Public trust and disinformation dominated high-level panels at United Nations General Assembly 78 side events. Action on the SDGs is needed, and there is an opportunity for education and communication to lead the way forward.
NEW YORK – Oct. 3, 2023 – LivePressWire — The United Nations General Assembly 78 (UNGA 78) wrapped up at the end of September, and Felicia S. C. Gooden, Founder and Strategist with The Cultured Scholar Strategic Communications made her rounds. From the African Union Sustainable Development Report Launch to the Third Digital Health Symposium, Felicia attended high-level panels and discovered a common problem with achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and world peace – a lack of public trust in institutions and poor communications from institutions to the public.
“Leaders get into their elite echo chambers and discuss problems at a high level with nuance and complexity without regard for the perspective of the average person – the consumer or constituent. It creates a disconnect that breeds mistrust, fuels disinformation campaigns, and creates global chaos,” Felicia said after a Third Digital Health Symposium panel at Fordham Law School.
UNGA 78 side events and panels created an opportunity for Felicia to connect with decision-makers on tough issues in ways most organizations do not take advantage of.
“Through active listening, you can distill what issues lie beneath the PR positioning of a panelist. A discussion about the efficacy of emerging technologies in preventative care for cancer revealed a major public relations issue within the healthcare industry. There’s no trust between institutions and the public, which causes millions to not even seek out care in the first place, hurting collective health outcomes,” Felicia said.
A common theme expressed by panelists throughout UNGA78 was the need to move on from talking and start taking measurable actions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through her discussions with industry and government leaders, Felicia discovered that the disconnect between the mindsets of industry elites and the average person shows a deep contrast in understanding the world’s problems and a gross unwillingness of the intellectual class to effectively communicate with and educate the working class.
“The intellectual and intentional divide between classes is what adversarial countries such as Russia and China are taking advantage of through their disinformation campaigns. They know the elite classes in the West show disdain for what they see as others, exploit that disconnect with information that supports the emotional state of social outcasts, and effectively disrupt social and political stability in democracies around the world,” Felicia said.
Felicia closed out her tour with a refreshed and renewed perspective on how to solve the world’s problems and support corporate sustainability initiatives by not focusing so much on the financial return on investment but rather on the human return on investment – building the bridge of trust between institutions and the public.
About The Cultured Scholar Strategic Communications, LLC: The Cultured Scholar Strategic Communications is a strategic intelligence and public affairs consultancy helping the public and private sectors remain competitive in information operations and sustainability. Learn more about the company via the website: https://www.theculturedscholar.com