Voices from the Meeting

CGI America 2014 brought more than 1,000 leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors together to collaborate and contribute their expertise to issue-specific Working Groups. Read personal insights from one attendee from each Working Group on how they are driving their work forward through CGI America:

Community Investing

Grace Fricks
Founder and CEO
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE)

Early Childhood Education

Nancy Rosenow
Executive Director
Dimensions Educational Research Foundation/Nature Explore



Charles Thomas
Executive Director
Queen City Forward

Financial Opportunity

Mitchell Fox
Director of Product Management
Intuit Tax and Financial Center


Infrastructure for Cities and States

Stephanie A. Miner
City of Syracuse

Reconnecting Youth

Megan Kashner
Founder and CEO


STEM Education

Russell Shilling
Executive Director of STEM Initiatives
U.S. Department of Education

Sustainable Buildings

William Parker
District 4 Representative
Birmingham City Council


The Modern Grid

Donnel Baird

Workforce Development

Lisa Schumacher
Director of Education Strategies
McDonald’s Corporation


“Overall, I was inspired by the level of passion and commitment that each CGI America attendee brought to the table. I walked away with a renewed energy to provide restaurant employees with even more ways to further their education.”

Lisa Schumacher, Director of Education Strategies at McDonald’s Corporation


Meeting Highlights

Through the creation of 100 commitments to action—new, specific, and measurable plans for addressing a significant economic or social challenge—CGI America 2014 attendees are dedicated to moving beyond dialogue and taking action to realize positive change. Since the first CGI America Meeting in 2011, attendees have made more than 400 commitments, which are already affecting nearly 1.4 million lives.

Scholastic joined the American Academy of Pediatrics and Too Small to Fail to commit to donating 500,000 early childhood books, and Reach Out and Read commits to helping those books reach their 5,000 sites nationwide with a targeted focus on low-income, underserved communities.

The PAST Foundation committed to providing teachers in rural and Native American communities in South Dakota with classroom tools for effective STEM-subject teaching. This commitment—known as the South Dakota Innovation Lab—is now a state-wide STEM professional development effort focused on culturally relevant, problem-based teaching and learning.

NBC'S MEET THE PRESS WITH DAVID GREGORY: Following a one-on-one conversation with President Clinton and host David Gregory, they are joined by Carly Fiorina, chairman and CEO of Carly Fiorina Enterprises and chairman of Good360; Sara Horowitz, founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union; Monty Moran, co-chief executive officer of Chipotle Mexican Grill; and Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation to continue the discussion on why reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility is not just a philanthropic endeavor, but a business imperative.

“So what is our role in the federal government? Our role is to take programs that work, that we know work, and amplify them, give them greater credibility, and share that information.”

Penny Pritzker
U.S. Secretary of Commerce,
U.S. Department of Commerce

“Most innovation actually comes from something outside your industry being applied to your own.”

Tony Hsieh
Chief Executive Officer,
Zappos.com, Inc.

Secretary Clinton underscores the importance of early childhood education and announces new Commitments to Action in the space.

Other session highlights include:

Chelsea Clinton moderates a panel exploring onramps to connect youth with education, training, and employment opportunities.

Other session highlights include:

President Clinton hosts a discussion on America’s cities, towns, and rural areas as laboratories for economic and social solutions.

Other session highlights include:


Working Group Model

Attendees were able to focus their efforts through content-specific Working Groups of their choosing. These smaller group discussions convened multiple times over the two days of the meeting, and provided a collaborative forum to generate ideas and commitments around each Working Group’s area of focus:

  • Community Investing
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Opportunity
  • Infrastructure for Cities and States
  • Reconnecting Youth
  • STEM Education
  • Sustainable Buildings
  • The Modern Grid
  • Workforce Development

Learn More about the 2014 Working Groups »