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  • Griffin Taggart

Into the Heart of the World: A Three-Day Enlightenment at the UN Civil Society Conference

For someone like me who is accustomed to living in a quiet, peaceful city in relatively low-populated state, it can be difficult to throw oneself into large crowds of people. I had to quickly put anxieties aside in order to make the most of this extraordinary experience. Not only can large crowds be sometimes difficult to encounter, the breadth and depth of diversity can be as well. One thing that can be difficult are language barriers. These types of uncommon interactions can be intimidating, and at times awkward. I had to remember that people aren’t here to test social etiquette or language skills, but that people are here to create better communities for the future. How do they do that? By making connections. On August 26th, 2019, Salt Lake City welcomed over 8000 people from over 150 countries. These individuals have come from all over the world to share ideas, learn, and connect—no matter the language. At its core that is what the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference was all about.

In this short blog post I want to highlight two individuals I met while attending this conference. The first individual was a man named Prabhudas, from India. Prabhudas came by our booth and asked what it was that we did. Although it was difficult at times to understand his English, we were able to have a great conversation about responsible businesses and sustainable communities. Later he brought his colleague Dr. Varma, a man who entreated us to learn more about the missions of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandella. The two men thanked us and we took a group photo, after which they thanked us again.

The next person I want to highlight is a man named Nahshon from the Bronx, New York. Nahshon asked us what P3 stood for. We told him about the triple bottom line, and that we helped businesses not only highlight their profits, but do it in a socially and environmentally conscious way. He told us that’s what it’s all about. Nahshon is an outreach coordinator and paralegal who helps recently released men from prison find jobs that are socially equitable. Not only are these jobs beneficial financially for the men, they work with employers to help them readjust back into normal life outside of prison. This highlighted that to me that hope is out there for sustainable businesses to change lives and in turn, change the world. This is just one more example of the triple bottom line in action.

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