2009 Annual Meeting


CGI's Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. Meeting participants analyze pressing global challenges, discuss the most effective solutions, and build lasting partnerships that enable them to create positive social change. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at more than $73.1 billion.



Action Areas

Harnessing Innovation for Development

The world faces unprecedented environmental and social challenges. Devastating poverty and unequal access to education and health care are growing as the human population swells beyond 6.6 billion and the gap between rich and poor widens. Simultaneously, mega-city pollution, loss of biodiversity, fresh water and food shortages, and global climate change threaten the collapse of vast ecosystems. These challenges call for innovation on an unprecedented scale. To date, most change has focused on incremental greening strategies like eco-efficiency, corporate social responsibility, or treating the symptoms rather than root causes of global health problems. While well-intentioned, it is doubtful that such incremental strategies will be sufficient.

Organizations need to develop breakthrough strategies beyond greening that resolve social and environmental problems. In this regard, clean technology and Base of the Pyramid initiatives have burst onto the scene, each providing pieces to the sustainable development puzzle: next generation technologies with dramatically lower environmental impact, and bottom-up business strategies with a more inclusive reach. However, these strategies come with baggage and blind spots. If narrowly construed, they still position companies as outsiders, foreign to both the cultures and ecosystems within which they do business. Becoming indigenous or locally embedded, then, is another innovation challenge.

Companies can find the right balance of profitability, environmental sustainability, and local legitimacy by learning to co-develop technologies, products, and businesses with local communities and their stakeholders. This session will examine these emerging innovation strategies as vehicles for addressing the global challenges of poverty, climate change, health, and education.

Break-out Session Topics:
 • Driving Disruptive Innovation from the Base of the Pyramid
 • Becoming Embedded: Co-Creating Business with the Community
 • Enterprise-Based Strategies for Health and Education

Strengthening Infrastructure

From building canals and railroads, to rural electrification, to the telecommunications and internet revolutions, strategic investments in infrastructure have fueled transformative innovation, driven waves of economic growth, and radically improved the quality of people's daily lives. Today the development of infrastructure is again essential for a robust modern economy. Our prosperity is increasingly dependent upon ample supplies of clean water, sanitation, health care, communications, energy, transportation, agricultural productivity, education, security, and other vital public goods and services. Infrastructure enables an orderly development of healthy communities, thriving businesses, and a high quality of life worldwide.

Partnerships between public institutions, private industry, and non-governmental organizations are key to realizing large-scale projects. An effective global response to the demand for state of the art infrastructure must draw on the efficiency and speed of private markets while relying on the judicious use of public powers, including comprehensive planning, expanded access to capital, and appropriate regulation. In the face of a devastating global downturn, investment in efficient infrastructure has gained new prominence within governmental economic recovery packages, as a tool for jump-starting private sector innovation.

The Clinton Global Initiative's engagement of infrastructure will explore the diverse geography and policies that characterize smart modern infrastructure. This discussion will highlight common themes of strategic investment, public-private partnership, environmental sustainability, resource efficiency, and creative use of information, which run throughout the best and most forward looking efforts.

Break-out Session Topics:
 • The Infrastructure of Human Dignity: Protecting the Most Vulnerable
 • Infrastructure of Recovery: Good Jobs and Smart Growth

Building Human Capital

Human capital – the individual and collective health, skills, capacity, and knowledge of people – is the foundation on which all other progress is based. Healthy and well-educated citizens who are given a political voice and access to opportunity play an essential role in alleviating poverty, promoting good governance, and ensuring a more secure and prosperous future for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries. Investing in human capital is both a humanitarian imperative and a driver of economic vitality, technological progress, and political stability. It gives people dignity, as well as the necessary skills to be productive workers, creative innovators, and active citizens at every level of society – from local communities and grassroots organizations to international corporations and institutions. In the face of a global economic downturn, demographic shifts, climate change, growing humanitarian crises from natural and manmade causes, and high levels of poverty, developing human capital and creating and sustaining good jobs will be more difficult – and more important – than ever. It is a joint challenge for both the public and the private sector, and a priority across the globe. For the governments, companies, philanthropists, and civic leaders who are willing to work together in new alliances that leverage scarce resources and innovative technologies, the opportunity to make a difference through building human capital is immense.

Break-out Session Topics:
 • Developing the 21st Century Workforce
 • Leadership and Solutions to End Human Trafficking and Forced Labor
 • Leadership and Jobs to Overcome Humanitarian Crisis

Financing an Equitable Future

Financial markets -- banking in particular -- are in turmoil. Confidence in financial systems, institutions, and financiers is falling across the world, undermining the trust that underpins the workings of every financial transaction, and, hence, all economies.

The developing world has been hit hard by the economic and financial crisis, with further fallout expected. The World Bank estimates that the current crisis is likely to trap another 53 million people in extreme poverty. And charitable giving is contracting at the same time that commercial flows are slowing.

It is against this troubling backdrop that this year's Clinton Global Initiative explores the theme "Financing an Equitable Future." Times of crisis offer the opportunity to rethink business as usual and we must do so to build inclusive financial systems that work for all.

Historically, philanthropy has focused on making grants with no expectation of a financial return, while commercial investment has sought to maximize financial returns with minimal regard for social impact. In recent years, a potentially transformational shift in thinking has begun to gain traction, as interest has grown across sectors in blended value investing, combining financial and social returns.

By spotlighting groundbreaking work being done today through collaborations of private, public, and philanthropic capital, CGI can accelerate the release of literally billions in additional financing to support advances in tackling climate change, access to health care and education, poverty, and other global challenges.

Break-out Session Topics:
 • Harnessing Financial Markets for the Global Good
 • Deepening Financial Inclusion to Reach the Underserved – the "Bottom Billion" and the "Missing Middle"
 • Crossing Borders between Public, Private, and Philanthropic Finance