CGI U FAQs
What is CGI?
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion.
To expand CGI's reach, President Clinton launched CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions for economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their communities and around the world.
What makes CGI U different from CGI?
Although CGI U operates with a similar "Commitment to Action" model as CGI, CGI U is dedicated to students and universities. Targeting a more specific sector, CGI U focuses on the distinct potential that young people and higher educational institutions have to make a difference on their campuses and around the world.
How do you decide who attends the CGI U meetings? What are your criteria?
We are looking for individuals who have innovative commitment ideas with concrete, detailed plans of action and passion and energy for a global issue. Each year, we hope to broaden the CGI U community to include a diverse group of students from a varied range of disciplines who all have the common goal to take action and make a difference.
Can I attend CGI U without making a commitment?
The CGI U meeting is about taking action. In order to attend, all applicants must make a commitment. Although there are many valuable conferences and gatherings that take place without such a requirement, the goal of CGI U is to bring together people with a plan and a passion to create positive change and take action.
What if my commitment doesn't neatly fit into one of your five focus areas?
We don't expect all commitments to fit squarely under one of CGI U's focus areas. In fact, education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health are often inextricably linked. However, as a way to form strategic networks around common issues, we ask that you select the global challenge area that is most relevant to your commitment.
What's the difference between individual and student group commitments?
Individual commitments are efforts that are spurred by a single individual who decides to take action on an issue of importance to him or her. (Example: I will reduce my personal carbon emissions by 50 percent over the next year.) A student group commitment is a commitment that, from the start, is a collaborative effort by a group of students. This effort could stem from a pre-existing student organization, or a group of students who come together around a CGI U commitment. (Example: We will reduce the carbon emissions of our dorm by 30 percent over the next year).
How do I recommend someone as a speaker for the CGI U meeting?
Please complete this form with detailed information about the individual and why they should serve as a speaker at CGI U.
Where will CGI U 2015 be?
CGI U 2015 will take place at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida from March 6-8, 2015.
How much does the meeting cost?
For all accepted applicants, this meeting is free. However, CGI U attendees must cover their own hotel and travel costs or apply for travel and lodging assistance on their applications. Travel and lodging assistance is only given out to a small percentage of accepted CGI U attendees with demonstrated financial need.
Is there a schedule for the event?
The CGI U 2015 meeting schedule will be posted shortly. You can browse the CGI U 2014 meeting agenda if you would like an initial sense of CGI U programming.
What are plenary and working sessions?
Click here to find out more about plenary and working sessions.
Will I be able to know who else is attending CGI U prior to the event?
Once all applicants are notified of their acceptances, they receive access to members-only social networking opportunities. Connecting with other attendees in your area can be useful for commitment brainstorming and sharing resources.
Can I bring a friend?
Unfortunately, CGI U can only accommodate accepted applicants. If you have a friend who is interested in attending, please encourage him or her to visit our website and apply.
If I can't make it at the last minute, can my friend go in my place?
We are unfortunately unable to accept last-minute substitutions for attendees, and can only accommodate the specific student who applied and was accepted. As there are many students who would like to attend CGI U, please keep this in mind when you are applying.
TRAVEL AND LODGING
How can I raise funds to attend and cover my travel costs?
We urge you to think creatively and resourcefully in order to raise the money to attend CGI U. This can begin with talking to your adviser, dean, or a friendly professor about the possibility of your school sponsoring you to attend the meeting.
Does CGI U provide lodging and transportation to attendees?
We encourage all applicants to complete the travel assistance portion of their applications for CGI U. We also negotiate room blocks at favorable rates with several hotels in the area where our meetings take place. There will also be an opportunity to request to share a hotel room with other attendees.
Additionally, we suggest you visit our members-only online community before the meeting to help facilitate carpooling to and from the event, and to find other people that may want to share a room.
Can I stay with a friend during the meeting?
Yes, you are welcome to stay with a friend. However, we strongly encourage you to stay near the campus or surrounding area for the duration of the event.
We will only be providing transportation from the hotels where we have reserved room blocks.
Does CGI U provide meals?
CGI U will provide meals for attendees for the duration of the meeting.
CGI UNIVERSITY NETWORK
What is the CGI University Network?
The CGI University Network is a growing consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor, and provide seed funding to leading student innovators and entrepreneurs on their respective campuses. To join the CGI University Network, a university must provide a minimum of $10,000 in funding to CGI U student attendees from its campus.
How can I encourage my university to join the CGI University Network?
Speak to members of the faculty and administration at your school to try to get them on board. You can find more information about the University Network here, which you can share with your contacts at your university. If a member of your university's administration is interested in discussing the CGI University Network, he or she can contact the CGI U team directly at (212) 710-4492 or by email at email@example.com.
Can I apply to CGI U if my university is not a part of the CGI University Network?
Yes, the CGI U meeting brings together students from hundreds of colleges and universities and more than 80 countries. As long as you are above the age of 18 and enrolled in an institution of higher education at the time of the meeting, you are eligible to apply to CGI U.
Can I get funding for my commitment or travel if my university is not part of the CGI University Network?
CGI U provides need-based travel assistance to a limited number of students to attend the CGI U meeting. You can apply for this assistance when you apply to attend CGI U. Students are encouraged to find additional commitment funding from a wide variety of outside sources. Tips for finding funding can be found in the CGI U Commitments Guide.
BEYOND THE MEETING
What happens after I make my Commitment to Action?
At the CGI U meeting, you will learn how to turn your ideas into action by engaging in topic-specific conversations, skill building sessions, and networking opportunities with youth organizations and other student commitment-makers. After the meeting, you can utilize commitment development resources available at cgiu.org, attend CGI U meet-ups in cities around the world, and stay connected with other students through CGI U Facebook and LinkedIn groups. The CGI U team will solicit formal progress reports from all CGI U attendees as they complete their commitments. We encourage you to keep us updated on your commitment progress by sharing your CGI U success stories.
What is a CGI U Commitment Mentor?
Commitment Mentors facilitate conversation, share resources, build community, and help CGI U participants refine their Commitments to Action through virtual communication and in-person meet-ups. Each CGI U commitment-maker is assigned a Commitment Mentor. Commitment Mentors are previous CGI U participants who have finished their undergraduate studies, demonstrated progress on their commitment, and have academic or field knowledge in one of CGI U's keyword areas. Commitment Mentors serve as an integral part of CGI U in a professional capacity.
What is a CGI U Campus Representative?
Campus Representatives work with students, youth organizations, and the university community to build awareness of CGI U on their respective campuses. These individuals are well acquainted with CGI U, as each Campus Rep has attended a previous CGI U meeting. Campus Reps have the opportunity to conduct campus outreach to spread the word about CGI U, organize recruitment events with interested students, help CGI U applicants develop their Commitments to Action, and submit their own Commitments to Action to attend the CGI U meeting.