I'm watching C-span two, which is covering the 3rd annual Clinton Global Initiative. The narrator is listing dozens of leaders of countries in attendance. It's a conference I'd consider covering on a press pass next year. And I think to myself that I might be standing next to heads of state, even dozens of them, and I wouldn't know it-- wouldn't know their nation, the names of the nations' leaders. It must take an international advisor to even function at a fully effective level in a conference like this.
The goal of the conference is, well, let me grab some info from the Clinton Global Initiative website to spell it out:
Clinton Global Initiative:
Inspiring Change, Delivering ResultsWho we are: The Clinton Global Initiative is a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.
President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2005 as a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
As a non-profit, 501(c)(3) endeavor of the William J. Clinton Foundation, CGI draws strength from a highly diverse membership base that represents the full spectrum of political, ideological, religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds. Members include current and former heads of state, top business executives, preeminent scholars, and representatives of key non-governmental organizations working together for a common cause.
The defining characteristics of the Clinton Global Initiative are its action-oriented nature and its track record of converting pioneering ideas into viable solutions with tangible results. CGI members develop ‘commitments to action’, focusing on practical, effective problem-solving measures that can be taken now. Member commitments are comprehensive, formal plans of action with timetables for evaluating progress. They are developed within one or more CGI areas of focus, which change annually to address the most imperative global issues requiring attention. We have designated education, energy & climate change, global health, and poverty alleviation as the areas of focus for 2007.
In this era of remarkable global interdependence, ensuring more equitable access to existing and future resources is a moral and practical imperative for us all.
What We Do
In 2005, President Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to help our world move beyond the current state of globalization to a more integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities, and values. By gathering global leaders from a variety of backgrounds, CGI creates a unique opportunity to channel the capacities of individuals and organizations to realize change.
A non-partisan project of the William J. Clinton Foundation, CGI brings together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI has approximately 1,000 members, diverse and influential leaders from all over the world, who make tangible commitments to create or support projects within CGI’s areas of focus.
At the center of CGI is our annual meeting, held in New York each September coinciding with the U.N. General Assembly. This is a working session designed to provide insights into global problems for the purpose of enabling productive action.
Unlike most charitable endeavors, CGI neither gives grants nor collects direct donations to carry out programs. Instead it serves as a dynamic marketplace, matching up people who have resources with others who have organizational capabilities to produce high-impact results in the field. CGI staff work with participants in advance of, during, and after each annual meeting to define, develop, and track the progress of commitments.
Over the past two years nearly 600 commitments have been made by CGI members, totaling nearly $10 billion and benefiting the work of more than 1,000 organizations.
Clinton enters the room. Dozens of world leaders (52 current and former heads of state) rise and applause, among more than 1300 "CGI" members.
"Welcome to the third meeting of CGI," he states.
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