January 8, 2018 (STL.News) The New Year is upon us. With new technological advancements, new communication tools, and new inventions, like robots and flying cars, the affluent regions of the world are becoming even more advanced, while the poorer regions are left in the dust. Despite our advancements as a society, nearly ½ of the world’s population, more than 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 per day. Of those people, 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, including $1.25 or less earned per day. Additionally, 1 billion children worldwide are living in these impoverished conditions, struggling to survive.
Beyond poverty, we are seeing environmental degradation, hurricanes, earthquakes, famines, and tsunamis that are ravaging the world’s poorer regions, unable to prepare and safeguard against these types of storms. The majority of Puerto Rico is still without power, months after Hurricane Maria. Islands throughout the Caribbean were totally wiped off of the map during 2017’s hurricane season, and are now left to fend for themselves, without the resources and support to do so.
USA for Africa
That leads us to ask ourselves: what will 2018 be known for? We’re making the argument that it should be known as the year in which global humanitarian change was made a priority. With a little creativity, compassion, and marketing, we can make that case in the same way USA for Africa marketed their campaign in the 80s to curb the African famine. To date, the campaign has raised over $100 million dollars. (Wikipedia Link)
What started as a musical movement, between the greatest voices of our time, turned into a worldwide, timeless campaign that can be named by any person you pass on the street. Massive humanitarian support was donated simply because a song reached into our hearts and touched our souls.
Our world is ripe for this kind of global compassion again.
What Can We Do?
If a campaign like USA for Africa was able to move hearts across the world once, that means it can be done again. With our social media networks, communication channels, and addiction to technology, viral content makes its way around our apps, emails, and text threads every single day. The problem is that most of this content is purely for entertainment, offering no inherent value when it comes to humanitarian support and education. We can utilize the viral tendencies of content in a way that benefits those who need it the most.
Song has proved to be a universal language, one that everyone can understand. We need another anthem, one for 2018 in particular, that encourages individuals to come together, despite color, class, and orientation differences. Though we may be the most connected ever in human history, it certainly feels like we are still drifting apart, forced by class, color, and identification warfare. With something like art, something like song, we can reach across party lines and into the epicenters of each and every person.
If you feel like 2018 is the time for global humanitarian change, consider doing something about it. Open a GoFundMe, encourage a Kickstarter campaign, record a video on Facebook Live and encourage friends and family to share it. Let’s leverage the viral ability of media today, in a way that is beneficial for all.