D.C. - NOVEMBER 5th
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The Case Foundation
in Washington, D.C., founded by Steve and Jean Case, possesses the
entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take risks that characterized
the early days of AOL. Jean Case will describe
the Case Foundation vision and its unique and strategic
approach to philanthropy. This new, innovative model promises to
make a difference both here and in Africa.
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Sep. 25, 2006
How the New Philanthropy Works
By Bill Clinton, Laura Bush, Jean Case
Bill Clinton: In our increasingly
interdependent world, we have seen the terrifying power of individuals
to do great harm. Yet there is a more hopeful side of this interconnected
age: private citizens have never had more power to advance the common
good and secure a brighter future.
Three developments have dramatically
increased the potential of individuals to be agents of change: for
the first time more than half the people in the world live under
democracies; the spread of information technology has empowered
individuals to pool their resources and make common cause at a speed
and on a scale previously unprecedented; and, finally, nongovernmental
organizations, or NGOs, have grown and become important agents of
assistance. During the responses to Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami
in Southeast Asia, citizen power was on full display, as the Internet
provided a conduit through which enormous sums of money flowed from
millions of people of modest means.
I created the Clinton Global Initiative
(CGI) to accelerate that kind of activity and to offer a new model
for philanthropy in the 21st century. For three days in September,
CGI brings together some of the world's best minds and problem solvers.
It functions like a marketplace for global change, where those with
the passion to make a difference--and others with the means to finance
them--come together. Each attendee is asked to make a pledge of
resources, time or leadership.
At this year's meeting, Richard Branson
grabbed headlines by pledging to invest all future proceeds of his
Virgin Group's airline and train businesses to fight global warming.
But other commitments with smaller budgets were similarly designed
to have a real impact. The Global Partnership for Afghanistan pledged
to launch 100 commercially viable orchard and woodlot businesses.
The Sanam Vaziri Quraishi Foundation partnered with child-rights
activist Craig Kielburger to "adopt a village" in the
Masai Mara of Kenya. With an investment of only $68,000 in the first
year, they will help change the lives of 1,000 children and adults.
CGI is still in its infancy, but
in two years, hundreds of commitments have been made, totaling almost
$10 billion. That is a testament to the concern and generosity of
the leaders and activists from around the globe who have attended
CGI. But I believe it also reflects a growing realization that in
today's world we all have a responsibility to influence change.
The future our children inherit depends on whether or not we will
Laura Bush and Jean Case: Consider
the scene in Boikarabelo, South Africa. It's 10 o'clock in the morning
in this village outside Johannesburg, home to some 300 children,
many of whom have lost their parents to AIDS. Time for recess is
approaching. After hours of morning instruction, the children are
ready to burst forth into the schoolyard--eager to run, jump and
take a spin on the merry-go-round.
Yet there is more going on here than
meets the eye--and the American people play a key role in the story.
The merry-go-round is not just a simple piece of playground equipment.
It's a PlayPump water system. Lack of access to clean water is one
of Africa's biggest health challenges. Through technology developed
by an African entrepreneur, the children are pumping clean water
for their village when they turn the merry-go-round.
How can we spread wonderful innovations
like that? U.S. support for Africa has more than tripled during
the Bush Administration, yet even the most dedicated governments
can't meet all the needs of the developing world. We can do more
when each sector is doing what it does best. The private sector
can lead with innovation and capital. Nonprofit groups can apply
solutions where they're needed most. And governments can help expand
these solutions on a global scale.
Last week we announced a partnership with the U.S. government and
the Case Foundation to install 4,000 water pumps in 10 African nations,
bringing clean water to as many as 10 million people. That same
spirit of innovation is showing up in other public-private collaborations.
In partnership with the Pfizer drug company, the U.S. is working
to tackle tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS. In partnership with
Starbucks and the government of Rwanda, the U.S. supports farmers
developing specialty coffee. The U.S. helps rebuild the country's
infrastructure and coffee-washing stations, while Starbucks provides
training and expertise to improve Rwandan coffee cultivation.
Cooperation between governments and
citizens isn't just smart policy. It's our best hope for fulfilling
the moral obligation of decent societies and caring individuals
to end the suffering of millions around the world.
President Clinton launched CGI. First
Lady Bush and Case Foundation CEO Case announced their partnership
at his conference.