What does it mean to take action on the issues you care about? And to advocate for change in a world where sometimes even the biggest global crises, like war, extreme hunger, and climate change, feel so close to home?
You find a community of like-minded people who share your vision of hope. And by joining, you become part of a global movement dedicated to making the world a better place.
In 2023, more than 4.2 million actions helped to secure historic pledges for equity, the planet, and poverty eradication.
Through campaigns like Global Citizen: NOW and Global Citizen Festival: New York and new ones like Global Citizen: Power Our Planet and Move Afrika: Rwanda, world leaders, artists, and philanthropists came together across three continents to unite for change.
“At a time when some leaders are walking back their promises, your actions deliver impact. So don’t stop taking action,” Global Citizen Co-Founder and CEO Hugh Evans told audiences from the New York stage at the Global Citizen Festival in September.
“Climate change can’t hit pause while world leaders get their act together. So don’t stop. The poorest people on Earth don't have decades to spare. So don’t stop. We can’t wait for someone else to take action. We have to take action NOW,” he said.
Throughout 2023, more than 88,000 audience members from across three continents witnessed 38 world leaders take the stage to commit to initiatives that would help end extreme poverty in our lifetime.
Global Citizens also celebrated five winners of the 2023 Cisco Youth Leadership Award and the Global Citizen Prize — Nkosana Butholenkosi Masuku, Deja Foxx, Pashtana Durrani, Wangari Kuria, and Ineza Umuhoza Grace — who are right now taking on the world’s biggest challenges from education to climate change.
Sixty remarkable artists also took the Global Citizen stage in Kigali, Paris and New York City, including Kendrick Lamar, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Ms. Lauryn Hill and the Fugees, Lenny Kravitz, Billie Eilish, Natasha Bedingfield, and many others.
Global Citizen focused on improving access to education for Education Cannot Wait ahead of the replenishment, as part of the organization's 222 Million Dreams campaign.
In its second year, the Global Citizen NOW action summit, held in New York City on April 27 and 28, drove cross-sector collaboration to address the pressing issues facing humanity and the planet, including the launch of the “Power Our Planet” campaign to unlock $1 trillion for vulnerable nations affected by climate change.
“We have to build a new consensus now, fight against poverty, decarbonize our economy, precisely to get to a carbon neutrality by 2050, and to fight for biodiversity,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in an exclusive interview with former MSNBC news hostJoe Scarborough at the New York event. “We need this country-by-country approach and we have to be very precise on how to re-engage public money on the bilateral multilateral side and private money.”
Later in June, Global Citizen traveled to Paris, for the ‘Power Our Planet: Live in Paris’ which drew 20,000 Global Citizens, lighting up the iconic Champ de Mars to call for justice on behalf of the world’s climate-vulnerable countries.
“I can't even stress it enough – we need to change our entire system so that the people most impacted by the climate crisis get what they need to fight it,” singer-songwriter Billie Eilish told the Paris audience.
“Join me in demanding action from global leaders. Not in the future, but right NOW,” she said.
Eilish joined other international artists including Jon Batiste, H.E.R, Lenny Kravitz, Jack Harlow, and more alongside world leaders including Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,, President of Kenya William Ruto, and more to call for action on climate during the event.
Activists including Helena Gualinga, Camille Etienne, Elizabeth Wathuti, and Xiye Bastida took action alongside global citizens from around the world to help secure a commitment from Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank, who took to the stage at ‘Power Our Planet’ to announce a fundamental shift in the World Bank’s policies to help countries in need fight back against climate change.
“The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world... and i’m here to announce we will have zero deforestation in the Amazon rainforest — we will be relentless against any group or person that wants to cut down one tree.” @LulaOficial#PowerOurPlanetpic.twitter.com/CONduOCeCM— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) June 22, 2023
Later this year in September, the Global Citizen Festival returned to Central Park, New York City, in its 11th year, uniting 60,000 global citizens for a day of action to end extreme poverty NOW.
Global citizens took more than 3.3 million actions to demand change during the event — the highest number of actions for a New York festival ever.
The audiences heard performances from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Jung Kook, Anitta, Stray Kids, 3RACHA, and many more as well as leading activists and advocates to secure historic commitments across equity, the planet, and help address the global food crisis.
And this December, Global Citizen launched the first installment of ‘Move Afrika’, a first-of-its-kind international music touring circuit — with "Move Afrika: Rwanda held in Kigali's BK Arena on Dec. 6 to a sold-out audience of 8,000 people.
Organized by pgLang in partnership with Grammy Award-winning artist Kendrick Lamar, Move Afrika: Rwanda’s mission is to end extreme poverty across the continent by developing local economies, driving health equity, prioritizing youth entrepreneurship, and skills training.
Already the show has generated a longstanding impact for local communities through internships and skills development – initiatives that will expand as more African nations host Move Afrika in the years ahead.
Taking 4.2 million actions is no small accomplishment, generating tremendous commitments across key issues in line with the United Nations Global Goals to end poverty by 2030.
In 2023, global citizens took 1.5 million actions alone to demand equity in areas like gender, civic space, and health access leading to groundbreaking commitments across these issues and several first-time pledges.
This included a commitment by the countries Kosovo and Lithuania which pledged to protect foreign human rights defenders, and the addition of five new companies signing onto the Anti-SLAPP pledge to protect the rights of advocates.
Belgium also donated €2 million to UNFPA Supplies to strengthen health systems to provide sexual and reproductive health to women and girls across 48 countries.
The "Corporate Care Network," launched by JUST Capital and Global Citizen, redefined corporate responsibility, while Accenture committed $4.5 million to support youth employment across countries to drive equity.
Through 1.5 million actions in 2023, global citizens also took action on education, food security, health, and more to end extreme poverty for communities around the world.
Pledges from the Stand Up for Ukraine initiative, led by Global Citizen in partnership with the European Union, have today supported over one million refugees and internally displaced people across 12 countries.
Sightsavers, an organization working to prevent avoidable blindness, helped eliminate Trachoma in Benin, and successfully treated millions of people against the illness while supporting governments in Ghana, The Gambia, and Malawi to eventually eliminate the disease once and for all.
Global Citizen also announced in December that more than $7.4 billion in funding mobilized at the Global Citizen: Mandela 100 Festival in South Africa is now with organizations helping to end poverty, impacting the lives of 122 million people globally.
The Global Citizen Fellowship Program, powered by BeyGOOD is also providing essential skills training to 50 young people in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, this December's annual report revealed, providing them with essential skills and networks to become social impact changemakers.
"In my own home country of Grenada, climate change is a very real threat for us and other islands... time is not on our side... we must act with urgency to both cut global emissions and to protect nature and promote biodiversity." @simonstiell@UNFCCC#GlobalCitizenFestivalpic.twitter.com/I2lrNdPmZe— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) September 24, 2023
France also increased its contribution to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) by nearly 50% to $150 million, alongside a new commitment of €40 million to Education Cannot Wait, the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies, to support children's learning in crisis. Norway also pledged $90 million to IFAD as part of the festival.
Both commitments were announced at the Global Citizen Festival in New York following months of campaigning and action-taking from global citizens.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust also pledged $3 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to help eradicate polio once and for all.
From Paris to New York, Global Citizens also took 1.2 million actions to defend the planet, fight climate injustice, and stand up for people impacted by climate change in 2023
The countries of Antigua and Barbuda and Timor Leste also announced the endorsement of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to join the global transition away from coal, oil, and gas, alongside other nations across the Pacific, paving the way for Colombia announce an endorsement of the treaty at The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December.
Key support for climate financing came from nine United States Congress members, the United Kingdom Labour leader Keir Starmer, and Ireland reaffirmed their commitment to providing €225 million annually for international climate finance by 2025. The U.S. also contributed $15 million to launch the End Plastic Pollution International Collaborative.
"Change may not happen overnight, but it has to start somewhere. Action cannot be taken in some far off future, in fact it cannot even wait for tomorrow — we need to do this TODAY." — @miaamormottley#PowerOurPlanetpic.twitter.com/cLz17FLUm9— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) June 22, 2023
To end extreme poverty, we must all commit to change. Yet this change only happens when we’re unwavering in our commitment to create a world where everyone thrives with dignity.
Putting dignity into practice means putting into motion the mechanisms that allow for sustainable action on the biggest crisis of our time, from climate change to gender equity, protecting civic space, and access to healthcare.
Global Citizens have taken over 33.5 million actions since 2009. Today, these actions, in combination with high-level advocacy work, have led to over $43.6 billion being distributed to our partners around the world, impacting 1.29 billion lives in the fight to end extreme poverty.
It’s never been more crucial for the world to take action against climate change, global hunger, gender inequality, diminishing civic spaces, and the systemic issues that keep people trapped in poverty.
Add your voice to the movement and join Global Citizen on the mission to end extreme poverty and drive solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges.