This weekend, more than 1,000 college and university students from across the country and around the world came together at the University of Chicago for the 11th annual CGI University (CGI U) meeting, making more than 700 Commitments to Action to address this generation’s most pressing challenges.
New commitments this year include efforts to combat the opioid crisis in the United States by building an online platform to reduce stigma and provide access to the overdose medication, naloxone; promoting maternal health in Vietnam by developing a week-long reproductive education series for women led by health care professionals; and combating climate change by encouraging Nigerians to use public transportation though a mobile application.
While speaking at the Closing Plenary, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton urged students to work collaboratively to make a difference, “We have to keep doing what CGI U represents – which is to bring people together who want to be part of solving problems, who want to bring their talent and their energy and their optimism to that task.”
In the lead up to the CGI U meeting, students had the opportunity to participate in a two-day “Codeathon” event co-hosted by CGI U, the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery, and the Clinton Climate Initiative. Students were challenged to develop digital tools that can increase the effectiveness of response and recovery efforts following natural disasters.
The winning team, Basic Aid Outreach (BAO), recognized at the closing plenary, created a platform that leverages existing social networks, the power of AI, and crowdsourced data to empower local volunteers and agencies to take the lead in delivering aid to victims of natural disasters in Southeast Asia.
CGI U students at this year’s meeting also participated in the Resolution Social Venture Challenge. A collaboration between Clinton Global Initiative University and The Resolution Project, this competition provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters. A total of $50,000 was awarded to winning projects, which address a wide range of challenges participants have observed firsthand in their communities, including special education in Chicago Public Schools, menstrual hygiene in Ghana, food waste in India, and much more.