Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Clinton Global Initiative

This is one of the most fascinating annual events!

The Clinton Global Initiative began yesterday and continues Thursday (September 22-24).

"In 2005, President [Bill] Clinton established CGI to turn ideas into action and 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 world leaders from a variety of backgrounds, CGI creates a unique opportunity to channel the capacities of individuals and organizations to realize change. To fulfill the action-oriented mission of CGI, all members devise practical solutions to global issues through the development of specific and measurable Commitments to Action."

The CGI brings together and recognizes non-government organizations (NGOs), world leaders, business leaders, and compassionate individuals from across the globe who have committed their time, talent and treasure to work on issues such as poverty, the environment, economic and human capital development. In this gathering creative and substantive conversations are held regarding how these efforts can be leveraged into meaningful public and foreign policy efforts which can result in a more equitable and sustainable world.

I've considered this to be one of the most inspirational gatherings I've ever heard seen and well worth taking the time to watch and listen to the webcast. It not only brings much needed recognition to wonderful work going on all over the globe, it results in these efforts gaining increased funding and encourages other organizations, individuals and governments to make similar commitments in areas of their concern.

I think this is important because there are remarkable things happening all over the world. There are people who are giving their lives to make life better for others. All too often we can focus on the problem and never realize that there are remarkable individuals, organizations and even heads of state, who are devoted to eradicating nearly every form of suffering, disease, negative environmental impact and strengthening underdeveloped cultures. Even further, it shows that everyone has something to offer and everyone can make a difference.

This includes women like Xiaoyi (Sheri) Liao who has "...promoted a "Green Life" standard of living and a grassroots approach to environmental sustainability. Since 1996, Liao [has] established an environmental program on Chinese public television, launched an environmental awareness campaign that led to the creation of the first garbage-sorting operation in the Beijing community, and cooperated with the Xuan Wu municipal government to found the first Green Community in China, which later became a national model accredited by the Chinese government. Liao [has]also worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce global mercury emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants."

Or organizations like the World’s Children’s Prize program which "...in nine years become the world’s largest and fastest growing education initiative on human rights, democracy, and respect for the environment. After making a Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in 2006, Barloworld Limited and The ForeSight Group helped expand this program on a global scale, reaching out to over 17 million children across 92 countries. Over the last 18 months alone, the number of children involved has risen by 55% and the number of educators by 85%."

These are just a couple of examples, but you can check out the website to find more about this great event.

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