The Future of Food
The current food system is not sustainable. Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of the world’s use of increasingly scarce water supplies, and deforestation for food production generates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. Despite these associated environmental and social costs, one-third of the food generated for human consumption continues to be lost or wasted. With global demand expected to double in the next 25 to 50 years, current modes of production and patterns of consumption must change to ensure global food security.
• How can the global food system be redesigned to yield more, healthier food, while reducing our ecological footprint?
• How can greater access to markets, new approaches to distribution, and local sourcing bolster food quality and workers’ livelihoods, while reducing waste and improving resilience to extreme conditions?
The Case for Optimism in the 21st Century
New York East/West
There is a prosperous future that awaits us, yet a shift in mindset is required for it to be realized. While the recent financial crisis has prompted reassessments of our economic models, it should not overshadow the fact that enormous progress has been achieved in the past few decades. There is a strong case to be made for optimism, given the eradication of diseases and the drastic improvements made in life expectancy, infant mortality, and economic development. These achievements should be celebrated and should serve as a reminder that individuals and nations can mobilize resources to rise above complex and systemic challenges. This session will make an informed case for why CGI members should be optimistic about exciting societal and technological advancements, and will explore how these advancements will lead to an expanding world of possibilities for generations to come.
Working Capital: Creating Value for Business and Society
Even as corporations and financial institutions serve as economic drivers, they are too often perceived to be prospering at the expense of the societies and environments in which they work. Global polls indicate that banks and financial services are currently experiencing historically low public trust, while simultaneously less than half of citizens believe their governments will do what is right. As countries and companies seek economic recovery, there is an opportunity to redefine the role of capitalist models as providers of social and environmental good.
• How can our capital systems create new markets to serve the under-served?
• How can governments find a balance between protecting consumers and encouraging competitiveness and market growth?
How can we protect the poorest from debilitating shocks, such as unforeseen illness or crop failure?
New York East
Living on less than two dollars a day, 2.7 billion people are barely able to make ends meet on a daily basis. When the crop fails that year, when a family member falls sick and needs hospitalization or medicine, or when a hurricane destroys the family home, there rarely is any safety net provided by the government to address these unforeseen challenges. When extended family cannot provide assistance, the result can be a level of indebtedness that drives the family into extreme poverty. Putting in place preventative measures to mitigate the impact of shocks is essential to providing hope and lifting individuals and communities out of the poverty cycle.
Integrating Women into Global Supply Chains
New York West
Well designed supply chains are powerful tools for creating economic and social value. By focusing on girls and women, organizations can build a high quality pool of skilled workers and managers who can play leading roles in their communities and help expand local markets. CGI members will share their experiences with designing inclusive supply chains that improve livelihoods and create new business opportunities through the strategic engagement of girls and women.
Leading by Design: Governing Our Global Community
To end global diseases, lift billions from poverty, heal religious and ethnic fractures, and protect the earth’s limited natural resources will require persistent global leadership and bold collective action. The global financial crisis has only underscored the critical role of dialogue and cooperation in addressing major international issues. In this session, world leaders will discuss current affairs, highlighting solutions with the greatest promise and examining the responsibility of nations in solving twenty-first century global problems. Additionally, they will explore how leaders are effectively coordinating national-level decisions while engaging both businesses and nonprofits in the process.