Feb 26
February 26, 2015

Five Reasons to Look Forward to CGI U 2015


In just over one week, more than 1,000 college students from around the world will participate in the eighth annual CGI University (CGI U) meeting at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Here are five reasons to look forward to next week’s meeting and, if you aren’t attending in person, to tune-in via social media and the live webcast:

Diverse Perspectives

The following are just a few of the program participants who will speak at CGI U:

  • Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, Members, Pussy Riot
  • Aloe Blacc, Grammy-nominated Artist
  • Dr. Paul Farmer, Co-founder and Chief Strategist of Partners In Health and Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard Medical School
  • America Ferrera, Actor, Producer, and Activist
  • Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Founder of Women Journalists Without Chains
  • Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health; Edutainer, Karolinska Institute; and Founder, Gapminder Foundation
  • Larry Wilmore, Host, Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore”

See who else will be speaking at CGI U and view the full agenda here.

Relevant Discussions

Plenary Sessions, formatted as panel discussions, and Working Sessions at CGI U shape the dialogue around specific issues and inspire participants to improve and refine their Commitments to Action. The Opening Plenary Session—which will be live webcast—will explore how to expand access to opportunity and ensure that the benefits of technology and innovation are shared by all, particularly by marginalized populations. Other Plenary Session topics include big data and the future of energy, examining how both can be harnessed for social impact.

Working Sessions will also explore a number of critical issues and questions, including service and volunteerism, women as peacebuilders, and the illegal wildlife trade. View the full agenda here.

Hundreds of New Commitments to Action

Every student who attends CGI U must make a Commitment to Action to address a challenge on their campus, in their community, or in a different part of the world. Of the commitments made by this year’s meeting participants, the following have emerged as key areas of focus:

  • STEM education, with a focus on information technology (IT), climate change, experiential learning, and diversifying the STEM pipeline.
  • Agriculture and agroforestry, particularly nutrition, food insecurity, and income generation.
  • Access to water and water filtration.
  • Cultural and religious dialogue and exchange.
  • Primary/secondary school access in developing countries and higher education in the United States.
  • Quality of life and educational opportunities for people with disabilities, namely individuals who are autistic, deaf, or blind.

70 Schools in the University Network

The University Network is made up of schools who pledge to support CGI U participants from their respective campuses in turning their ideas into action. This year, a record 70 universities have pledged more than $800,000 in total support. Click here to learn more and to see which schools are engaged in the University Network.

The Commitments Challenge

The fifth annual CGI U Commitments Challenge provides a way for the public to support student commitments. Like the NCAA March Madness Tournament, the 16 teams that crowdfund the most for their commitments during the first round of competition are entered into a bracket of head-to-head challenges. Last year, participants raised thousands of dollars to turn their ideas into action. All funds raised through the challenge are put toward the fulfillment of students’ commitments. Learn more and support your favorite commitment now.