The Global Forum on Human Trafficking, sponsored by the Not For Sale Campaign, kicked off today on the campus of Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale. It is great to have this event in Silicon Valley this year, after the 2009 and 2010 forums occurred in Southern California. The GF is a great place to get re-invigorated for the fight against slavery, catch up with old friends, make new friends, and just learn about some cool things. Here are three items that caught my eye today:
Check out One World Futbol. I met founder Tim Jahnigen today. Tim makes this indestructible soccer ball and has a mission to get this ball into the hands of children who need a ball to play with. Very cool! Just one man’s idea on how to make a difference in the world.
Listening to CNN Producer Mike McCarthy (and, later, chatting with him personally) talk about CNN’s year-long Freedom Project. This excellent series is the first commitment by any major news organization to take an in-depth look at modern slavery. In fact, according to Mike, no network news organisation has ever committed to covering any topic over the course of a year.
Speaking of committment, VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility at Gap, Inc., Kindley Walsh Lawlor, talked about their committment to look deeply into their supply chain. When asked by David Batstone if Gap believed their social responsibility programs helped increase their sales, Kindley replied they have not been able to determine any impact on sales, but Gap remains committed to their CSR programs because it is, simply, the right thing to do.
There are many activities in the response to trafficking which cannot easily be quantified to show their value. Some things we must do simply because, when we look at them, we know they are the right thing to do.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be speaking on a panel discussion focusing on developing communities which have a zero tolerance for slavery.