Photo Credit: Adam Schultz / Clinton Global Initiative
Sep 27
September 27, 2015

CGI 2015 Annual Meeting Highlights


The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2015 Annual Meeting brought together more than one thousand leaders and luminaries to make meaningful Commitments to Action. This year’s Annual Meeting theme, The Future of Impact, prompted usand the entire global community—to envision how we can replicate and expand proven solutions to the underserved, make long-term investments to address global challenges and create opportunity, and democratize social and technological innovation to drive change moving forward.

This year, members made 123 new Commitments to Action, expected to impact more than 15 million people. To date, more than 3,400 commitments have been made, improving the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.



In advance of the Annual Meeting, participants in the Girls and Women Strategy Session, “Economic Implications of Gender-Based Violence,” explored gaps in equality for women and methods for encouraging their empowerment across the world. Participants included Becton, Dickinson and Company Executive Vice President Gary Cohen, Ashley Judd, McKinsey Global Institute Senior Fellow Anu Madgavkar, and other thought leaders in the field.

See photos from this Special Session on Flickr and watch the full session.


President Bill Clinton and a panel of judges, including Fadi Ghandour, Julia Gillard, Mohammed Ibrahim, Charles Kane, and Muhammad Yunus, listened to regional business school finalists’ pitches addressing global challenges related to early childhood development in the competition for $1 million in start-up capital.

The winning team, IMPCT from National Chengchi University in Taipei, has devised a purpose-driven micro-equity platform that enables the facilitation of direct impact investment into the sustainable education businesses of local “edupreneurs.”

Learn more about the Hult Prize.       



The Opening Plenary Session, “The Future of Impact,” brought a diverse group of participants to the plenary stage to formally kick off the meeting and introduce a number of topics to be explored during the Annual Meeting. Chelsea Clinton discussed issues such as the trafficking of children and the women’s empowerment movement with panelists including 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and the Chairman of Sun Media Group and Sun Culture Foundation Yang Lan. President Clinton continued the conversation with President of the Republic of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, among others.

Throughout the Annual Meeting, new Commitments to Action are announced and CGI members share updates on the progress of their work. The Opening Plenary Session highlighted the commitments of several members who joined together to address long-term reconstruction needs in the wake of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. 

Watch the full session below.


CGI members were some of the first to experience "Inside Impact: East Africa"—an eight-minute virtual reality film that allows people around the world to join President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton on their trip to East Africa in spring 2015, seeing first-hand how Commitments to Action made by CGI members are changing lives and empowering communities.

To learn more, visit and watch a panoramic 360 video version of the film on Facebook now.


How can investing in prevention and health systems help ensure access to quality care for all and create resilient and prosperous communities over the long-term? The “Investing in Prevention and Resilient Health Systems” Plenary Session shared the perspectives of Bill Gates, Former Finance Minister of Nigeria and Chair-Elect of GAVI Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Paul Polman, and Charlize Theron. Watch the full session to hear their thoughts. 


This year's Annual Meeting is engaging a global audience like never before—CGI and GOOD Magazine are asking individuals worldwide to help define The Future of Impact. Tell us what you think our shared priorities should be for the next decade and beyond.

Share your vision at or on Twitter and Instagram using #FutureofImpact. Your response could be featured by GOOD and in front of world leaders at the Annual Meeting.


Members attended a number of dynamic sessions throughout the day, from Plenary Sessions, Special Sessions, and Small Group Discussions, to Breakout Sessions including Future Labs, Calls to Action sessions, and CGI Conversations. Some highlights include:

Haiti Action Network: Exploring Partnerships and New Opportunities

Created seven years ago, the Haiti Action Network continues to make significant progress in improving livelihoods and empowering communities. In “Haiti Action Network: Exploring Partnerships and New Opportunities,” leaders discussed the value of partnerships forged and those yet to be developed.

Watch the session on Livestream.

CGI Conversation moderated by Fareed Zakaria, CNN host & Washington Post columnist

Fareed Zakaria and President Clinton were joined by an array of leaders, such as Louka Katseli, Joseph Stiglitz, Gianna Angelopoulous, Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi, and George Soros to discuss the current economic climate in southern Europe and solutions to its most pressing challenges.

The conversation will be aired on Fareed Zakaria GPS at a later date.

Youth Speak: Pivotal Moments That Encourage Positive Youth Development

This Small Group Discussion focused on education and the moments that spark potential in youth around the world. Youth panelists Khalil Fuller, Barang Phuk, and Shazia Rahman contributed their ideas on what can be done to improve access and engagement when it comes to education.


The ninth annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards celebrated outstanding organizations and individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership. Musical performances featured Tony Bennett, Ben Harper, and Janelle Monáe and The Roots. 2015 honorees included Syeda Ghulam Fatima, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Aliko Dangote, and Alan Knight and Raj Punjabi accepting the award on behalf of over two dozen organizations for their Ebola Response Efforts.

Learn more about this year’s ceremony.



Over the last several decades, most of the world has experienced a decline in poverty rates, yet more than 70 percent of people globally live in societies today that have greater income inequality than 20 years ago. Panelists—including Jessica Biel, Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom Limited Robert Collymore, and Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz shared their visions for how to enhance mobility to more equitable futures for people around the world, from maternal health and early childhood education, to preparation to join the workforce.

New Commitments to Action were announced onstage by CEOs from The LEGO Foundation, the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, and Gap Inc. Watch the session on Livestream now.


How can the disruptive ideas, technologies, and breakthroughs of today positively impact the world of tomorrow? American Museum of Natural History Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson kicked off the session by speaking with Pepper the Social Humanoid Robot. The conversation on some of the world's most revolutionary ideassuch as tissue regeneration and space travel—continued with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Sangeeta Bhatia and Virgin Group and Virgin Unite Founder Sir Richard Branson. Watch Pepper and Neil deGrasse Tyson meet for the first time below.


Through various sessions held throughout the Annual Meeting, participants explored the issue of how to protect our world's oceans and coastal communities and how investment in climate mitigation and adaptation strategies can yield higher than expected economic, environmental, and social returns. CEO and Co-founder of VICE Media Shane Smith moderated a dynamic conversation on sustainable oceans with several participants, including Ted Danson and Sylvia Earle. In the Plenary Session “Climate Change and Resiliency: Redefining Business as Usual”—moderated by Judith Rodin, President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim, President of the Republic of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, and others—discussed the urgent need to take action toward addressing climate change.

Watch the full session.

Eradicating Food Insecurity in the United States and Beyond

In the Small Group Discussion “Tackling Youth Hunger,” Chelsea Clinton and Chef and Philanthropist Mario Batali discussed solutions for reducing childhood and youth hunger while increasing access to healthy food. Chef-Owner Marcus Samuelsson, Chairman and CEO of Monsanto Hugh Grant, and others also addressed the issues of chronic hunger and micronutrient deficiency affecting hundreds of millions of people globally, as well as how to increase food production to meet the needs of the growing global population, in the "Starting the Food Chain with Nutrition" Breakout Session.

Photo Credit: Adam Schultz / Clinton Global Initiative

This year, CGI introduced the newest Annual Meeting program format—Future Labs—where CGI members will work in smaller groups to craft their ideal vision of the future and generate ideas for future Commitments to Action. With four sessions taking place over the course of the meeting, today's “The Future of Gender Investing” session included a panel discussion with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chairman of Yunus Social Business Global Initiatives Muhammad Yunus and Senior Vice President of the U.S. Trust Bank of America Jackie VanderBrug



Marking the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, this conversation focused on the key priorities needed to advance the status of girls and women over the next 20 years. Chelsea Clinton spoke with Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation Ursula Burns in a one-on-one conversation which preceded a panel featuring participants such as Executive Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies William Lauder and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. New commitments were announced during the session, including Girl Power Project®: Empowering 10,000 Vulnerable Girls by Just Like My Child Foundation and Energize Learning: Locally Sourced Groundnuts for Ghana by The Hershey Company.

Watch the Plenary Session below:


CNN’s Erin Burnett moderated a CGI Conversation on the remaining global challenges and the promising solutions that aim to achieve shared prosperity and opportunity over the next decade. Featuring President Clinton, Edward Norton, Sean Parker,  and J. Craig Venter—one of the first to sequence the human genome. Al Jazeera’s Abderrahim Foukara moderated a CGI Conversation on "Refugees, Conflict, and Community" with President of the Republic of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga and President and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Lavinia Limón. Both sessions will be broadcast on their respective networks at a later date. 


Members continued to attend Small Group Discussions on a diversity of topics, including the protection of elephants, the prioritization of education in emergency response, chronic disease reduction, and more.

In the Future Lab Breakout Session “The Future of Accessible Medicines and Diagnostics,” leaders in the health space discussed topics such as how we can create health care solutions to decrease cost, improve quality, and expand delivery of medicines for low-income communities.

In another Future Lab, “The Future of Girls’ Education,” actress and director Freida Pinto, the managing director of Discovery Learning Alliance Tamela Nobos, and 12-year-old Tisungeni from Let Girls Lead in Mali, explored new ways to ensure that education is provided to all as a basic human right, focusing on increasing access for girls around the world. 

Watch the full Future Lab sessions.


Closing out the Annual Meeting, “The Future of Equality and Opportunity” focused on co-creating a future rooted in justice, human rights, equality, and opportunity for all through a special conversation with President Clinton and the visionary Founder and CEO of Theranos Elizabeth Holmes and Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group Jack Ma. Chelsea Clinton spoke with students around the world, including in Ghana and El Salvador, via Skype. The audience enjoyed a performance by the Polyphony Foundation, which works to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel by bringing youth together through classical music.

Several new Commitments to Action were announced, including Open For Business: Global Companies Supporting LGBT Inclusion, committed by the Brunswick Group, which aims to promote a positive business and economic case for the inclusion of LGBT people.

By the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, CGI members had made 123 new Commitments to Action that when fully funded and implemented, are expected to impact more than 15 million lives around the world.

Watch the full Closing Plenary Session.