Clinton Global Initiative: Empty Gift Bags and Global Give Back

Clinton Global Initiative: Empty Gift Bags and Global Give Back

Today I attended the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in NYC. It's my second year attending. In many ways, it's similar to other conferences, with plenary sessions, breakouts, networking, etc. In other ways, it's unique. To begin with, as former President Clinton said in his speech to us, "This is the only conference you'll ever attend where the gift bags are empty." Because CGI provides its members with the chance to give to others.

There is a great deal of power at CGI. More than 60 current and former heads of state, 500 business leaders, and 400 leaders from NGOs and philanthropic organizations from 84 countries attend.

As at most conferences, the real deal making happens outside of the sessions. What makes this conference different is that the pitching and buying is among NGOs and philanthropists/funders. And the matchmaker between the NGOs and funders is President Clinton and CGI. In fact, one of the great success stories we heard today was Global Give Back Circle.

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