From the climate crisis to rising levels of hunger, the world’s most urgent challenges to ending extreme poverty are fundamentally connected — which means the solutions to these problems are often one and the same. 

This is the focus of the inaugural Global Citizen NOW thought leadership summit, an urgent gathering to defeat poverty and protect the planet taking place on May 22 and 23 in New York City.

Global Citizen NOW will gather more than 200 speakers from the fields of advocacy, activism, philanthropy, journalism, politics, science, and pop culture. The summit will feature keynotes, fireside conversations, and panel discussions that delve into everything from innovations in carbon reduction to ways to empower vulnerable adolescent girls and young women. 

Across two days of programming, speakers will include Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; Chuck Robbins, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco; Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives; Erna Solberg, former Prime Minister of Norway; Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G; Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Verizon; Edward Skyler, Executive Vice President, Citi; Rob Light, Managing Partner and Head of Worldwide Music, Creative Arts Agency; Yvette Noel-Schure, CCO and Co-Founder, Schure Media Group and Head of Media for Parkwood Entertainment; and Tshepo Mahloele, Founder & Executive, Harith General Partners.

Artists, advocates, journalists, and activists will also make appearances, including Aloe Blacc, Bill Nye, Billy Porter, Connie Britton, Gayle King, Gloria Steinem, Jamala, Jay Shetty, Lynsey Addario, Pharrell Williams, Rachel Brosnahan, Sabrina Elba, Van Jones, and more

“Global Citizen is all about taking action — we don’t want to just talk about ending extreme poverty; we want to see commitments made on the core systemic issues that remain barriers to its eradication,” said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen.

“Now, in our 10th year, we’re proud to launch the Global Citizen NOW thought leadership summit as a space for the world’s leaders to convene, collaborate, strategize, and address these issues that simply cannot wait.”  

Global Citizen NOW aims to plant the seeds for long-term action and grassroots mobilization, which is why the event serves as a springboard for the winners of this year’s Global Citizen Prize. The eight emerging and established activists from across the globe will be featured in sessions and have opportunities to build connections. Learn more about this year’s winners here

Content from Global Citizen NOW will premiere on Global Citizen's YouTube channel on Wednesday, May 25. The Global Citizen Prize dinner will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning actor and musician Darren Criss, who will also perform, and feature performances from Aloe Blacc and Ukrainian artist Jamala. The event will be streamed on YouTube and Twitter on June 2 at noon ET.  

“I am personally delighted to join Global Citizen and so many thought leaders and doers of good from governments, the private sector, philanthropy, talent and civil society," said Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados. "Global Citizen NOW is an opportunity, not only to discuss the pressing issues of our time such as eliminating poverty and stopping the climate crisis, but most importantly, to chart a course of urgent action. We can only shape the future we want if we talk, work, and take action together — the time is now!”

The various conversations taking place at Global Citizen NOW are sure to bring world-changing perspectives. The featured sessions will include: 

  • Opening session with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Chair & CEO of Cisco Chuck Robbins; and Global Citizen’s CEO Hugh Evans; moderated by Mika Brzezinski 

  • "Women of Influence: The Power of Gender in Shaping Culture" featuring Gloria Steinem, Pharrell Williams, and Arooj Aftab, moderated by Gayle King 

  • "Defeat Poverty, Defend the Planet, Demand Equity" featuring Rachel Brosnahan

  • "Art, Activism & Action" featuring Billy Porter; Rob Light, Managing Partner and Head of Worldwide Music, Creative Artists Agency; Yvette Noel-Schure, CCO and Co-Founder, Schure Media Group and Head of Media for Parkwood Entertainment; and Ron Laffitte of Patriot Management; moderated by Scott Evans   

  • "Rising Tide: In Conversation with Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados," moderated by Bill Nye

  • "Uniting the African Diaspora to Dismantle Inequity" featuring Ayọ Tometi and Aloe Blacc, moderated by Van Jones 

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi in conversation with Connie Britton 

  • "Unlocking the Power of Marginalized Groups" featuring Former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Founder & Executive, Harith General Partners, Tshepo Mahloele; and Edward Skyler, Executive Vice President, Citi 

  • "Demanding Equity in the Fight to Defeat Poverty" featuring Chief Brand Officer, P&G Marc Pritchard; Prisca Bae; Eddie Ndopu; and ‘Yemi Adamolekun; moderated by Global Citizen’s Chief Growth Officer Caralene Robinson  

  • Sessions with Stanley Kakubo, Foreign Minister of Zambia, and Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Creative Arts of Ghana 

  • "Fighting for Freedom": A conversation with Ukraine refugee and Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala

  • "Addressing the Global Food Crisis" featuring Sabrina Elba with Former Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Ertharin Cousin, Former Executive Director of World Food Programme

  • "Philosophy for a Planet in Peril" featuring Jay Shetty in conversation with Scott Evans

  • "Technology, Education, Opportunity: 10 Years of Innovative Learning" featuring Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Verizon, moderated by Van Jones

  • "A Clean Energy, Bipartisan Future": A conversation with US Sen. Bill Cassidy with Jad Daley

  • "Web 3.0 New Frontiers for Social Impact" featuring Alexandra Cavoulacos, Meta Angels; Dreamer, Defi Kingdoms; and Elizabeth Li, Binance; moderated by Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer, Forbes

The Global Citizen NOW thought leadership summit is supported by Cisco, Citi, Harith General Partners, P&G, and Verizon.

"It’s critical that corporations, the public sector, and thought leaders come together to work toward ending extreme poverty,” said Chuck Robbins, chair and CEO of Cisco. “Cisco is proud to partner with Global Citizen and support their incredible work, which aligns closely to our purpose to power an inclusive future for all.”

You can join us in our year-long campaign, End Extreme Poverty NOW — Our Future Can’t Wait, by taking action here.


Defeat Poverty

Global Citizen NOW: Here's Who Is Joining the Inaugural Thought Leadership Summit to Defeat Poverty

By Joe McCarthy