Opening Plenary

Hugh Evans: "Becoming a Citizen of the World"

Wednesday, May 10 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Hugh Evans

Expanding upon his mainstage TED Talk that created a worldwide sensation, Hugh Evans delivers an impassioned keynote that will energize your worldview and activate your global citizenship. With heart-touching stories and inspiring examples, Evans makes the case that the very future of our planet depends on “global citizens” – those who identify themselves not as members of a state, nation or tribe, but first and foremost, as members of the human race. He envisions an army of millions, growing to tens of millions that are “connected, informed and unwilling to take no for an answer” when it comes to ending extreme poverty, climate change and gender inequality. With brilliant storytelling and infectious optimism, Hugh Evans motivates us to embrace the possibilities of the world we share – and join together to change it.

Evans is a humanitarian, social entrepreneur, and Co-Founder and CEO at Global Citizen/Global Poverty Project. Evans’ activism began at 14 when the young Australian spent several weeks doing community service in the slums of Manila. Driven by a mission to end extreme poverty, he went on to volunteer with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in India and found Australia’s Oaktree Foundation. In 2008, Evans co-founded the Global Poverty Project, giving rise to the Global Citizen online platform and community. Along the way, he was named Young Australian of the Year, made Forbes’ “30 under 30” list, raised millions, and earned a master’s in international relations from University of Cambridge. All before he turned 30.

Evans’ breakthrough brand of action-oriented humanitarianism has mobilized millions to end extreme poverty, climate change and gender inequality around the world. A riveting speaker and irresistible motivator, Evans’ passion and purpose have captured the attention of heads of state, business leaders, billionaires, and a growing list of influential admirers such as Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates, Bill Clinton, Hugh Jackman, Arianna Huffington and Ben Affleck. The annual Global Citizen Festival that Evans founded attracts headliners such as Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran to perform every September in New York’s Central Park, rewarding activist attendees and raising awareness of the organization’s transformational work.


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