Creating Social Value Blog / Corporate Social Relevance

Changemaking at CGI U 2017

Last month, 14 Babson and Olin College of Engineering students attended the 2017 Clinton Global Initiative University Annual Meeting at Northeastern University. Cheryl and Emily have been engaged with CGI U since Babson became a University Network member in 2013, and it’s been a tremendous source of joy for them to see our students in action, amongst their peers and mentors, showcasing and growing their Commitments to Action.

At the 2017 Clinton Global Initiative University Annual Meeting.

Yulkendy Valdez ’17 onstage at CGI U 2017.

But this year was in a league of its own. The 2017 Annual Meeting kicked off with an inspiring opening video that featured a wealth of past commitment makers and changemakers, including Daquan Oliver ’14 for his continued venture, We Thrive, as well as 2016 Social Innovator Award Winner Gavin Armstrong for his venture Lucky Iron Fish. Then, during the opening session, rock-star changemaker Yulkendy Valdez ’17 was recognized by President Bill Clinton on stage as part of a group of returning students who have made significant progress on their Commitments to Action since CGI U 2016, and invited to pitch her work to the entire audience. (Check out the recording at minute 34 in this video.) Yulkendy and co-founder Josuel Placencia ’17 have created Project 99, a venture created to inspire and enable under represented millennials to become future workforce leaders. Project 99’s goal is to diversify the workforce leadership population inside of organizations so that they better reflect the overall global population.

Cheryl Kiser with President Bill Clinton at CGI U 2017.

From there, the weekend just rolled, with everything including photo opportunities with President Clinton, inspiring panel discussions, and engaging with fellow student commitment makers from across the globe to share ideas and forge new relationships. It was true changemaking and community building in action, and we couldn’t be prouder of how our Babson/Olin team showed up to make a difference and do something that matters.