EEM Involved in 2012 Clinton Global Initiative – University
On March 30-April 1, 2012, GW hosted the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative - University (CGIU) event. More than 1,000 students representing all 50 states, 82 countries, and more than 300 universities participated in the three-day event on GW’s main Foggy Bottom campus. EEM professors Royce Francis and Jonathan Deason served on the “GW Ad-Hoc Committee on the Clinton Global Initiative – University” to review more than 900 student commitment proposals organized into five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation and Public Health.
Professors Francis and Deason judged proposals in the area "Environment and Climate Change," which was the area in which the overall student team winner “Panda Cycles” competed. Deason served as the initial reviewer for several dozen student proposals, including the overall winning project Panda Cycles.
The CGIU program is part of a larger initiative called the Clinton Global Initiative, which was established in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The CGIU challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions -- not only developing such ideas but also committing to take concrete steps to solving problems by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGIU as they complete their projects.
The winning team at this year’s event provides an excellent illustration of what the CGIU is all about. In the Panda Cycles project, SEAS students John Torrey and Matthew Wilkins, along with Chris Deschenez of GW’s Business School, committed to providing sustainable bamboo bicycles at affordable prices in an effort to reduce carbon emissions while also providing a means of transportation to those in developing countries. For every bike sold, the Panda Cycles team has committed to donating one bicycle to Bicycles for Humanity. In addition to President Clinton, notable personalities included in the 2012 CGIU event included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Inter-American Development Bank President Luis A. Moreno, Daily Show host Jon Stewart, and Chelsea Clinton.
A three-minute video providing an overview of the 2012 CGIU event conduced at GW can be seen at Overview of 2012 CGIU at GW
A four-minute video explaining the Panda Cycles project can be seen at Panda Cycles Project