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Insights from the Clinton Global Initiative University

As reported last month, I got to know many inspiring people during the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations conferences. One of them is Kritika from India. Today I am glad that Kritika is sharing her experience with the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation with us.

Kritika Joon
Age: 21
University: University of Delhi
Field of study: B.Sc. (Honors) Computer Science

[elbenomic]: Hi Kritika. You just returned from Arizona State University to participate in the 7th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U). Can you briefly explain our readers how you got to know about this initiative and what it is about?

[Kritika]: Hello! Clinton Global Initiative University has been the BEST experience of my life so far. I had the opportunity to discuss vital issues that are affecting the world in today’s time with notable personalities like President Bill Clinton, Secretary Hilary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Senator John McCain, Jimmy Kimmel, Bunker Roy to name a few. Besides this I had the opportunity to network with inspiring young minds from across the globe, who are working so hard to make world a better place. The feeling was incredible.

I had heard about CGI U while checking out information about the Hult Prize, wherein I noticed Clinton Global Initiative and further got to know about CGI U. Then I applied.

CGI U is an extension of the Clinton Global Initiative. Each year CGI U hosts a meeting where students, youth organizations, topic experts come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Global change makers make their own Commitment to Action – new, specific and measurable initiatives that address pressing challenges on campus, in local communities and around the world.

CGI U is more than just an event. It’s a growing community of young leaders who don’t just discuss global challenges but take real, concrete steps in solving them.

 

CGI U requires applicants to make a “Commitment to Action”. What does this mean and what was your commitment?

At CGI U every attendee has to make his or her own Commitment to Action (either in a team or individual). These commitments focus on global as well as local issues and these students work to turn their ideas into action, which can change, lives and help the communities in need.

CGI U is a proof that young people have the power to make a significant impact by confronting some of the world’s most urgent challenges. Since 2008, students have made more than 4,500 Commitments to Action and nearly $2 million in funding has been awarded to these commitment makers through CGI U.

My Commitment to Action is – Millennium Forward Asia Meet.

‘”Millennium Forward Asia Meet – Leverage Youth Engagement in Global Issues” is an international conference, which gathers student social entrepreneurs across Asian countries in university context to build a concrete supporting network, share, inspire and foster Closer Corporation in a way to accelerate the achievement in Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations.

As aspiring students we are driven by the passion to expand our horizons, explore and exploit our opportunities in the hopes of creating a positive change that will create an impact in the world.

The power of collaboration in today’s world is tremendous and we are encouraged to do more project integration and collaboration to give greater social impact. The conference plans to gather our impact report and summarize it to let the world, especially the United Nations, see that our work is influential and include the youth like us, the university students in their social developmental goals in the future.’

I am working on this project with friends from Hong Kong right now.

 

What do you think are the most pressing issues in your home country?

India has several complex issues from poor wealth distribution, government regulations, caste-based politics, and bureaucratic red tape system. These are the most critical development issues faced by India.

Corruption is harming our government in all possible ways. Lack of empathy, bad governance causes corruption. Also, poverty and inequality, which are both prevalent in India, further helps in reinforcing corruption.

Also, India has a huge population; we need to scale up our systems like housing, sewage, electricity, education, and transportation to a much better quality.

Women Empowerment is another issue where India is lacking behind and needs to work upon. There are several challenges that are currently plaguing the issues of women’s rights in India like education, health and safety.

 

Thank you, Kritika. If you want to learn more about CGI U please visit their cgiu.org.

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