Photo Credit: Paul Morse / Clinton Global Initiative
Jun 07
June 7, 2015

CGI America 2015: What to Watch


This week, leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors will convene in Denver, Colorado for the fifth annual meeting of CGI America.

Attendees will engage in topic-specific Working Groups to develop solutions for economic growth, long-term competitiveness, and social mobility in the United States. Participants are asked to make and fulfill specific Commitments to Action to address the issues at hand.

This year’s meeting will focus on three topic areas: economic empowerment, education and skills development, and energy and the built environment. We invite you to learn more about these topics, and join the conversation online.

Economic Empowerment

America’s economic recovery is finally taking hold, yet too many American families are being left out of the recovery, and our nation still faces an unsustainable long-term fiscal outlook. Use #CGIAmerica to join the conversation as CGI America participants explore solutions to help foster greater opportunity and mobility.

Ask an Economist: Expanding Economic Opportunity and Mobility 

On Tuesday during the Breakout Session "Ask an Economist: Expanding Economic Opportunity and Mobility" beginning at 7:30 AM MT / 9:30 AM ET, share your questions on Twitter as two leading economists, Jared Bernstein (@econjared) and Scott Winship (@swinshi), examine policy options for enhancing economic mobility in America and explore the relationship between America’s long-term fiscal outlook and economic growth and opportunity.

The Map of Making it in America

Tune in Tuesday at 9:00 AM MT / 11:00 AM ET for the Opening Plenary Session, “The Map of Making it in America.” Participants will discuss the challenges faced by those left out of the economic recovery, highlighting the intersection between work and wages, strategies to build household wealth, and pathways to high-quality employment. Participants will include:

  • President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative, 42nd President of the United States (@billclinton)
  • Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation (@ChelseaClinton)
  • Lucas Benitez, Co-founder, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Julián Castro, Secretary, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (@SecretaryCastro)
  • Kip Tindell, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO, The Container Store
  • Kyle Zimmer, Chief Executive Officer, First Book (@KyleFirstBook)

Education and Skills Development

In 2014, the U.S. economy added more than 2.7 million jobs. However, the employment rate is the lowest it has been in almost 30 years. Cross-sector strategies are necessary to equip Americans with the skills needed to ascend today’s emerging career ladders.

Young Americans: From Recession to Optimism

Join the conversation on Twitter during the Breakout Session, “Young Americans: From Recession to Optimism,” Tuesday beginning at 7:30 AM MT / 9:30 AM ET.

Young Americans make up one-third of the population. More than 5 million are unemployed, not in college, and have not obtained a high school diploma. This unrealized potential stunts generational progress, with rippling effects. CGI America participants will explore ways to help this generation access higher education, increase financial independence, and connect with entrepreneurial and career opportunities. Participants will include:

  • Denise Leonhard, Vice President, Enterprise Growth Business Development and Strategy, American Express
  • Khalil Fuller, Chief Executive Officer, Learn Fresh (@khalil_fuller)
  • Nicole Glaros, Partner, Techstars (@nglaros)
  • Andrew Yang, Founder and CEO, Venture for America (@AndrewYangVFA)

Energy and the Built Environment

Renewable energies have become more competitive and affordable than ever before, but more can be done to reduce costs and ensure that the benefits of these clean, sustainable energy resources are accessible to everyone.

Green building is among the fastest growing industries in the world, representing a $260 billion market in the United States, but practices lack adoption in certain markets and face the challenge of including low-income communities. 

New Horizons: Unlocking the Potential of Rural America

Tune in Wednesday at 9:00 AM MT / 11:00 AM ET, as President Clinton and leading experts explore how innovations in energy and the built environment are transforming rural America.

Decades of slowing industry, lagging investment in basic services, and the pressures of a globalizing economy have taken a toll on rural America. However, enormous growth in new and traditional energy development is making rural America the country’s newest growth frontier. Participants will include:

  • President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative, 42nd President of the United States (@billclinton)
  • Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture (@USDA)
  • Bob Dixson, Mayor, City of Greensburg, Kansas
  • Tanya Fiddler, Executive Director, Four Bands Community Fund
  • Mary McBride, President, CoBank

Stay tuned to the Clinton Foundation blog over the next week for additional coverage and highlights from CGI America 2015.