President Caruso Attends the Clinton Global Initiative University

AUNE President David Caruso, ES student Michael Goudzwaard, and Antioch University LA President Neal King.

AUNE President David Caruso, ES student
Michael Goudzwaard, and Antioch University LA
President Neal King.

David Caruso and Mike Goudzwaard met with faculty, staff, and students on May 5 for a discussion about the Clinton Global Initiative Conference. Attendees learned about the commitments David and Mike made and provided input on future projects that AUNE could undertake to benefit Haiti.

Antioch University New England (AUNE) President David Caruso participated in the Clinton Global Initiative University and attended the annual meeting at the University of Miami on April 16 through 18.

Founded in 2007 by former President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) brings together student leaders and university officials from around the world to develop practical new solutions to pervasive global problems. Prior to participation, each member must create, commit to, and submit a specific, individual action plan to meet a local or global challenge in one of five focal areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

“Now, more than ever, the world needs young leaders willing to work for positive change,” said Dr. Caruso. “On behalf of AUNE, I am accepting President Clinton’s challenge to improve the lives of people in our own communities and around the world.”

At the CGI U meeting, AUNE made a twelve-month commitment to environmental sustainability and food security. The university is dedicating $5,000 to sponsor a full-time AmeriCorps member through the New England AmeriCorps Sustainable Environmental Entrepreneurs Collaboration program. AUNE will also host the individual, who will work with the Cheshire County Conservation District’s local food initiative, which focuses on growers, distribution, and community education. This commitment builds on AUNE’s support of two earlier on-site AmeriCorps members who worked on the planning phase of the local food initiative throughout 2009-2010.

President Bill Clinton at the annual CGI U meeting

President Bill Clinton at the annual CGI U meeting.
Photo by Michael Goudzwaard.

Additionally, the university sponsored the conference attendance of environmental studies master’s degree student Michael Goudzwaard. Michael’s CGI U commitment is to expand a healthy cooking-stove project in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The new stoves help protect the rainforest by using 60 percent less wood, save fuel costs for families, improve working conditions for women, and help prevent respiratory diseases associated with indoor cooking fires. The stoves incorporate local materials, labor, and customs for a success rate of over 80 percent.

In addition, Michael hopes to partner with AUNE’s Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation to support community-based carbon sequestration projects in the Mesoamerican rainforest.

About the Clinton Global Initiative University
Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, former President Clinton launched CGI U in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. CGI hosted approximately 1,500 students, university presidents, and youth organizations at the University of Miami on April 16 through 18 for its third conference.

During the three-day meeting, attendees participated in forums and working sessions to find new ways to solve widespread global problems.

Beyond its annual meeting, CGI U is a growing community of young leaders. Throughout the year, and as a prerequisite of attending the CGI U Meeting, members develop a Commitment to Action. Since the inaugural meeting, nearly 1,000 commitments have been made by students, national youth organizations, and universities around the world. Commitments range from installing energy-efficient light bulbs and establishing bike-share programs on campuses to distributing life-saving water filtration kits and designing medical backpacks for nomadic doctors in Africa. As members implement their commitments, they are asked to report their progress back to CGI U.

Learn more about CGI U here.