By Nabeeha M. Kazi, Managing Director Humanitas Global and former staff member of the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative.
This week, Humanitas Global will join more than 1,000 participants from across sectors to attend the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York. Millions more will have the opportunity to participate online. CGI kicks off at 9 a.m. US Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, September 24.
During a week when the world's leaders descend upon New York for the UN General Assembly, CGI's 2013 theme of Mobilizing for Impact is an important reminder that to make development work, all hands must be on deck. This year's convening reinforces that we must take each others' strengths and scale them as we promote peace, health and sustainable prosperity for all.
Regardless of how one feels about CGI, or the Clintons for that matter, one thing is clear - no other individual or entity has the power to convene, inspire and mobilize the way President Clinton can independently and through his family's foundation. CGI is a place where new ideas have emerged. It is a place where fires are lit for action and traction as we tackle development challenges. It is a place that embraces changemakers, innovators and unconventional thinkers and doers.
But the CGI annual meeting is one meeting, and we cannot overlook what happens next. We can't overlook the impact that money, ideas and voice have on improving the lives of the displaced and homeless, hungry, sick and poor. CGI is always an exciting meeting, but the stuff that sticks is when a CEO's commitment transforms lives; a president's very visible policy announcement builds up her countrypeople; and an NGO has new resources to expand its impact for the benefit of future generations.
CGI is about a deep commitment to people who suffer unnecessarily each and every day, and breaking the mold in a good way. While we may get star struck with the development gliterrati who we pass on our way to a CGI plenary session or various UN side events, we have to remember that this week is about the people who are voiceless. babies who are hungry and mothers who are sick. This week is about learning from each other, forging new partnerships, and demonstrating that when we mobilize the right people, resources, and experiences, we mobilize for impact.
Please tune in, push the conversation via social media, mobilize your own community leaders and take action locally. Our time is now.