I had the honor of attending this week’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter Meeting on behalf of the Coalition for Coffee Communities, a collaboration of Counter Culture Coffee, Farmer Brothers, Keurig Green Mountain, S&D Coffee and Tea, Starbucks and the Specialty Coffee Association of America, working together to address systemic vulnerabilities in and around coffee communities globally.
This was my first experience at CGI and I was unsure what to expect, though based on all I had read, the day would be full of inspiring dialogue and the opportunity to hear from former President Bill Clinton. What I did not expect was how dedicated to change the attendees truly are.
The theme of this year’s Winter Meeting was “the Future of Impact”. While that sounds similar to most conference themes, I left CGI convinced that its members and participants will build us a new future, one that shifts our standard approach to development. The bottom line for me, as someone who is hell bent on seeing change happen in my lifetime such that our poorest global citizens are able to live more dignified, productive lives, is that the efforts underway by CGI are the real deal. There is no denying that the results are there, with more than 3,000 commitments made, and 430 million lives positively impacted over the last ten years. There are a few reasons for these achievements:
The cost to participate as a CGI member is high, and the importance around sticking to your commitment is critical, but the next ten years for CGI are poised to be as productive, if not more so, than the last ten years. I was honored to participate in the midst of such inspired leaders like Paul Polman and Jaqueline Novogratz and I hope to return again with commitment in hand.
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