After the vast success of CGI, President Clinton decided to open CGIU: same commitment model, same incredible conference-style led by world changing speakers, but this time for university students only. The first CGIU was in 2008, and this weekend will see the emergence of the 5th conference at GW University.
I’m really excited to see what ideas come out of this weekend. Students come from all over the world to participate, and each one brings their own spunk and wits to tackle the issues that need solving today.
Makes me think of Anne-Marie Slaugther’s essay “America’s Edge: Power in the Networked Century” (Foreign Policy Jan/Feb 2009)– she actually mentions CGI there. Slaughter argues that we now live in a networked world, and that “in this world, the measure of power is connectedness.”
The twentieth-century world was, at least in terms of geopolitics, a billiard-ball world, described by the political scientist Arnold Wolfers as a system of self-contained states colliding with one another. The results of these collisions were determined by military and economic power. This world still exists today: Russia invades Georgia, Iran seeks nuclear weapons, the United States strengthens its ties with India as a hedge against a rising China. This is what Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International, has dubbed “the post-American world,” in which the rise of new global powers inevitably means the relative decline of U.S. influence.
The emerging networked world of the twenty-first century, however, exists above the state, below the state, and through the state. In this world, the state with the most connections will be the central player, able to set the global agenda and unlock innovation and sustainable growth. Here, the United States has a clear and sustainable edge.
President Clinton (among many others) has realized this changing format and tapped into it to create great good. Curious to think what this view of the world (more horizontal) means for our interactions within it. Slaughter thinks that it will radically alter state and governmental systems over the next few hundred years. How do you think our social landscape will change over the next hundred years? I’m hoping to do some research in the next few weeks on the topic of global citizenship, and am curious to see how a cosmopolitan identity interacts with a national one. I don’t think they conflict but have the beautiful for a really incredible harmony.
Lastly. Among the many things that I admire about President Clinton (and there are a lot of accomplishments to choose from) is his emphasis on empowering youth. Many great thinkers advocate this approach, including my mentor Daisaku Ikeda.
This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” - - Robert F. Kennedy
We must continue to empower youth! Good luck this weekend everyone!!! (also, good youth quotes here)