Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, President Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.
Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, youth organizations, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. CGI U 2013 was held at Washington University in St. Louis from April 5 - 7, 2013, bringing together nearly 1,200 attendees to make a difference in CGI U's five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.
But CGI U is more than just an event. It is a growing community of young leaders who don't just discuss global challenges - they take real, concrete steps toward solving them. Throughout the year, and as a prerequisite of attending the CGI U Annual Meeting, students and youth organizations develop their own Commitments to Action: a specific plan of action that addresses a pressing challenge on campus, in the community, or around the world. Commitments range from manufacturing wheelchairs for developing countries to establishing campus bike share programs, from creating free vision clinics to mentoring youth through chess.
Throughout the year, students are also invited to apply to become CGI U Campus Representatives. Colleges and universities can engage with CGI U by joining the CGI University Network to support and mentor innovative student commitment-makers from their respective campuses by providing seed funding for new projects and initiatives.
CGI U is proof that young people have the power to make a significant impact by confronting some of the world's most urgent challenges.