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. President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton hosted CGI U 2014 at Arizona State University in metropolitan Phoenix from March 21-23, 2014. The meeting brought together more than 1,100 students 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. More than $750,000 was available to select CGI U 2014 students, and through the CGI U Commitments Challenge, students crowd-funded an additional $60,000 for their work.
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 meeting, students develop their own Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable initiatives that address pressing challenges on campus, in local communities, or around the world. Commitments range from manufacturing wheelchairs for developing countries to establishing campus bike share programs, from creating free vision clinics to developing e-learning applications for mobile phones.
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. Since 2008, students have made more than 4,800 Commitments to Action, and nearly $2 million in funding has been awarded to these commitment-makers through CGI U.