Crunching numbers isn’t the only we do at the SumAll Foundation. Running an organization dedicated to social innovation via technology means that our staff members spend their time writing, reading, designing, budgeting, researching, and--occasionally--attending events. This last one is especially important to us; so many good ideas take shape when we decide to walk out of the door.
About two weeks ago, several members of our team had the opportunity to attend the Nexus NYC Salon on Understanding Modern Day Slavery. This interactive dinner provided an opportunity for thought leaders in the anti-human trafficking field to facilitate an interactive workshop about the different types of human slavery and share our collective knowledge and experience among peers from a variety of sectors, including: non-profit, social enterprise, technology, and philanthropy.
The New York City Chapter of Nexus hosted the event. Nexus is a global movement of young people who aim to improve philanthropy and impact investing by bringing together communities of wealth and social entrepreneurs. The organization was founded in 2011, and enables philanthropists to engage with socially conscious entrepreneurs who are working to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Nexus held summits in 2013 in Europe, Australia, Brazil, China, Thailand and at the UN in NYC.
The SumAll Foundation team was excited to attend this event not only to learn more about Nexus, but also because we are working on several projects in field of human trafficking and modern day slavery. In 2013, we developed an infographic illustrating the trend of human slavery, and have since created an interactive dashboard illustrating NYC Prostitution Arrest Analytics . Through this work we’ve learned just how nuanced discussions of slavery can be, and at the Nexus NYC Salon we were able to hear from on-the-ground advocates and thought leaders about the many experiences they’ve had while working to expose and eradicate modern day slavery.
Ava Lala and David Dahlin from Geneva Global kicked off the evening with an interactive session designed to increase awareness of human slavery and the many ways it can impact lives around the world. Perhaps most powerfully, they discussed how slavery plays a part in our day-to-day lives, from the make-up we wear to the technology we use. The realization that the majority of our possessions have been touched by slavery makes overcoming commercial obstacles daunting, and establishes the need for consumer awareness on how the products they consume are impacted by slavery.
During dinner, participants engaged in focused discussions on different forms of human slavery, including sex trafficking, domestic slavery, child slaves and soldiers, coercive migrant labor and bonded slavery. Facilitators with experience in each area provided focus, however participants were enthusiastic in sharing their thoughts on the difficult subject areas and discussions went on through the night.
The evening was a productive opportunity for those interested in learning more about human slavery and to hear from those engaged in intervention and education of the global problem. Sessions such as these help add perspective to the work that we do, and can inspire us to think even more about the role that analytics can play to end human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Written by Katie Lee