Recently philanthropy made headline news when Bill Gates and WarrenBuffett challenged the world’s top 40 billionaires to join them indonating at least 50% of their wealth to philanthropy at some point intheir lifetime. Published reports show many people are accepting thischallenge.
However, there still remains a critical role for allcompanies, private foundations and individuals to help improve the lives of others. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton recognized an opportunity five years ago to enhance philanthropy through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) program, where he assembles the world’s leaders annually to focus their philanthropy and help answer the burning question of how can webetter address the challenges facing our world? Simply put, throughstronger global partnerships we can be more effective in improvingpeople’s lives.
Since its inception five years ago the CGI hashelped create 1700 Commitments (partnerships of nonprofits and funders)valued at $57 Billion and improved the lives of almost 300 millionpeople. Commitments are made in areas of Environment and Energy,Education, Economic Empowerment, and Global Health. This year the 2010Action Areas of emphasis inside the four categories are Empowering Girls and Women, Strengthening Market Based Solutions, Harnessing HumanPotential, and Enhancing Access to Modern Technology.
I wasfortunate to represent Applied Materials and the Applied MaterialsFoundation at this year’s annual conference in New York City thatbrought together over 1,300 leaders in philanthropy, including heads ofstate. I was really impressed to see that several social entrepreneurswho have been honored by the Tech Awards, an awards program that honors innovators from around the world who areapplying technology to benefit humanity, which Applied help found andsponsor were also partners in CGI commitments.
CGI is an excellent venue to help social entrepreneurs find the right funding partners tohelp scale their business and perhaps find expanded distributionnetworks as well. It is clearly evident that the magnetism of BillClinton as a global leader remains strong and vibrant as he uses theglobal reach of his legacy to bring together solutions for some of theworld’s greatest challenges. Not only does Clinton provide inspirationfor Gates, Buffet and other billionaires, but he also encourages all ofus to engage in changing the world for good – at whatever level we can.
Visit the CGI web site for more information and to see highlights of this year’s conference. You’ll be glad you did.
For more information on Applied Materials and our philanthropic efforts please visit our web site.