Editor’s Note: CGI U is a growing community of young leaders who don’t just discuss global challenges–they take real, concrete steps toward solving them. Throughout the year, and as a prerequisite of attending the CGI U meeting, students develop their own Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable initiatives that address pressing challenges on campus, in local communities, or around the world. Commitments range from manufacturing wheelchairs for developing countries to establishing campus bike share programs, from creating free vision clinics to developing e-learning applications for mobile phones. Since 2008, students have made more than 6,250 Commitments to Action, and nearly $3 million in funding has been awarded to these commitment-makers through CGI U.
Taken from clintonfoundation.org
Below is an outline of the University Network process and timeline.
1. Members of the university learn more about the University Network, and the university formally joins the network. While this process may be managed by any university administrator or faculty member, membership in the CGI University Network must be approved by the school’s administration.
2. The university assigns a CGI U liaison who serves as the point of contact for CGI U, along with at least one staff or faculty member who can serve as the on-campus mentor(s) for student commitment-makers.
3. The university’s liaison and mentor(s) receive a resource guide with information on how to encourage students to apply for the CGI U meeting, assist students in preparing their CGI U applications, and support students as they develop and carry out their Commitments to Action. CGI U staff members are also available as resources to the university, and one university representative is encouraged to attend an orientation at the Clinton Global Initiative’s office in New York City in the late summer.
4. CGI University Network members encourage their students to apply online to attend the CGI U meeting. Each year, this meeting brings together more than 1,000 college students to make Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable initiatives that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. All currently enrolled students (undergraduate or graduate) 18 years of age or older are eligible to participate in CGI U.
5. At CGI U’s discretion, students are invited to attend the CGI U meeting. These decisions are made by CGI U staff based on the strength of each student’s application and the quality of his or her commitment.
6. CGI U provides network universities with a list of students who have been accepted to attend the CGI U meeting from their respective schools, and provides details on each student’s Commitment to Action.
7. At its discretion, the university provides at least $10,000 in total funding to a select group of these student commitment-makers. At least 50 percent of the funds must be allocated as seed funding for student commitments, while 50 percent may be reserved to fund student travel to the CGI U meeting. Before the meeting, CGI U will solicit a report from the university’s CGI U liaison on the distribution of travel funding and the expected allocation of commitment funding.
8. Students and one representative from the university’s faculty or administration attend the CGI U meeting, which is traditionally held in the spring. CGI U students and universities are considered for a wide range of external publicity opportunities. Coverage of CGI U 2015 included more than 100 digital and print stories and content partnerships. CGI U and student commitment-makers have been featured in outlets including The TODAY Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Wall Street Journal, PARADE Magazine, The Colbert Report, CNN, The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Fusion, Forbes, MSNBC, and TIME.com. In addition to external press features, students may be featured at CGI U through on-stage commitment announcements, progress report videos, student keynote addresses, or participation in the CGI U Commitments Challenge. Members of the University Network are also highlighted online at cgiu.org.
9. The on-campus mentor(s) supports CGI U students from the university and guides them through the implementation of their commitments.
10. At the end of the academic year, the university provides CGI U with a final report on student funding, and has the opportunity to renew its membership in the University Network.
11. In the fall, CGI U solicits progress reports from all CGI U commitment-makers.