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Global Citizen Live: What Will The World’s Biggest Concert Achieve

By News Creatives Authors , in Billionaires , at September 23, 2021

It is the world’s biggest concert: Over 100,000 people at seven venues on four continents, and over a billion people tuning into a broadcast that lasts 24 hours. But can Global Citizen Live really change the world?

All of the musicians performing this Saturday (25 September), from Coldplay and Duran Duran to Elton John and Nile Rodgers, and all of the celebrities, including Prince Harry and Meghan, as well as a handful of world leaders and scientists will hark the same message.

The world’s wealthiest nations urgently need to give $100 billion annually to address the climate needs of developing countries. And they need to donate at least one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to the world’s poorest nations.

“But the thing that makes me most angry,” says Hugh Evans, founder and CEO of Global Citizen, “is that $60 billion is needed urgently for food security.”

Global Citizen wants to end global hunger, and it is calling for the world’s richest countries and billionaires to provide meals for the 41 million people on the brink of starvation. “This is our shared moral responsibility to stop people from literally dying because of the stupidity of starvation in 2021.”

Ending hunger, mitigating climate change and vaccinating the world against Covid-19 is a tall order even for the largest and longest concert. But Global Citizen has pioneered a new model for getting things done, and this weekend it will be put to the test.

How To Attend Global Citizen Live

To attend Global Citizen Live, whether in New York, Paris, Lagos, Los Angeles, London, Mumbai or Rio de Janeiro, you need to earn rewards rather than purchase tickets. Rewards are earned from the organization’s website or app in return for digital campaigning.

For example, you can make a video of yourself asking why big pharma companies refuse to disclose their contracts, or you can tweet world leaders to #StopTheBlock on vaccine justice.

Global Citizen presents a list of causes like these which you can email, tweet, record or sign. These actions earn points that can be redeemed for tickets to attend Global Citizen Live in person.

Right now, citizens are taking “millions of actions,” says Evans. “They are calling, tweeting, emailing members of parliament, members of congress, senators, elected officials, and that is having a real impact.

“When we announced that BTS is performing from South Korea it led to a huge surge in the East Asian region.” To date, nearly 80,000 “actions” have been taken by BTS’s fans alone.

Measuring the impact of these “actions” is hard, but, occasionally, one voice speaks through, for example when Coldplay tweeted the president of Indonesia about climate change. “All of a sudden his team started engaging,” says Evans.

The seven Global Citizen Live events will be attended by the organization’s most loyal digital campaigners, as a kind-of reward for their actions. Everybody else can watch the concerts online on YouTube or Apple TV or on ABC, BBC, Sky and a host of other broadcasters and online streaming sites.

It is hoped these broadcasts will encourage others to take part and make world leaders sit up and listen to the message of some of the most popular artists and musicians on the planet.

Global Citizen wants people to tweet, email and call while they watch the show, creating an army of digital campaigners that will encourage presidents, prime ministers, CEOs and billionaires to take action.

Changing the world is not as easy as that, however. Leaders, CEOs and billionaires can easily tune out, an email can be ignored and the TV turned off.

“Billionaires: They’re far more impervious to everything,” says Evans, though he realizes that he needs them in order to achieve his goals. “They have the ability, with a simple cheque, to support the World Food Program’s urgent efforts to get meals for those who need it most.”

John Arnold was the first person to sign Global Citizen’s “Give While You Live” campaign, which calls on billionaires to donate at least 5% of their wealth every year to a cause. But Global Citizen wants more to sign on.

“It’s not just the governments of the world and the private sector, but I think high net worth individuals (HNWIs) need to step up to take collective responsibility of where we are going as a society,” says Kweku Mandela, a Global Citizen ambassador and co-founder of the Africa Rising Foundation.

Mandela, Evans, Arnold and other Global Citizen ambassadors will spend the run-up to Saturday’s show persuading others to sign up, pledge or donate, in much the same way that Bob Geldof swore at the public to donate towards the Ethiopia famine during the 1985 Live Aid concerts.

Only on this occasion, Evans does not want money. Global Citizen wants commitments from some of the most powerful and richest people on the planet to donate vaccines, pledge to go net zero, and donate to those organizations working to end hunger.

And if they don’t commit, or make empty promises? Global Citizen now wields a formidable army of keyboard warriors to shame any individual, country or organization that does not play its part. “This is a game of peer pressure,” says Evans.


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