Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bill Clinton Inspires Giving At A Whole New Level

Bill Clinton is on a giving and sustainable mission. With his recent book launch of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change The World and last week's Clinton Global Initiative Summit, he is truly transforming the landscape of philanthropic initiatives. (note: Clinton gives special tribute in his book to a non-profit that provides micro-lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries. is an organization I have been involved with since its inception and with Bill's support they had their first Oprah moment a few weeks ago. It was an amazing and touching experience to see the founder's Matt and Jessica Flannery's dreams realized).

Evidently, last week's CGI event resulted in commitment levels from celebrities, heads of states, and business executives to reach historic levels that will impact:

  • 8.5 million out-of-school children will be enabled to enroll in school for the first time.
  • 50 million people will have access to treatment of neglected tropical diseases.
  • 170,031,331 acres of forest will be protected or restored.
  • 11.2 million people will be empowered with increased access to sustainable incomes

But the giving buck doesn't stop there. After the momentous week, Bill Clinton found some time to celebrate and announce a new CGI event targeted towards youth. Bono, Chris Rock, Shakira, and Alicia Keys all joined the former President at Harlem’s Apollo Theater to announce Clinton Global Initiative’s first youth summit, called CGI U, planned for next year at Tulane University in New Orleans. The new initiative is designed to engage college and university students on some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. CGI U will challenge young people to take action by making commitments on the issues that concern them the most.

According to a Washington Post article, “what we are trying to do is make activism cool again for kids,” Rock said. The former president and the other superstar panelists took questions from the audience before giving up the stage to performances by hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean and soulful singer Keyes.

Via a partnership with MTV and Bill Clinton’s amazing leadership, CGI U potentially could catapult an entirely new generation to a level of giving that will tackle the issues of sustainable development, climate change and poverty in the most impactful ways. Check out the full press release here.

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