socio-economic divides. As Beth pointed out: “we must work together to close the digital gap and allow everyone everywhere to participate in the economy of the future.”

Our first webinar of the day, hosted with AB InBev, explored what is the future that we want and how can business help us get there. Participants reminded us of existing challenges exacerbated by the pandemic as well as the opportunities that we have to build more resilient, inclusive, and greener business models. According to Catalina Garcia Gomez, Global Director of Corporate Affairs at AB InBev: “if our communities are not sustainable, we won’t be sustainable; we believe that our purpose, bringing people together, has never been more relevant.”

The following webinar, hosted with Anglo American, focused on measuring and maximising social impact, with a special focus on learning and digital opportunities. During the pandemic, in many places around the world, having access to a broadband or to a peaceful environment determined whether a student would continue their learning trajectory or not. The growing educational divide and the challenges around digital transformations in education were two of the many pressing topics discussed by our panellists. As Zaheera Soomar, Global Head of Education, Responsible Business Partnerships and SED at Anglo American, put it: “children from disadvantaged backgrounds remain shut out of schools.”

If you were unable to join us for these important and insightful sessions, you can access all of the recordings and summaries with a Digital Pass . In the meantime, you can also watch all the opening sessions and closing musical performances so far via the links on the event page ( register here for free to access).


Register for free to visit the learning section of our event page for more amazing content, including a series of “how-to” videos created by our community:


Join us for our second day which will deep-dive into “Creating an Equitable World”. As we rebuild better, what role can business play, in partnership with government and civil society, in tackling the inequities that the pandemic, alongside movements like Black Lives Matter and MeToo, have highlighted?

Find out more by tuning in to tomorrow’s schedule :

  • A fireside chat on equity with Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE
  • A webinar about creating an equitable world with panellists from the corporate world as well as civil society, academia and international organisations
  • A webinar on driving digital equity for the most vulnerable, hosted with Visa.
  • How to videos on inclusion and gender equality.
  • A webinar that is also part of the UN’s SDG Action Zone, that looks at intersectionality – the multiple barriers of inequity, including race and gender.

As ever, there will be opportunities for informal conversation and networking with peers throughout the day.

We hope you will join us for a great day of connection, conversation and collaboration at Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020.


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