Day 2 SUMMARY: Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020

By Daniel Alves, Researcher, Business Fights Poverty

Today at Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020 we discussed equity. 

Today at Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020 we discussed equity.

Our panellists talked about the negative effects of COVID-19 on different types of inequality, how we can create a more equitable future, what the role of business should be in addressing these challenges, and how we can make the digital economy more inclusive.

A fireside chat between Yvette Torres-Rahman, our Co-Founder, and Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA , gave insights into the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on women, and how cross-sector partnerships can be key to empowering women and building back a more inclusive world. As Michelle remarked: “we know that if we could enable women to have full equality and have the same capacity of access to labour markets as men, it would mean an additional 26% could be added to our global annual GDP by 2025. So, we really can’t afford not to do this.”

Our first webinar of the day explored how we can create a more equitable future and how companies can be an effective part of that. Participants reminded us that groups that are already marginalised have been hit the hardest by COVID-19. They also highlighted the importance of collaboration between public and private actors to empower these groups economically, and how systemic approaches are crucial for us to design the correct actions and implement them successfully. In the words of Natalie Deacon, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Avon and President of the Avon Foundation for Women: “I think this is where business needs to step up and be part of the solution…to rebuild better, tackle these inequalities, and hold ourselves accountable.”

The following webinar, hosted with Visa, focused on how to drive digital equity for the most vulnerable. In a digital age where our lives and business are conducted online, digital equity is essential for a fair and inclusive society. Ensuring digital equity as we rebuild from the pandemic is key to an equitable and resilient future. As Carrie Hughes, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Verizon put it: “we think of digital inclusion not only as about who is online versus offline, but by helping ensure that all people can realise the power of technology to improve their lives.”

We ended the day with a webinar hosted with Business in the Community and One Young World, as part of the UN SDG Action Zone . This focused on intersectionality – the multiple dimensions of inequity, such as race, gender and disability – and the role of business in helping drive positive change.

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 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. Today, we launched two new how-two videos:


Join us for our third day during which we will deep-dive into “Helping People Survive and Thrive”. In light of the enormous and long-lasting health and learning impacts of the pandemic, especially for the most vulnerable, how do we ensure people have access to the health and future skills they need to survive and thrive?

Check out the agenda to learn more about tomorrow’s sessions:

  • A fireside chat on efficiency versus resilience with Roger Martin, Professor Emeritus at the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto.
  • A webinar about hygiene, behaviour change, and business coalitions that were formed to fight COVID-19, hosted with the National Business Compact on Coronavirus in Kenya.
  • A webinar on the future of work and building inclusive opportunities to rebuild better, hosted with Walmart.
  • How-to videos on intrapreneurship and integrating human rights on business strategies.

Once again, 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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