September 29, 2015
Sep 29

CGI Annual Meeting Attendees Make 123 New Commitments to Action to Positively Impact the Lives of More Than 15 Million People

New York, NY
Press Release

President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton Look to the Future of Impact on Final Day of 2015 CGI Annual Meeting

To date, over 3,400 commitments have been made, improving the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries

New York, NY – Today, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton concluded the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) 10th anniversary by announcing new Commitments to Action and looking ahead to CGI’s priorities over the next decade including empowering girls and women, advancing educational and extracurricular activities for youth, alleviating poverty, and supporting technology access and use. Over four days, CGI members announced 123 new Commitments to Action, expected to impact more than 15 million lives around the world when fully funded and implemented.

“The future is going to be forged by people who know how to use the modern tools that we are given to create opportunity through empowerment,” said President Clinton. “If people can work together, we can build a shared future that we will be proud to leave to our children and grandchildren.”

"CGI members continue to demonstrate how organizations of all sizes, from all sectors, can positively impact communities — especially young people — around the world,” said Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation. “All of the new Commitments to Action and the progress on existing Commitments announced this week — ranging from restoring access to healthcare in Nepal to training female solar power engineers in Kenya — are powerful reminders of the transformative and leading role CGI members play in addressing social, health and economic disparity around the world."

Throughout the course of the meeting, members of the global community shared their visions for the future. One of the key themes that emerged was the interconnectedness of pressing global challenges—and how addressing a single issue can lead to progress on many others. Participants discussed the future aims the global community hopes to achieve over the next ten years: to protect our environment, increase opportunity and access to education, help others lift themselves out of poverty, and promote greater equality, tolerance, and inclusion.

When fully funded and implemented, the commitments announced by CGI members during the 2015 CGI Annual Meeting will ensure that:

  • More than 6 million girls and women will be positively impacted by a variety of programs to improve quality of education and increase access to employment and skills development opportunities.
  • More than 1 million students will participate in extracurricular learning activities (includes programs related to arts, female empowerment, literacy, and STEM).
  • More than 26 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents will be reduced or abated.
  • More than $83 million will be disbursed to entrepreneurs, microenterprises, and small/ medium-sized enterprises.
  • Nearly 40,000 physicians and health workers will be employed to expand access to healthcare services.
  • More than 1 million smallholder farmers will gain access to new agricultural products and markets.

Highlights from the final day of the Annual Meeting included:

  • The morning plenary began with a discussion between Chelsea Clinton and Ursula Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox Corporation, on women’s economic opportunity; this was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Chelsea with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Supisra Arayaphong, Founder, FarmerDo; William Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies; and Kathleen McLaughlin, President, Walmart Foundation, Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Walmart. The panel discussion focused on women farmers and fishers, and women as sustainability leaders.
  • No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, released a new data visualization to illustrate the gains and gaps for girls and women over the last twenty years. The new “Country snapshots” – found on – provide a view of how far we’ve come on areas that are essential to the full participation of girls and women around the world, such as economic participation, health, and education. Users also have the ability to view side by side comparisons to see how countries are faring on a national, regional, and global scale. 
  • CNN’s Erin Burnett moderated a conversation looking forward to the challenges facing the global community over the next decade and promising solutions that aim to achieve shared prosperity and opportunity. The panel included Edward Norton, Actor, Activist, Co-Founder, CrowdRise; Sean Parker, Chairman, The Parker Foundation; and J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman, Human Logevity, Inc. The session also featured an interview with President Clinton after which J. Craig Venter joined for a discussion on the impact of mapping the human genome on healthcare.
  • A breakout session on girls education featured a discussion between Tamela Noboa, Managing Director, Discovery Learning Alliance; Freida Pinto, Actor and Producer of Girl Rising; and Tisungeni, Girl Leader, Let Girls Lead, on ways CGI members can empower girls which can break cycles of poverty and develop stronger, healthier societies and nations.
  • Al Jazeera hosted a CGI Conversation moderated by Abderrahim Foukara on how to support efforts across the world to create peaceful and stable communities that promote human rights and ensure that displaced individuals prosper. The panel featured Fereshteh Forough, Founder and President, Code to Inspire; Atifete Jahjaga, President, Republic of Kosovo; and Lavinia Limón, President and CEO, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
  • In the closing plenary session, Chelsea Clinton used Skype to hear from several students around the globe who spoke directly with the CGI Annual Meeting audience about their vision for the future and their aspirations, including a classroom which is part of a now completed 2012 Commitment to Action made by Microsoft to create opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and employment for more than 300 million young people worldwide and which currently connects over six million students each year through Skype in the Classroom. Chelsea Clinton also had a conversation via live video feed with a classroom in the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.
  • President Clinton announced the 2016 Hult Prize Challenge asking students to focus on urban economic development. The competition will require students to create social enterprises that can sustainability double the income of 10 million people by 2022 through better connecting people with goods, services, and capital.
  • CGI also announced University of California, Berkeley as the host of CGI University in April 2016. The meeting will bring together over 1,100 students from around the world to make Commitments to Action.
  • Also in the closing plenary, President Clinton moderated a conversation with Elizabeth Holmes, Founder and CEO, Theranos; and Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group for a special conversation on co-creating a future rooted in peace, equality, and opportunity for all. The Polyphony Foundation Youth Orchestra composed of Arab and Israeli youth showcased the power of music for peace through their performance.

The Annual Meeting is sponsored by Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos, Hult International Business School, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Barclays, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Ford Foundation, Procter and Gamble, The Rockefeller Foundation, United Postcode Lotteries, Varkey Foundation, Cheniere Energy, Cisco, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, NRG Energy, Blackstone, Consolidated Contractors Company, Delos Living, Gap Inc., Inter-American Development Bank, Interenergy, Laureate International Universities, Monsanto, Standard Chartered, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Western Union, APCO Worldwide, Diageo, Hewlett-Packard, Jive, and Knoll.

Commitments announced in Plenary Sessions today include:

THE TRIALS OF SPRING: Women of the Arab Uprisings
Commitment by: Abigail E. Disney
Partner(s): The New York Times, Human Rights Watch, BoomGen Studios, Mediastorm, Government of Norway

In 2014, Abigail Disney, Zainab Salbi, and Gini Reticker, in partnership with The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CHIME FOR CHANGE, committed to producing The Trials of Spring, a two-year, $3.2 million campaign to share the stories of women's political and social leadership in the 2010 and 2011 uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya. The initiative launched on The New York Times website on June 7, 2015. On June 12, the feature film premiered at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Peace is Loud is also currently deveoping a series of high school media literacy lesson plans around the Trials of Spring multimedia content, authored by media literacy specialist Faith Rogow and Haydee Rodriguez of The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. The lesson plans will be featured on The New York Times Learning Network when the short films are released on the The Times video player.

Energize Learning: Locally Sourced Groundnuts for Ghana
Commitment by: The Hershey Company
Partner(s): Ghana School Feeding Program

In 2015, the Hershey Company committed to train 7,500 smallholder farmers in Ghana on improved agronomic practices and empower them to supply commercial markets with groundnuts (known in the U.S. as peanuts). The Hershey Company purchases groundnuts to manufacture Vivi, a vitamin-fortified protein snack that it distributes to the Government of Ghana’s school feeding program. This commitment aims to achieve 100% local sourcing of groundnuts for Vivi from Ghana’s farmers, by helping them increase groundnut quality to meet standards for commercial use and by constructing a local groundnut roasting facility. Meeting this sourcing goal will improve the livelihoods of local farmers by increasing the quality and price of their products; in addition to the access they will have to the Hershey Company’s supply chain, the farmers will gain the capacity to grow groundnuts that can be sold on formal markets in the long-term.

Building Confidence: Empowering Girls and Women to Reach their Full Potential
Commitment by: Procter & Gamble
Partner(s): TED, S.H.E. Global Media, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society

In 2015, P&G committed to inspire up to 100 million girls and women around the world through barrier breaking media campaigns and educational programs to enable them to see and reach their full potential.  This will be accomplished through multiple brand campaigns that address specific issues and shared experiences commonly faced by girls and women.  

Investing in Women Leading the Change
Commitment by: Wedu
Partner(s): Acumen, Kiva.Org, Pottinger

In 2014, Wedu committed to introduce Future Income Sharing Agreement (FISA), a new form of financing higher education for 1,000 young women with strong leadership potential, from underprivileged backgrounds in South East Asia. The program will allow these students to receive one-to-one lifelong mentorship and funding for their education in exchange for a portion of their future incomes over a period of 10 years after graduation. Wedu announced today that as of March 2015, it is on track to reach the target number of girls for this commitment.

Girl Power Project®: Empowering 10,000 Vulnerable Girls
Commitment by: Just Like My Child Foundation
Partner(s): Save For Health, Bishop Asili Hospital, Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation, Population Council Adolescent Girls Community in Practice

In 2015, Just Like My Child Foundation committed to implement The Girl Power Project “System in a Box” in Uganda. The System gives girls the tools to avoid forced child marriage, early pregnancy, risky and life-threatening situations and builds their sense of self-worth so they stay in school. The commitment encompasses a three-year pilot program designed to support 10,000 vulnerable adolescent girls. In phase one, girls participate in an “Intro to Girl Power” workshop addressing personal empowerment and violence against women.  In phase two, “Developing Mentors,” the girls participate in a more advanced workshop focused on sexual and reproductive health. Next, mentors are selected and trained through Camp Girl Power. In the final phase, “Mentoring in Practice,” mentors lead Girl Power Project Club meetings throughout the year, and will mentor and support an estimated 9,000 younger girls in their school communities, reaching 50-80% of girls in the communities JLMC serves.

Polyphony Peace Chorus: Uniting Arab & Jewish Children
Commitment by: Craig Cogut

In 2015, Craig Cogut committed to support the Polyphony Foundation in establishing the Polyphony Peace Chorus, an Israeli youth choral group composed of Jewish and Arab elementary students. The students come from neighboring communities: The Jewish students are represented by the Yehuda HaMaccabi school in Tel Aviv and the Arab students are represented by the Hassan Arafeh school in Jaffa. Each chorus will include 30 students from each school, both girls and boys, in grades 2 through 6. The Polyphony Peace Chorus Coordinator will encourage all choral families to be actively engaged throughout the school year to ensure that this cross-cultural program meets its inspired goals. This new commitment will expand Polyphony’s established work in several Israeli towns, bringing mixed groups of students together to appreciate and perform classical music.

Community Schools: Life Skills for Violence Prevention
Commitment by: Glasswing International
USAID (regional), Chevron (regional), Hanesbrands (regional), UNICOMER (regional), Samsung (regional), Ministry of Education El Salvador, Ministry of Education Guatemala, Ministry of Education Panama, Ministry of Education Honduras, TELUS (El Salvador), BANPAIS – Fundacion Larach (Honduras), Citibank (regional), Ashoka (El Salvador), Catholic Relief Services, Diario de Hoy (El Salvador)

In 2015, Glasswing committed to increasing its regional network of 30 ‘community schools’ to a total of 100 public schools in Central America that are safe, have the necessary infrastructure and equipment, and provide daily opportunities through non-formal education programs that equip students with the skills they need to thrive, despite significant adversity. This three-year commitment will engage - as volunteers - teachers, parents, students, community members, and employees of corporations, proving a greater sense of empowerment, civic participation, and sustainability. Glasswing’s commitment includes three complementary components: (1) volunteer-led school improvement and rehabilitation; (2) curricular and extra-curricular clubs that develop students’ non-cognitive and life skills; and (3) coaching for families, teachers, and parents on topics such as: student-centered learning, positive discipline, character-building, and non-violent communication. Through this commitment, Glasswing will directly benefit over 37,000 children, youth, teachers, and parents in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

Microsoft YouthSpark: Empowering Youth to Change Their World
Commitment by: Microsoft
Partner(s): Year Up, The Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship, City Year, Inc., Junior Achievement, Boys and Girls Club of America, Silatech, Takingitglobal, Globalgiving, Accenture LLP, International Youth Foundation

In 2012, Microsoft committed to creating YouthSpark, a new company-wide, global initiative that will generate opportunities for 350 million youth in more than 100 countries over the next three years. YouthSpark will be seeded with $100 million of Microsoft’s corporate philanthropy budget to build partnerships with governments, businesses, and civil-society organizations. Together, Microsoft and its partners will broaden digital literacy education, provide training on advanced technologies, and increase youth employability through business and entrepreneurial instruction, The current global youth population of 1.2 billion is twice as likely to be unemployed as adults and they comprise 25% of the working poor. By helping them secure greater opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship, Microsoft’s YouthSpark will empower the world’s young people to imagine and realize their full potential.

Building Prosperity and Resilience in Highly Fragile States
Commitment by: Nuru International
Partner(s): Locus Initiative, Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG)

In 2015, Nuru International committed to scale its integrated rural development model to a highly fragile state in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nuru develops local cooperatives that equip rural farming households with agronomic training, access to finance for seeds and fertilizer, health services, and education services. Fragile states often receive humanitarian and military aid, but do not receive integrated interventions that can catalyze true development. By combining its development model, which has been piloted and proven in Kenya and Ethiopia, with its security expertise, Nuru’s commitment will demonstrate that sustainable development programs can be implemented in areas largely untouched by the international development community. The target country for this project will be Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, or Niger, determined following completion of an ongoing assessment.

@scale: financially empowering women through smartphones
Commitment by: Tata Communications
Partner(s): Mastercard, Trickle Up, Tone, Kiva, Accion, The Hidary Foundation

In 2015, Tata Communications and its partners, as part of a larger vision to empower 100 million women in developing countries, committed to enable 25,000 women to access transformative mobile platforms over two years. Three billion people will join the online world over the next decade primarily from the developing world. In this context, the potential for impact of financial inclusion and mobile platforms, coupled with the rapid spread of high-speed wireless networks and a precipitous drop in the cost of handsets, can catalyze social and economic change at an unprecedented scale. Tata Communications will take a non-linear implementation approach, utilizing the reach of women empowerment programs implemented by MFIs and NGO partners. Beginning in Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Nigeria, these partners will leverage the mobile platforms to provide expanded economic opportunities for women.

Elbi: Little Digital Actions that Can Mean Big Change
Commitment by: Elbi
Partner(s): Coaches Across Continents, Save the Children USA, Glasswing, GreenWave, SolarAid, Smile Train, Oceana, GoodWeave, Africa School Assistance Project, Amref USA, Conservation International, Wetlands International, Family for Every Child

In 2015, Elbi committed to launching a global online ecosystem in which NGOs of all sizes can connect with users to share interactive experiences, generate awareness, and build ongoing relationships. The app will launch in September 2015 with 13 pilot NGOs, enabling even smaller organizations to develop engaging digital content and an effective online presence, something many are unable to do as they lack the necessary IT resources or capacity. Elbi’s users will be drawn primarily from the millennial generation, capitalizing on their robust online engagement and allowing them to contribute to global causes through both content sharing and financial support. The app will be available on smartphones, feature phones, and will have the capability to collect updates from the field even when the phone is offline for uploading upon reconnection to the network. Through this app, Elbi is enabling easier connections between NGOs doing inspiring work on the ground and a community who will easily be engaged in learning about and supporting their work.

Open For Business: Global Companies Supporting LGBT Inclusion
Commitment by: Brunswick Group
Partner(s): Brunswick, EY, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Linklaters, MasterCard, Standard Chartered, Thomson Reuters, Arcus Foundation

In 2015, Brunswick Group, in collaboration with EY, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Linklaters, MasterCard, Standard Chartered, and Thomson Reuters, committed to launch Open for Business, a consortium that will promote a positive business and economic case for the inclusion of LGBT people. Discrimination against LGBT people has economic consequences to nations, companies, and individuals, including lower productivity and lower economic output. This is a challenge for businesses working to apply inclusive values in the 77 repressive or discriminatory countries worldwide. In September 2015, O4B will publish a comprehensive business and economic argument for global LGBT inclusion that draws together in one report the many strands of research on inclusion-based economic growth, performance, and productivity. Over the next two years, participating companies will utilize this research to engage local business leaders in learning about inclusion-based business performance. By establishing a proven case that successful, enterprising businesses thrive in diverse, inclusive societies, O4B will engage global influencers, train local advocates, and raise the profile of these efforts among policy makers.

Business Coalition for Global Workplace Fairness
Commitment by: Human Rights Campaign
Partner(s): AT&T Inc., CA Technologies Inc.,, Symantec Corp., Microsoft

In 2015, the Human Rights Campaign committed to creating, housing, and engaging the Business Coalition for Global Workplace Fairness. Launching with partners AT&T, CA Technologies,, and Symantec Corporation, this new consortium of global companies will establish workplace non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community worldwide. In 2002, HRC launched the world’s first LGBT corporate benchmarking report, the Corporate Equality Index (CEI). It now includes 800 major employers and recognizes the equality and inclusion efforts of private sector, often significantly ahead of global lawmakers. HRC will add a mandate on globalizing LGBT protections to the CEI, holding companies accountable to standards of global practice. In support of this, the coalition will engage a total of 50 companies over the next two years, and will meet regularly to share approaches to achieving global workplace inclusion, address challenges, strategize on how to engage on-the-ground resources to better serve their employees in-country, and offer communal public commitments to standards of non-discrimination. HRC will showcase this commitment and house the resources that facilitate the exchange of private sector learning and information, bolstering in-country advocacy and economic opportunity for the LGBT community worldwide.

Coalition to Improve Parental Workplace Support Practices
Commitment by: Danone US, EY, Nestlé, Barclays, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), American Academy of Pediatrics
Partner(s): Cornell University

In 2015, a coalition of experts and leading companies, spearheaded by Danone US and including EY, Nestlé, Barclays, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Cornell University committed to implement a range of parental workplace support practices that ultimately improve health, development, and economic outcomes for both families and companies. These practices around parental workplace support range from transformative strategies, such as longer paid parental leave, to more modest yet highly meaningful ones, such as providing transition support training. Specifically, Danone US will extend its paid maternity leave to six months (including in the case of adoption, surrogacy and primary care givers within same sex couples), EY is developing a campaign to encourage men to take their full paid leave and increasing the percentage of parents participating in a career and family transitions coaching program, Nestlé will study the impact of its new maternity policy by conducting internal analysis on retention rates of new mothers, KKR will improve its policies and resources for those employees who choose to breastfeed through a series of efforts designed to advance the tools and resources available to nursing mothers and expand its US Adoption Assistance Program, Barclays will provide more flexible return-to-work policies, AAP will provide access to existing educational tools and resources to the companies making this commitment, and Cornell will provide the expertise of faculty, academics, and staff in the areas of global maternal and infant health to commitment-making organizations.

Building Healthy Communities: World’s First WELL City District
Commitment by: Delos
Partner(s): Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture of Cascade Investment, LLC and Jeff Vinik, City of Tampa

In 2015, Delos partnered with Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture of Cascade Investment, LLC and Jeff Vinik, and the City of Tampa to develop the world’s first WELL City District in Tampa, Florida. This inaugural implementation of the WELL Community Standard will serve as the “beta test” for the standard, which will then be available as the pilot for community-scale projects around the world. WELL Master Plan compliance will provide a pathway for development teams to put forward their best ideas and show how their future visions are in alignment with the WELL Community Standard. Delos’ performance-based approach will enable teams to test how their projects are successfully complying with the standard. Metrics and practical implementation strategies for a real-world setting are already under development. The City of Tampa and its mayor, Bob Buckhorn, will be deeply engaged in the project’s development.


About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,400 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

In addition to the Annual Meeting, CGI convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States; and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. This year, CGI also convened CGI Middle East & Africa, which brought together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.

For more information, and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at