South African ties to Global Citizen are strong: The advocacy group has previously worked with Nelson Mandela's grandson, Kweku, who spoke on the legacy of the late South African president and revolutionary human rights activist at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival in New York. At the 2018 World Economic Forum, Usher touched on how Mandela inspired the goal of Global Citizen to bring global poverty to an end by 2030. (Martin's 15-year commitment to the organization syncs up with this end date in mind.)
Mandela, who died in Johannesburg in 2013 at the age of 95, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year, a milestone that could account for Global Citizen's desire to further their mission in the city he called home.
Global Citizen hosts an annual festival in New York City, and the organization added additional events in Mumbai, India in 2016 and Hamburg, Germany in 2017. Each Global Citizen event requires attendees to earn their tickets through the completion of social actions through the festival's app, such as signing petitions or contacting legislators.
Coldplay has performed multiple sets at Global Citizen throughout the years, and Beyoncé, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell and more have all lent their voices to further Global Citizen's cause since the foundation of the festival.