Olena Zelenska, Pope Francis, Michael J. Fox, Ai Wei Wei, Eddie Ndopu, Padma Lakshmi, and More: 14 Voices That Inspired Us to ‘Keep Going’ at #CGI2023

Leadership & Public Service | Clinton Global Initiative

This September, the Clinton Global Initiative gathered once again for its annual meeting. Timed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly and Climate Week, participants explored what it takes to keep going — to maintain and advance progress, in spite of the difficulties that arise, and increase our capacity to cross the divides and make common cause with one another wherever possible to build a stronger future.

At the meeting, world leaders launched more than 160 new “Commitments to Action” that will drive progress on climate change, relief and humanitarian response in Ukraine, the global refugee crisis, the rights of women and girls, global food insecurity, the care economy, and much more.

Here are just a few of the moments that inspired us:


His Holiness Pope Francis joined President Bill Clinton to discuss the urgent need to act on climate change and our collective responsibility to come together in the face of difficulty.

Michael Douglas reminded us that every day is a choice. It is the power of what we do with that choice — our commitment to act — that drives the Clinton Global Initiative community to keep going in their work to change the world.

First Lady Olena Zelenska received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for her extraordinary leadership amid unimaginably difficult circumstances and for being a forceful advocate for peace and a relentless champion of her determined people.

Dwyane Wade, Alok Vaid-Menon, and Qween Jean exposed the role each of us can play in defending and advancing the equal human, economic, and social rights of LGBTQ+ people globally.

Michael J. Fox shared a powerful message on sustaining gratitude and optimism after receiving the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award, which recognizes prominent individuals who use their influence to inspire social action.


Reverend Dr. William Barber delivered an impassioned plea to CGI 2023 attendees to “keep on keepin’ on.”

Artist Ai Weiwei issued a powerful call for freedom while emphasizing the need to keep going — together — to address the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, refugee crises, and more.


Reshma Saujani emphasized the value of investing in working moms as part of an announcement of a new CGI pillar to protect the rights of women and girls.


Hillary Clinton, Jodie Ginsberg, Almar Latour, Dana Perino, and Jason Razaian participated in a conversation on defending freedom of the press worldwide.


Disability rights activist Eddie Ndopu reminded us there is no contradiction between being disabled and productive, valuable, and fabulous.

Padma Lakshmi shared what’s at stake in the global food security crisis — including dignity, culture, and connection.


Chelsea Clinton issued a powerful stance on the state of women’s reproductive rights, refusing to allow a more restrictive future for her daughter and girls worldwide.

Louise Mabulo took her well-earned “seat at the table” and shared her hopes for a food secure future with President Clinton, José Andrés, World Food Programme Chief Cindy McCain, and President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi


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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary Clinton explored the economic case for investing in people.

Launched by President Clinton in 2005, CGI has built a community of doers who are taking action to make a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world. Since 2005, more than 10,000 partners from across the public and private sectors have made more than 4,000 Commitments to Action that are making a difference in the lives of more than 500 million people in 180 countries.

You can catch up on all of these moments and more through our Digital Experience, where more than 40 sessions are available on demand. Watch at clintonglobal.org/2023