SIGEF 2017 – shaping better times to come


Vivian Soares


Promoting social good is not an easy job. Ask some of the 1,500 non-profit organizations that are part of Horyou, the social network for social good.

Founded in 2013 as a platform to bring together and give voice to the many NGOs, philanthropy projects and social entrepreneurs around the world, Horyou have been doing much more in the last few years – it has built a real community of more than 250,000 people and provided them with the support they need to thrive.

Alongside the social network, Horyou has complemented its platform with a Media group with different activities that includes HoryouTV, a Social Web TV focused on impact driven documentaries and a Foundation which support organizations and projects with positive impact in their communities. The latest of its developments is the launch of Spotlight, the first global social currency for economic inclusion.

In 2014, aiming to make sure its fast-growing community is connected both online and off-line, Horyou organized in Geneva the first SIGEF, Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, which since then has gathered hundreds of organizations, philanthropists, personalities and citizens of the world. This international event was followed by the Horyou Village, in 2015 Cannes Festival, organized to promote arts and culture for social good.

Since its inception, the Horyou team dedicated to SIGEF has faced many challenges. From supporting the participation of organizations with no financial resources, as well as promoting panels and roundtables on critical topics animated by well reputed speakers, to awarding innovative social projects – it all requires solid teamwork, a total commitment and engagement on behalf of our speakers and volunteers, and a considerable amount of funding from our business partners and investors.

Yet, it is completely worthwhile, and this is the reason for which Horyou has decided to turn  SIGEF into a recurring yearly event.

It’s wonderful to witness organizations and people from different continents sharing experiences and knowledge, and it is inspiring to see young volunteers participating in the panels and debates.

It is also motivating to see that more companies are willing to fund social good initiatives and that there is increasingly more space for social entrepreneurship.

It is indeed encouraging and it gives us the sentiment that we took the right path.

On the 5th of September of this year, Horyou will be writing a new chapter on social good as with the launch of the 4th edition of SIGEF, in the context of one of the most important events of the year, the EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

This will be the SIGEF’s first edition in Central Asia, as it will focus on three of the most important subject of our times: Future Energy, Smart Cities and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a big step forward for an event that started in Geneva and is becoming more international year after year.

SIGEF17 will bring together the private and public sectors, as well as civil society, alongside investors, artists and philanthropists to share, inspire and act on challenges that today’s world is faced with. At Horyou we believe that as a society, we need to be mobilized around the implementation and promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals, if we are willing to live in a more harmonious world.

This implies a genuine and impact related global network, with online and off-line communities, and an inspiring common goal: to shape better times to come.

Vivian Soares is Media Relations and DigitalContent Coordinator for Horyou.

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