Following a stellar inaugural event in 2015, the Social Good Summit Australia returned to Sydney University to highlight the impact of social good initiatives from Australia and around the world.

Over 300 inspirational and committed activists, academics and business leaders explored innovative social solutions in an attempt to answer the question,“How Will We Create a Better World by 2030?”.

The Summit put a spotlight on the positive by emphasising the special ability of determined individuals to take advantage of opportunities and think outside-the-box to create social impact. The common theme was that while determination and action can give rise to significant change, the solutions to the big questions of our time need to come from all of us.

These thought-provoking quotes represent key takeaways from this year’s Social Good Summit Australia.

“There’s no point in everyone going it alone. There’s so much we can learn from one another.”

“Scale remains a big challenge for most social enterprises. There needs to be more opportunities beyond the start up stages”.

Anna McGregor, National Manager, Pollinate Energy

“You need to change the way you look at things if you are going to chase the impossible.”

“Chasing the impossible is incredibly hard. But it should be done. And it can be done.”

Pete Yao, Chief Impact Officer at Thankyou Group

“[As an aboriginal person] in order to get your dog tag to participate in society you have to tell your story. Does anyone else have to tell their story every day to justify their existence.”

Nareen Young, Executive Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting

“Innovation happens at the edge of possibility.”

Katherine Leong, Social Innovation Manager at National Australia Bank

“Don’t accept the doctrine of inevitability.”

Edward Santow, Australian Human Rights Commissioner

“You have a passion when you start these things and you want everyone else to share your passion. It doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes you have to keep throwing yourself against the wall.”

Mark Raven, CEO at National ELT Accreditation Scheme Ltd

“If don’t have a purpose or an endpoint in mind, how can you work backwards to the day-to-day?”

“Measurement without purpose is futile.”

Jayne Meyer Tucker, Social Engineer & Founder JMTinc

“The old model of charity will never work in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals… Please think differently about the SDGs and, if you have the stomach for it, be part of the organisations that are breaking the mould to create the world we want in the future.”

Kelly McJannett, CEO at Food Ladder

“This Summit is about my future.”

Charvi Voola (8 year-old), Semi-Professional Cartwheeler

“Business is absolutely essential when it comes to the Sustainable Development Goals. We’re looking at a paradigm shift away from Corporate Social Responsibility towards sustainable business models.”

“Politics can be very dry. Like my Weet-Bix.”

Caterina Sullivan, CEO at Global Goals Australia

“We want to put ourselves out of a job.”

Richard Deutsch, Chairman at OzHarvest

“Just act. Just do one thing. Because I promise that one thing leads to another. Just start. Just act. Ask yourself, “Am I doing enough?” because every little bit counts. When you truly internalise that we as individuals have the power to change the world, changing the way you live is actually an easy thing to do.”

Natalie Isaacs, CEO at 1 Million Women

“Once you see it you can’t unsee it. So you have to do something about it.”

Kelly Wright, Director at Toni&Guy Bondi Beach

“What we do works because we walk alongside communities.”

Lara Davenport OAM, Healthy Living Program Coordinator at Red Dust Role Models

“We keep referring to each other as problems to be solved – not people to be met. Can you image a world where “I” was not a word of distinction and separation.”

“You have to have a destiny. Salvation comes through the feet.”

“You will only come to life when you becoming necessary and significant. Not central.”

Graham Long, Pastor and CEO of The Wayside Chapel

Creating Tomorrow: Social Good Summit Australia 2016