Plenary Session

CGI Opening Plenary: Leaders Dialogue on Climate Change

The climate challenge has captured the attention of political leaders, corporate boardrooms, and individual citizens around the world, yet the need for sustained action is greater than ever. Looking ahead to the Durban summit and beyond, it is essential that governments, businesses, civil society, and the media work together to take action that enables global growth while preserving our planetary sustainability, particularly for the vulnerable populations most affected by climate change. How can efforts to address climate change help to create jobs, build new industries, and strengthen economic and ecological systems around the world? How do implementation strategies differ between developed and developing nations? Hosted by President Clinton and co-chaired by President Calderon and President Zuma, this session will bring together distinguished Heads of State to highlight opportunities for collaboration and share effective strategies for addressing the global climate challenge in the coming years.


The World at 7 Billion: A Member Conversation with President Clinton

The Earth’s population is projected to reach 7 billion later this year, and could exceed 10 billion by 2050. Yet the numbers alone hide much deeper demographic and economic challenges for both the developed and developing world. Amidst the economic downturn, many wealthy nations struggle to provide meaningful employment, education, health care, and safety nets for their increasingly aging populations, even as the world’s poorest are faced with vicious cycles of high mortality and birth rates, scarce opportunities for youth, and environmental degradation. How can CGI members work across sectors and nations to generate sustainable growth on a planet that many biologists suggest is strained beyond its carrying capacity? This session will include insights from CGI members on commitment successes, as well as a unique question-and-answer exchange between President Clinton and the CGI community.

Keynote Lunches

Keynote Lunch: Innovative Partnerships: Developing Green Technology

Each keynote lunch (four simultaneous) will be comprised of one emcee and two speakers presenting diverse stories of action on complementary themes, followed by audience Q&A.


Keynote Lunch: Organizing for Change

Each keynote lunch (four simultaneous) will be comprised of one emcee and two speakers presenting diverse stories of action on complementary themes, followed by audience Q&A.


Keynote Lunch: Scalable Development in Post-conflict Zones

Each keynote lunch (four simultaneous) will be comprised of one emcee and two speakers presenting diverse stories of action on complementary themes, followed by audience Q&A.


Keynote Lunch: Values-based Leadership

Each keynote lunch (four simultaneous) will be comprised of one emcee and two speakers presenting diverse stories of action on complementary themes, followed by audience Q&A.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Breakout Sessions

Financing Inclusive Jobs: Impact Investing and the Triple Bottom Line

In an increasingly connected global marketplace, “impact” and socially responsible investors (SRIs) are emerging as an ever-larger market force. Because these investors evaluate a company’s values as well as its profitability and product offering, they have become an important source of capital for triple bottom line businesses, particularly in the developing world. The segment of the potential impact investing market in developing economies is estimated to reach anywhere from $400 billion to $1 trillion over the next 10 years. As a result, many businesses that generate social good but have depended on traditional financing are now turning to impact investing as well. What kind of businesses could benefit from SRIs and impact investing, and how can governmental action support these inclusive businesses to help stimulate job growth? What are the opportunities for growth in this sector, and what realistic challenges remain? In this session, leading finance, business, and government voices will share success stories and discuss effective impact investing and inclusive business practices.


Going Small for Big Results: Microfranchise and Entrepreneurial Growth

In the wake of the global recession, many countries are struggling to create employment opportunities for their populations. Even in nations where jobs are being created, opportunities for employment are spread unequally. Some promising inclusive microfranchise and microenterprise business strategies, however, are creating jobs and assisting business owners in low-income, marginalized communities where access to employment is the scarcest. Micro- and social enterprises expand entrepreneurship and are increasingly effective at building local capacity and generating job growth, while microfranchises allow individuals with little or no formal education to be trained to operate replicable, financially sustainable, ready-made business systems. These systems can create proven employment opportunities for franchisees, generate profit for both franchisee and franchiser, and deliver often-critical goods and services to the underserved. This panel will invite job creators to tell their stories, discuss the kinds of jobs they created, and detail how they attracted the financing to do so.


Transformative Tools for a Skilled Workforce

Around the world, millions of people are ill-prepared for the jobs available to them. Many young people and students lack marketable skills, and older workers can no longer count on lifelong employment at the same firm or in the same field as they once did. As technological transformation and globalization upend established markets, leaders around the world must consider how to empower current and future workers with new skills. Coordination between the private, public, and nonprofit sectors can create effective programs that close the gap between the skills potential workers have and those that the market requires. This panel will explore how workers can be trained regardless of age or environment, and will present examples of targeted job training, structured apprenticeships, and innovative partnerships that get people to work faster, saving businesses, and governments, money in the process.

Special Session

Special Session: From Response to Resilience: Effective Disaster Preparedness

Natural disasters strike both the developed and developing world without regard to economic status, race, religion, or culture. Economic and social conditions do, however, dramatically affect capacity to prepare, respond, and rebuild in the wake of such events. From the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan to the floods in Pakistan, there is a vital need for effective emergency management that balances short-term disaster relief with long-term recovery and prevention. Yet a lack of basic infrastructure and coordinated response mechanisms can make it significantly more difficult for communities to recover when their existing resources are already taxed. Faced with these constraints, how can communities work together across sectors to create effective, coordinated emergency response systems? This session will examine how NGOs, governments, companies, and citizens can develop the tools and infrastructure necessary to systematically prepare for and minimize the impact of future natural disasters.

Plenary Session

Megacities, Mega Challenges

In 1800, only 3 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. Now, half of us live in cities, and by 2050 over 70 percent of the global population is projected to be urban. Most of this urban growth will occur in less-developed countries, and will bring with it the many challenges associated with rapid urbanization: informal or illegal settlements, overtaxed education and infrastructure systems, chronic poverty, unemployment, and violence. Despite these challenges, cities can provide new residents with unprecedented opportunity, offering greater access to education, health care, and jobs than surrounding rural areas. Given the risks and promises of continued urbanization, what can governments do to ensure sustainable job growth in their cities? How can businesses take advantage of this growing workforce resource? How can city managers, private enterprises, and nonprofits work together to create healthy, prosperous urban communities? This panel will explore the challenges faced by global megacities, and will highlight innovative, effective strategies to catalyze sustainable employment and livable environments in the urban growth hot spots of the world.