NEW YORK – The Clinton Global Initiative 2023 will convene “leaders, innovators and dreamers” – ranging from World Bank President Ajay Banga and The Bahamas’ Prime Minister Philip E. Davis to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres and Ford Foundation CEO Darren Walker, as well as A-list actors Orlando Bloom, Matt Damon, and Ashley Judd – in New York on Sept. 18 and 19 to keep up the momentum addressing global issues generated by the conference when it returned last year after a six-year hiatus.
Former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton announced Monday that the conference would seek more commitments to address climate change, health care issues, gender-based violence, the war in Ukraine and other issues.
“Every day, billions of people around the world, even in the face of the most dire circumstances, make a profound decision to choose hope and keep going,” former President Bill Clinton told The Associated Press in an emailed statement. “At CGI, we’re focusing on how to move forward in the face of daunting challenges—to act now, find new partners, and stick with it to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
At the Clinton Global Initiative, or CGI, in 2022, more than 140 commitments were announced, including the $1 billion plan from Water.org, co-founded by Damon, to help 100 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America get lasting access to water and sanitation. Damon is set to return to CGI in September to further discuss the issue.
Carolina García Jayaram, CEO of the Elevate Prize Foundation, told The Associated Press that she is also set to return to the conference to announce the nonprofit’s next winner of The Elevate Prize Catalyst Award. Last year, the foundation presented the award to Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai at CGI.
“One very important thing I love about CGI -- and I think Malala really embodied it so powerfully – is the idea of making a real-time commitment on the stage and challenging the people in the audience, both in person and remotely, to do the same,” Jayaram said. “And I think being in the room with so many changemakers and leaders who are making those commitments in real time is almost infectious. It catalyzes more and more people to do the same. That’s unique to the CGI formula.”
Bringing together leaders in politics, business and philanthropy in one place can help bring new solutions to light, said Jayaram, whose foundation is one of the conference sponsors this year, alongside corporations like Cisco, JetBlue and Pfizer, as well as other nonprofits, including The EKTA Foundation, Fondation Botnar, and Global Education Foundation.
Though CGI maintains an international focus, it will include appearances from governors Maura Healey, from Massachusetts, Kathy Hochul, from New York, Wes Moore, from Maryland, and J.B. Pritzker, from Illinois, as well as Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. Oscar-winning directors The Daniels, artist Ai Weiwei, supermodel Karlie Kloss, and television host and author Padma Lakshmi will also be on hand, along with David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, and Catherine Russell, executive director of UNICEF.
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