What’s your commitment? How to become an effective change-maker.
Having a goal to change the world for the better is great. But what's more important, says Chelsea Clinton, is having a plan to make it happen.
Chelsea Clinton works to drive the vision and programmatic objectives of the Clinton Foundation.
As vice chair, Chelsea works alongside the Foundation's leadership and partners to help create greater opportunities for people to build better futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. Chelsea is a tireless advocate for expanding access to early childhood education, improving the health and well-being of Americans across the country, providing the next generation of young leaders with the resources they need to turn their ideas into action, and ensuring the empowerment of girls and women is a cross-cutting priority across all of the Foundation's programs and initiatives.
Chelsea also serves on the board of the Clinton Foundation's affiliated Clinton Health Access Initiative – which works to expand access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications and services in the developing world, as well as on the board of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation – a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, which works to empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits around food and physical activity.
Chelsea currently teaches at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital. In addition, Chelsea serves on the boards of the School of American Ballet, the Africa Center, IAC, Expedia, Clover Health, and the Weill Cornell Medical College. She is the co-chair of the Advisory Board of the Of Many Institute at NYU. Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford, a Master of Public Health from Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, and both a Master of Philosophy and a Doctorate in international relations from Oxford University.
Chelsea is the co-author, with Devi Sridhar, of Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? which examines the role of public-private partnerships in combating the spread of infectious diseases like AIDS and reducing pervasive chronic health problems like malnutrition. Chelsea is also the author of It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going – a book for young readers, ages 10-14 which explores some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and shares inspiring stories of young people who are already making a difference in their own communities and around the globe by tackling them in fun and creative way – and, She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World – a picture book that introduces tiny feminists, mini activists, and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.
She lives with her husband Marc, their daughter Charlotte, and their son Aidan in New York City.
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.
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.
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