Big ideas win Clinton seal of approval

Nine Edinburgh students have been invited to take part in a global conference hosted by the Clinton Foundation

The conference is hosted by former US President Bill Clinton, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton.

The Clinton Global Initiative University meeting at Arizona State University encourages students to create Commitments to Action – new, specific and measurable plans to address some of the world’s most pressing concerns.

The students were invited to attend the event by addressing global environmental challenges through community-based projects in Edinburgh.

Commitments include an urban beekeeping project; a bicycle leasing scheme for students; an urban nature project; and an initiative to create links between Scottish and Tanzanian Schools.

The successful students attending the three day Clinton Global Initiative University conference, which begins today are Anna Brand, Kathie Pollard and Emily Gubbini; Max Greenberg and Paul Togneri; Ross Pirie, Kaisa Pietila and Laurene Bellevaux; and Paul Iannetta.

The commitments are supported by the University of Edinburgh’s Global Academies. The initiative aims to equip students with skills and knowledge through a range of world-leading interdisciplinary postgraduate degrees.

Since its inaugural meeting in 2008, the CGI U has brought together more than 5,500 students from 130 countries.

Clinton Global Initiative University attendees have made more than 4,000 commitments.  Projects have included the manufacture of low cost wheelchairs for developing countries, providing drinkable water in disaster zones, and a mobile app that identifies counterfeit drugs.

Edinburgh has committed £10,000 to fund the students’ attendance at the event and to support their commitments.

The University of Edinburgh joined the CGI U  network, a consortium of more than 55 colleges and universities, following the presentation of an honorary degree to President Bill Clinton last year.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh Principal, said: ‘Edinburgh’s partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University provides a great opportunity for these students.  Through the support of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Academies programme the group will focus on improving worldwide health, education, poverty and climate change.  This recognises and develops Edinburgh’s aim of forging links with partner institutions and organisations on a global scale.’   

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