Lehigh Alums Attend Clinton Global Initiative Event
By Johana Bhuiyan ‘13
Serena (Weijing) Yu ’11 volunteered at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting this past September in New York. Formed in 2005 by former president Bill Clinton, CGI aims to foster an environment for collaboration among global leaders to solve world issues. CGI invited speakers from across sectors to inspire and educate its members about this year’s theme, “Designing for Impact.”
Although Yu was primarily volunteering throughout the summit, she was able to attend a number of sessions and said she learned a multitude of lessons, including the importance of global collaboration.
“How can we help some undeveloped countries? What they need is not only the capital and donation from developed countries, but more important is that we have the right and talented people to initiate good projects to make use of the resources,” she said.
The discussion of the value of technology in developing global economic systems struck a chord with her, she said.
“Technology drives the business and development of economy,” she said. “As an economics major who concentrated on business information systems, I can see how technology can change an individual and a country.”
Yu wasn’t the only alum at CGI. Puja Parekh ’11 works for CGI, and she was responsible for fact-checking much of the content of the event.
“CGI really works toward taking a cross-sector approach to the way it solves global problems,” Parekh said. “Leaders from the economic sector, technology sector, environmental sector and so on come together to inspire members to continue their particular commitments while showing them how to create new and creative answers to the world’s problems.”
According to Parekh, member organizations and individuals are required to make a certain commitment, or promise, to impact a country or help relieve a global issue.
“The summit acts in part as a networking opportunity between members of CGI and people who are the leaders in their field,” Parekh said.
This year’s theme focused on “how the Clinton Global Initiative community can utilize our abundance of global capacity to invent better tools, build more effective interventions, and work creatively and collaboratively to design a future worth pursuing,” according to the CGI website.
“It’s really about how to more effectively use the tools that we do have while creating more tools to impact the world,” Parekh said.
Although Parekh was not involved in CGI during her years at Lehigh, she said she feels it’s very important for students like Yu to participate.
“It’s so important for students to be exposed to this type of environment where they’re constantly in touch and play a hand in creating change in the world and learning about it.”
Yu said she also feels it was a fruitful experience.
“It’s a great way to learn the social and economic topics of the world,” she said. “It helps me learn what’s going on in the world now, who is trying to solve those problems and how people solve them.”
December 6, 2012