What’s your commitment? How to become an effective change-maker.

Activist, Public Health Professor

As an activist, public health professor, mom, author, and Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, Chelsea Clinton sure is pretty busy. Here, she explains to us that there is a divide between wanting to make the world a better place and actually having a direction and a unique goal to make it happen. In order to help others both see and meet their goals, the Clinton Foundation launched Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) to give mentorship to those looking to make positive change. This video, part one in a series, is a great introduction to CGI U and to Chelsea's overall worldview. You can find out more about CGI U right here.

  • Transcript


Chelsea Clinton: So here at CGI U we bring together a group of student activists and change makers every year to help them think about how to maximize the work that they’re already doing or the work that they feel called to do, whether that is tackling a challenge on their campus or in their local community or around the world. And we also hope that here at CGI U that we help foster a community of changemakers so that they can trade ideas, share ideas, learn from each other, help each other get better and support each other when those inevitable challenges come as kind of the rubber meets the road and the hard work of making a positive difference in the world may be just a little bit harder some days than others. 

One of the areas that we really focus on here at CGI U is to try to be a platform and a resource for our CGI U students and alums. 

We think that’s really important because we want the CGI U students not only to hopefully kind of feel more empowered and affirmed but themselves to then help democratize what they’ve learned through the CGI U process to other students, other friends, the younger siblings or the kids that they may themselves mentor now or in the future. 

And so what does that mean. 

Well helping CGI U students understand better and hopefully feel more connected and empowered to do what they themselves are doing but also to really understand why at CGI U we ask them to make a specific commitment to action. Why we ask them to articulate how they’ll measure progress against that commitment to action; Why we do think it’s really important that it be something new and not redundant or repetitive to something that someone else may already be trying to do to tackle that problem kind of in that space in that place at this moment in time. 

Because we hope if students understand better not only how to kind of do the work that they feel called to do but also why we focus on what we do here at CGI U they’ll be able to help support more people to be more effective change-makers today and in the future. 

I think that millennials and Gen Z often get a bad rap as being kind of disinterested, disengaged, disincentivized, more curious about what’s popping up on Instagram than the headline of the day. 

And we’ve heard critiques like that kind of for time immemorial. And yet thankfully for time immemorial young people have said no. I mean we’re not going to be defined by kind of your stigma of us. We’re going to be defined by kind of what we stand up for, what we fight for or what we do, what we push forward. 

And I certainly think all the students here at CGI U not only provide a robust case for optimism every year and every day, and the work that they do that I think really repudiate that. 

And so I think then the challenges for business leaders today or for kind of NGO leaders today or for people in government today is to recognize that maybe young people are communicating in a different way but they have profoundly valuable things to not only say but they’re doing valuable work today and we’ll all be better off if we have the humility and the openness to listen to learn alongside them and to support so many of them that are making a really very real important difference already and will do so even more in the future.