On April 1-3, the ninth annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting will bring together more than 1,200 college and university students from around the world at the University of California, Berkeley.
Attendees will discuss and advance solutions on a wide range of global challenges, including the refugee crisis, securing human rights through data and new technology, food insecurity, combating mental health stigma globally through a new media partnership with Refinery29, and many more.
CGI U Commitments to Action
Students at CGI U take real, concrete steps toward solving global challenges. To attend, each student must make a Commitment to Action, a new, specific, and measurable plan to address a challenge they’ve identified on their campus, in their local communities, or around the world. Past commitment makers have created a texting app to prevent the sale of counterfeit prescription drugs in the developing world, developed a board game and mobile app that helps low-income middle school students gain math skills through engagement with NBA and WNBA statistics, designed a lightweight water backpack that provides drinkable water in disaster zones, and started an education and literacy program to address the root cause of extremism and insecurity in Afghanistan by working directly with disenfranchised Afghan youth.
CGI U’s growing community of diverse young leaders is representative of more than 925 schools, all 50 states nationwide, and 145 countries around the world.
This year, students attending CGI U have committed to provide protection and healthcare to female victims of violence in Pakistan, organize coding workshops for refugees to increase their chances of employment in the United States, and use artificial intelligence to predict and manage disease outbreaks in Brazil and Malaysia – among many other exciting and varied projects to be announced.
CGI U seeks to provide commitment-makers with various funding opportunities through the CGI University Network and Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge, among others. This year, more than $900,000 will be available to select CGI U 2016 students to help them turn their ideas into action. The Resolution Project will provide $100,000 total in seed funding across select CGI U 2016 undergraduate students through the Resolution Social Venture Challenge. This pitch competition is designed to identify and support young people from around the world who offer innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in the CrowdRise Commitments Challenge, which allows students to crowd-fund their commitments through a head-to-head “bracket” competition. Additional students at CGI U will have participated in the Up to Us nationwide competition, which has engaged 53 campuses and more than 30,000 students.
This is the first year UC Berkeley will host CGI U. In 1964, the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley became the first large-scale campus student movement in the country. Now, nearly 10,000 Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students participate in off-campus service each year — engaging in public-interest internships, community-based research, policy analysis, lobbying and philanthropy. Throughout the CGI U meeting, students will engage with thought leaders, innovators, and civically minded celebrities in various topic- and skill-based sessions, which will empower them to take action in their communities and around the world.
Program highlights at CGI U 2016 will include sessions such as:
• The Courage to Create, where President Clinton will join thought leaders Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Catherine Coleman, and Salman Khan, to discuss what first inspired their confidence in the process of innovation and getting started, as well as some of their earliest challenges;
• Stronger Together: Moving from Conflict to Cooperation, moderated by Gianna Toboni, Correspondent and Producer, HBO’s VICE with Congressman John Lewis, which will address how students, universities, and civil society can move beyond tolerance alone and begin the hard work of building cross-cultural alliances;
• Beyond Good Intentions: Designing for Unintended Consequences, a discussion with Chelsea Clinton that will explore how student innovators and advocates can address the root causes of issues rather than immediate symptoms and ensure solutions have the necessary infrastructure and buy-in to be effectively adopted;
• Mental Health Care: Fighting Stigma with Social Support, a discussion in partnership with Refinery29, will address the topic of mental health. Anna Maltby, Director of Health and Wellness at Refinery29 will moderate;
• Big Data and Human Rights, moderated by Laura Ling, Director of Development & Host, Discovery Digital Networks’ Seeker, will look at how large data sets can serve as powerful tools for social impact, including to monitor human trafficking, reduce electoral fraud, and even anticipate conflict;
• Expanding the Circular Economy, which will explore how recycling technologies can be used to reduce our ecological footprint through a conversation moderated by Adva Saldinger, Associate Editor at Devex, with thought leaders such as Kate Brandt;
• A closing conversation with Bill Clinton hosted by Conan O'Brien; and
• A two-day Code for Impact event in advance of CGI U 2016 that will challenge student designers from across disciplines to build original and innovative prototypes to promote emotional wellness on campus.
Ninth Annual CGI U Day of Action
Continuing CGI U’s longtime commitment to service and volunteering, on Sunday, April 3, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will lead CGI U students in a Day of Action, a service project to give back to the Bay Area community. Hosted in partnership with the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Public Education Fund at the Havenscourt and Lockwood Campuses in Oakland, California, student volunteers will work with several community-based organizations on activities ranging from planting trees, to organizing libraries, to mural painting. This will be the ninth Day of Action at a CGI U meeting.
Founded and led by Chelsea Clinton in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Clinton Foundation Day of Action program seeks to create service opportunities and mobilize thousands of volunteers to give back to their communities. To date, the Clinton Foundation has hosted 28 Days of Action in the United States and abroad, which have mobilized more than 5,700 volunteers and donated more than 24,000 volunteer hours.
Support for CGI U 2016 is generously provided by: Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos, Richard C. Blum, Laureate International Universities, The MasterCard Foundation, Andy Nahas and the Prospect Fund, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, and XQ Institute.