What an amazing, life changing, learning and informative environment l just got exposed to today. Right in New York, the Clinton Global Initiative and Laureate International are hosting a number of re-owned world leaders and young people from across the globe. It seems New York is on fire this week! From the Social Good Summit, to this remarkable march, to the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, New York has its finger on the pulse of change. Take note, world. Big things are coming….
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was founded in 2005 by former US president Bill Clinton with the aim of convening global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.
What made me even more proud is that our very own Monash South Africa student Nyiko Tembi is there to represent not only the institution, but Southern Africa and Africa as a whole. Being a female student, it makes me proud that women are getting a representation and able to stand up to be agents of change to promote African development.
Running with the theme ‘Reimagining Impact’, the whole session is vibrant. Just from listening to the interviews happening during the sessions, l could tell that the globe is producing people who are willing to effectively impact and bring change to the world. Leaders like Nicholas (New York Times journalist) and Minister of Transportation highlighted on the importance of EDUCATION and power of utilizing the social media. They were calling on masses and business men to come in and work together with initiatives that are working on fighting poverty, eliminating the global inequalities and activism. Also, as has been the major talk in the world now, they also alluded to the issues of gender equality, youth activism, entrepreneurship and climate change. It’s a roll call world, let’s work together towards addressing these issues!!!!
From interviews to global Commitment to Action reports…..incredible stuff!! Chelsea Clinton presented 4 amazing projects that have been run and have impacted so many people. The first was from Mexico where initiatives were put in place to cab the energy problem in the nation. As a means to improve the nation’s education system, establishing solar equipment throughout the nation will be a huge step that will enhance learning systems. It is also a means towards addressing climate change. Chelsea also introduced a US based project that have managed to help nearly 18 000 people who were affected by natural disasters. The other initiative that further demonstrated the impact of the Commitment to action program was a design formulated to run projects in Africa (with the help of CGI and Unilever) to improve the sanitation and energy systems. Also her Royal Highness (princess of Bhutan), blew me away. Growing up in a politically unstable environment where initiatives to promote democracy and a lawful nation are at its earliest stages, she managed to erect the first ever Law School in the kingdom. What fascinated me more is that it also recruits more women in order to close the gap that has been widened by the domination of the patriarchal society.
As the program progressed, 3 more people further left me with the need to even do more to change and impact my community….there was Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (finance Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), Jack Ma ( Executive Chair of the Alibaba Group) and Mary Barra ( General motors CEO).
These three all emphasized on the importance of addressing the issue of climate change and sustainability. They indicated what they have been doing as organisations to promote the growth of renewable energy plants and growth of technology. I also loved their further emphasis on the integration of YOUTH in global governance and world changing initiatives. Jack Ma emphasized “enabling small business to grow is the way to go….INTEGRATING YOUTH IS OUR MAJOR FOCUS!!!” and Ngozi said she is so optimistic about Africa. Her words “we are going to rule the world by 2050…we will be the youngest population and our youth will impact great changes” melted my heart… I AM PART OF THE WORLD CHANGERS THAT WILL TAKE AFRICA TO A DIFFERENT LEVEL!!!!
I also loved the session hosted by Hillary Clinton with World Bank Group Chairman Jim Yong Kim and IBM CEO and President Ginn Rometty.
It was so informative and addressed the issues that are affecting our continent now. We have EBOLA and health care issues seem to be one of the major problems almost every African is facing. Liberia and a number of west-African states have lost huge numbers of people following the spread of the pandemic. They also highlighted on the need to alleviate poverty, to question and research on what can be done to assist the dying and impoverished masses. They further on touched on the issue of gender equality again with Jim stating “ the inclusion of women in the business boosts nations’ GDP” He elaborated that women participation does not only allow women involvement but also “ improves the gender gap as well as quality and quantity of products.” WHAT INSPIRING AND HOPEFUL WORDS!!!
I loved the session and l hope this piece will change your mentality towards world problems##CHANGEMAKERS##CGI2014##@LAUREATECONNECT## Reimagining Impact!!!