Wednesday, September 23, 2009

President Obama emphasizes the importance of service at the Clinton Global Initiative

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts from ICP’s Summer of Service Fellow, Josh Truitt, from the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

I have the honor of spending most of this week at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York City. CGI brings together world leaders from government, nonprofits and the private sector to discuss solutions to some of our world’s most pressing challenges. Sixty current and former heads of state, 500 business leaders and 400 leaders of NGOs are in attendance.

President Obama addressed the CGI meeting on Tuesday, September 22 as part of the Opening Plenary. In his introduction President Clinton emphasized President Obama’s experience as a community organizer, telling the room full of philanthropists from around the globe that “It’s a good thing to have a President with an NGO background.”

President Obama’s speech emphasized the importance of service. He told the meeting, “You don’t have to hold public office to be a public servant. Anyone can do it.”

President Obama linked community and national service with the work of philanthropists. He discussed expanding the number of AmeriCorps national service members from 75,000 to 250,000 per year and the creation of the Social Innovation Fund which will leverage federal funding to identify and grow proven and new ideas that address community issues. The President also identified links between efforts to expand national service in the US and the Clinton Global Initiative’s work, which promotes innovation internationally and focuses on supporting service in communities with the most need.

The President continued, “Real progress doesn’t just come from the top down, from government. It comes from the bottom up, from people.” Similarly, at Innovations in Civic Participation, we believe in the power of young people to create innovative solutions to social challenges through engagement in their communities, and that it is the responsibility of governments, private and nonprofit sector organizations to support and promote the most successful approaches. In particular, ICP promotes a positive view of young people that recognizes their potential to create beneficial and lasting social change in their communities through active participation in service opportunities.

Please check back for updates about other inspiring and influential speakers at the meeting as we look forward to discussing the importance of youth civic engagement in solving some of the world’s most critical needs.

1 comment:

Nina said...

Here is information about an amazing way to turn President Obama's words into actions and serve the world:

Paid, Overseas Fellowship Positions with Atlas Corps

Atlas Service Corps seeks nonprofit leaders from around the world to apply for their 2010-2011 fellowship positions in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD and Bogota, Colombia. Expenses are paid in this prestigious fellowship program, including a living stipend, health insurance, and training. Applicants must have 3 or more years of experience in the nonprofit sector, a college degree, fluency in English (and Spanish if applying to volunteer in Colombia), and a commitment to return to their home country after one year. Candidates from outside the U.S. are placed at outstanding host organizations in Washington, DC or Baltimore, MD including Ashoka, Asian American LEAD, CentroNía, Grameen Foundation, and Population Action International. Candidates from the U.S. are placed at organizations in Bogota like Global Humanitaria and Oxfam GB. In addition to volunteering full time at their host organizations, Fellows are enrolled in a management development training program and join a growing network of nonprofit leaders from around the world. For more details about eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit: http://www.atlascorps.org/apply.html and watch a short video about the application process here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx63RKbqoKY. The deadline to apply is November 20, 2009.

 

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