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Why Clinton Global Initiative is Needed now

Clinton Global Initiative

Why Clinton Global Initiative is required

President Bill Clinton entered the stage at the Clinton Global Initiative’s inaugural plenary on Monday with his trademark smile and a wave to the audience (CGI). CGI was back for the first time since 2016! And you could feel the enthusiasm. 
The former president opened the gathering with motivational words, stressing that it was time to get back to work and concentrate on the difficult “how” questions in order to advance on our most urgent challenges. However, he asserted that the way forward would be paved jointly by drawing on the transformative potential of what he called “creative cooperation” and uniting around CGI’s new slogan of “doing action together.”

Clinton Global Initiative

A unique occasion

In 2007, Rick Fedrizzi and I had the opportunity to attend our first CGI together. Rick had been collaborating closely on sustainable building initiatives with President Clinton at the time. I still recall the program’s top page, which quoted Judith Rodin, the director of the Rockefeller Foundation at the time. Partnership is the new leadership, she said in a remark that appeared to leap off the page. It was undoubtedly a good example of what CGI was all about: motivating us to work together, have higher dreams, and accomplish more. And I had never been to anything like CGI before that point. It was a unique occasion. 
CGI, which was founded on a strong collaborative attitude, swiftly became a top platform where revolutionary cooperative activity was prominently displayed every year. The event established and, in many ways, revolved around commitments to action, a new currency based on acting and being responsible for our intents to change the world. Each commitment to action was based on concrete, measurable, and time-bound standards while also being intended to create and accelerate change. Quite remarkably, CGI has today supported more than 3,700 such pledges, which have a global impact of 435 million people. 
President Clinton made one of those vows to action, a bold plan to permanently alter how we think about buildings and health, on the main stage at CGI almost precisely ten years ago. He spoke on the purpose to improve health and well-being via structures and organizations and our dedication to developing the WELL Building Standard. According to the news release announcing the commitment, “The WELL Construction Standard is the only building standard in the world completely focused on people’s health and wellness.” With the release of the first version of the WELL Building Standard by IWBI at the end of 2014, that pledge was fully fulfilled two years later (WELL). Today, more than 100 organisations across 125 countries are using WELL. 
This year, a significant portion of CGI’s programming and a number of its keynote speakers concentrated on pressing issues in global health, such as health equity, mental health, the link between planetary and human health, and the significance of elevating health across the ESG landscape, which are all closely related to IWBI’s mission. 
Speakers in a significant session on the “Future of Health” discussed what must be done to better horizon-plan for the ensuing wave of global health concerns and how to ensure that our solutions reach those who need them the most. How to get ready for and stop the next pandemic was discussed in another executive session. These discussions were led by a number of well-known global health leaders and specialists, including billionaire Melinda French Gates, head of the U.N.

Only equity is a valid objective.

The theme of working together to achieve equity resounded loud and clear throughout the event, penetrating not only the commitments made there but also how we will approach our future problems. Paul Farmer, the late champion of global health and founder of Partners in Health, represented this message in many ways. Paul Farmer’s wife Didi Bertrand Farmer and the Clinton family gave a moving homage to him and his lifetime of work promoting social justice and universal access to high-quality healthcare during a plenary session. Paul would often declare, “Equity is the only goal that is acceptable in this great effort.”