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Clinton’s Philanthropic Summit for Global Prosperity

September 22, 2010

In addition to rounding up cash for investment ($57 billion of it to development projects over the last five years), the  Clinton Global Initiative can also round up people (more than 1,300 of them) to the CGI’s sixth Annual Meeting held this week in NYC. Attendees to the meeting included over 64 current and former heads of state, hundreds of CEOs of major companies, and leaders from the philanthropic world and non-governmental organizations.

Started in New York yesterday, this year’s annual meeting is focused largely on the following four main topic areas, or “Action Areas”:

  • Empowering Girls and Women
  • Strengthening Market-Based Solutions
  • Enhancing Access to Modern Technology
  • Harnessing Human Potential

Adhering to prior anticipation, the meeting began with a series of pledges to help millions of people in Pakistan, Haiti, and the US’s Gulf Coast. Eric Schmidt, Google Inc.’s CEO, pledged $1 million to help Pakistan recover from floods that devastated the country and a Web-based computer application that helps rescuers find people missing in natural disasters. NRG Energy Inc., of Princeton, New Jersey, pledged $1 million to install solar power for water pumps, schools, and street lighting in the town of Boucan Carre in Haiti. EarthEcho International committed to empower youth in the Gulf states and elsewhere through a new citizen journalism initiative. Many of the initiatives were focused on Haiti, the country to which Clinton is a UN  special envoy and  heads efforts to raise money for its  reconstruction.

Besides natural disasters, pledges were made for causes like governance, women empowerment, health and the environment.  Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, pledged $55 million to promote government transparency globally and mobile technology in developing countries. Muhtar Kent, chief executive of The Coca-Cola Company (KO.N), pledged to empower 5 million female entrepreneurs throughout the company’s global business system by 2020 by building on successful practices. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a $60 million public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation that focuses on creating a global market for clean cookstoves.

The summit will last through September 23, where and the highlights will be on strengthening market based solutions and enhancing access to modern technology. With the aim to bring together leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, CGI summit is heading to bring global community to addressing pertinent global issues and improving lives around the world. By the end of this summit, the global initiative will have collected over its five-year history 1,946 pledges worth more than $63 billion, quite an impressive amount.

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