President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton concluded the Clinton Global Initiative's (CGI) 10th anniversary by announcing new Commitments to Action and looking ahead to CGI’s priorities over the next decade including empowering girls and women, advancing educational and extracurricular activities for youth, alleviating poverty, and supporting technology access and use.
Over four days, CGI members announced 123 new Commitments to Action, expected to impact more than 15 million lives around the world when fully funded and implemented.
“The future is going to be forged by people who know how to use the modern tools that we are given to create opportunity through empowerment,” said President Clinton. “If people can work together, we can build a shared future that we will be proud to leave to our children and grandchildren.”
"CGI members continue to demonstrate how organizations of all sizes, from all sectors, can positively impact communities — especially young people — around the world," said Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation. “All of the new Commitments to Action and the progress on existing Commitments announced this week — ranging from restoring access to healthcare in Nepal to training female solar power engineers in Kenya — are powerful reminders of the transformative and leading role CGI members play in addressing social, health and economic disparity around the world.”
Throughout the course of the meeting, members of the global community shared their visions for the future. One of the key themes that emerged was the interconnectedness of pressing global challenges—and how addressing a single issue can lead to progress on many others. Participants discussed the future aims the global community hopes to achieve over the next ten years: to protect our environment, increase opportunity and access to education, help others lift themselves out of poverty, and promote greater equality, tolerance, and inclusion.
When fully funded and implemented, the commitments announced by CGI members during the 2015 CGI Annual Meeting will ensure that:
• More than 6 million girls and women will be positively impacted by a variety of programs to improve quality of education and increase access to employment and skills development opportunities.
• More than 1 million students will participate in extracurricular learning activities (includes programs related to arts, female empowerment, literacy, and STEM).
• More than 26 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents will be reduced or abated.
• More than $83 million will be disbursed to entrepreneurs, microenterprises, and small/ medium-sized enterprises.
• Nearly 40,000 physicians and health workers will be employed to expand access to healthcare services.
• More than 1 million smallholder farmers will gain access to new agricultural products and markets.
Highlights from the final day of the Annual Meeting included:
• The morning plenary began with a discussion between Chelsea Clinton and Ursula Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox Corporation, on women’s economic opportunity; this was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Chelsea with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Supisra Arayaphong, Founder, FarmerDo; William Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies; and Kathleen McLaughlin, President, Walmart Foundation, Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Walmart. The panel discussion focused on women farmers and fishers, and women as sustainability leaders.
• No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, released a new data visualization to illustrate the gains and gaps for girls and women over the last twenty years. The new “Country snapshots” – found on www.noceilings.org – provide a view of how far we’ve come on areas that are essential to the full participation of girls and women around the world, such as economic participation, health, and education. Users also have the ability to view side by side comparisons to see how countries are faring on a national, regional, and global scale.
• CNN’s Erin Burnett moderated a conversation looking forward to the challenges facing the global community over the next decade and promising solutions that aim to achieve shared prosperity and opportunity. The panel included Edward Norton, Actor, Activist, Co-Founder, CrowdRise; Sean Parker, Chairman, The Parker Foundation; and J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman, Human Logevity, Inc. The session also featured an interview with President Clinton after which J. Craig Venter joined for a discussion on the impact of mapping the human genome on healthcare.
• A breakout session on girls education featured a discussion between Tamela Noboa, Managing Director, Discovery Learning Alliance; Freida Pinto, Actor and Producer of Girl Rising; and Tisungeni, Girl Leader, Let Girls Lead, on ways CGI members can empower girls which can break cycles of poverty and develop stronger, healthier societies and nations.
• Al Jazeera hosted a CGI Conversation moderated by Abderrahim Foukara on how to support efforts across the world to create peaceful and stable communities that promote human rights and ensure that displaced individuals prosper. The panel featured Fereshteh Forough, Founder and President, Code to Inspire; Atifete Jahjaga, President, Republic of Kosovo; and Lavinia Limón, President and CEO, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
• In the closing plenary session, Chelsea Clinton used Skype to hear from several students around the globe who spoke directly with the CGI Annual Meeting audience about their vision for the future and their aspirations, including a classroom which is part of a now completed 2012 Commitment to Action made by Microsoft to create opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and employment for more than 300 million young people worldwide and which currently connects over six million students each year through Skype in the Classroom. Chelsea Clinton also had a conversation via live video feed with a classroom in the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.
• President Clinton announced the 2016 Hult Prize Challenge asking students to focus on urban economic development. The competition will require students to create social enterprises that can sustainability double the income of 10 million people by 2022 through better connecting people with goods, services, and capital.
• CGI also announced University of California, Berkeley as the host of CGI University in April 2016. The meeting will bring together over 1,100 students from around the world to make Commitments to Action.
• Also in the closing plenary, President Clinton moderated a conversation with Elizabeth Holmes, Founder and CEO, Theranos; and Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group for a special conversation on co-creating a future rooted in peace, equality, and opportunity for all. The Polyphony Foundation Youth Orchestra composed of Arab and Israeli youth showcased the power of music for peace through their performance.