To the CGI Community:
In 2005, we at the Clinton Foundation decided to hold a new kind of meeting, timed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly—one that would bring together a community of doers from across a broad section of society not only to discuss our world’s most pressing challenges but also to commit publicly to take specific, practical, measurable actions to address them. I had no earthly idea whether a model so different than any that had been tried before would work. But it turned out there was a hunger to create change, and to do it with unlikely partners who might otherwise never have the opportunity to meet or work together.
The need for that kind of cooperation and coordination has never been more urgent than it is now. The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped the cover off of longstanding inequities and vulnerabilities across our global community. The existential threat of climate change grows every day. Democracy is under assault around the world, most glaringly in Ukraine where Russia has launched an unjustified and unprovoked invasion that has put millions of lives in grave danger. The number of displaced people and refugees worldwide is higher than it has ever been—more than one in 95 of all people alive on the planet today has been forced to flee their home—and rising. And it seems that all across the globe, people are pulling away from those who are different from them—putting our future at greater risk and making it harder to solve the challenges and seize the opportunities in front of us.
To meet the urgency of this moment, I am calling on the CGI community to come together again—alongside new members and voices including influential emerging leaders and grassroots activists—beginning with a meeting in New York City this September.
Just like the world we’re living in, the September meeting will likely look different than the ones we held before. But what will not be different is the spirit that has driven CGI from the very beginning—the idea that we can accomplish more together than we can apart.
Our commitment-based approach to creative cooperation has been successful. Through CGI, more than 3,700 projects and partnerships—what we call Commitments to Action—have been launched, making a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in over 180 countries. I’m deeply grateful to all of you for the impact you have made with CGI.
While the challenges our world faces today are steep, CGI has always been about what we can do, not what we can’t do. And by bringing diverse partners together to take action and achieve real results, we can create a culture of possibility in a world hungry for hope.
Thank you again for all that you have done and continue to do to create a better future. Hillary, Chelsea, and I look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks and months.