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Beverly Schwartz, Vice-President of Global Marketing at Ashoka.
Each year at this time, world leaders from every sector—private, nongovernmental, academic, and everywhere in between—convene in New York City at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting. Former President Bill Clinton’s initial concept for the meeting is actually quite simple: bring together a diverse group of individuals dedicat ed to realizing positive, lasting change, and provide them with the enabling environment and inspiration to work together to turn their ideas into action. In short, the meeting is a time not only to develop a shared vision of the future, but also create tangible, measurable, and sustainable plans of action toward achieving that vision.
This year CGI invited us and Microsoft to develop and facilitate a pre-meeting workshop that would help non-profit, citizen sector leaders attending CGI make the most of the experience, leverage the participant network, and accelerate skills and knowledge. For the second straight year we were pleased to be partnering with Microsoft to present this session. Today, each participant was able to identify and articulate a unique value proposition that projects their organizational missions into the future, and think through ways in which information technology can help accelerate their vision and bringing to life their current and future value to other CGI members.
Additionally, this year four senior staff members of Ashoka will also be playing a mentorship role for all nonprofit leaders to help them work through their organizations’ strategic objectives and needs, as well as identify new connections and partnership opportunities during the course of the meeting. By working individually with these leaders, we can ensure that they make the most of their CGI experience. Our goal is to help participants seed innovative partnerships, develop new plans of action, leverage their impact, and enable everyone to fulfill their objectives for the meeting.
We know from experience that the value of these services is profound. Coming out of last year’s Annual Meeting, for example, Microsoft worked with Ashoka Fellow Hilmi Quraishi. This is just one of countless illustrations of the power of the CGI network to identify and instigate collaborations which advance worldwide innovative solutions and the type of partnerships Ashoka’s mentors will be helping nonprofit CGI members to create.
Microsoft is a critical partner in bringing to life this significant mentorship program, and we look forward to sharing numerous stories of change throughout the course of the CGI Annual Meeting and beyond. Stay tuned, and please join in the conversation!
Ashoka is the world’s leading community of social entrepreneurs and is actively building infrastructure for an “Everyone A Changemaker” world.