This week's fifth annual CGI America meeting brought together nearly 1,000 leaders from business, philanthropy, and government to develop solutions for economic growth, long-term competitiveness, and social mobility in the United States. Participants made 79 new Commitments to Action that, when fully funded and implemented, will positively impact the lives of more than 1.6 million people in the United States, ensuring that, among other outcomes:
- Nearly 210,000 jobs will be created or filled.
- More than $11.3 million of new capital will be invested in or loaned to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
- More than 111,000 students will gain access to STEM education opportunities.
- More than 160,000 educators will participate in professional development programs.
- More than 120,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents will be avoided.
In addition to these commitments, below are just a few of the many of the highlights from the week's events - which ended with an exciting announcement about the future of CGI America:
President Clinton and Governor Hickenlooper welcome participants
"The Map of Making It In America"
Chelsea Clinton moderated a discussion on building household wealth and high-quality employment opportunities with Lucas Benitez, co-founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers; Julián Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Kip Tindell, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of The Container Store; and Kyle Zimmer, chief executive officer of First Book.
Working Group SESSIONS
CGI America is designed as a working meeting to promote collaboration and actionable ideas. Participants joined one of ten topic-specific Working Groups that each met multiple times throughout the meeting.
A Spotlight On Commitments
During Tuesday's lunch session, Chelsea Clinton invited commitment-makers to the stage to share their progress and make new Commitments to Action. Watch the full session on Livestream, and learn more about these and other commitments by following CGI on Twitter.
"Unlocking the Potential of Rural America"
President Clinton began Wednesday morning's session with the announcement of new commitments and commitment progress in rural America, followed by a conversation with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, which touched on both rural opportunities and challenges.
Every time you create a food hub it supports 20 jobs. And 20 jobs in a small town is a big deal.
Watch their full conversation below.
The following panel further explored these issues through the eyes of three unique perspectives on how positive change could be brough about in rural areas: Bob Dixson, Mayor of City of Greensburg, Kansas; Tanya Fiddler, Executive Director of the Four Bands Community Fund; and Mary McBride, President of CoBank. Watch their panel - including their responses to a question from Secretary Vilsack - as part of the full session online.
The closing session featured lessons from cities like Detroit and Buffalo that battled through economic hardships and are now helping to redefine how local government works with citizens and local business. Joining the second panel were the Mayor of Detroit and local business-owner April Anderson - whose organic bakery business is an example of new and innovative growth in the Detroit economy.
CGI America 2016
In the Closing Plenary Session, Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta joined President Clinton on-stage to announce that the Clinton Global Initiative will hold its sixth annual CGI America meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2016. Commitments already underway in the state tackle critical challenges in infrastructure, education, workforce development, and more.
Voices from the meeting
The following articles and first-hand accounts delved into specific commitments made at CGI America:
- "CGI received commitments from several organizations for grassroots projects that demonstrate how solar energy creates good local jobs, alleviates energy poverty and cuts carbon emissions." On The Huffington Post, Former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter, Jr. discusses the rise of solar energy jobs and spotlights several commitments.
- "Our brands have to invest. Our agencies have to do better at recruiting. Our schools of communications must do better at preparing minority students for advertising careers." Lincoln Stephens, Co-Founder & CEO of the Marcus Graham Project, writes about his organization's new commitment on The Huffington Post.
- "We all must think differently about what it means to grow older in our nation." Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation, writes on Next Avenue about her organization's new commitment to "to help older workers acquire job skills and education that will help them remain competitive."