In Washington DC this past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University. Hosted by former President Bill Clinton at George Washington University, the event brought together 1,000 college students from 80 countries to make service commitments that will change the world.
Cynthia Koenig, Founder of the Wello Water Wheel, spoke on a panel about “Creating Opportunity in an Unstable World” — moderated by Chelsea Clinton. Freeworld has been a proud supporter of Wello over the past few years and Cynthia did a great job on stage. After her talk, she left the auditorium and was treated like a rock-star the line of young adults wanting to talk to her. Even walking down the sidewalk, people would get her attention and say “great job!”
Leaders of Tomorrow
It was inspiring to meet the CGI University students brought together to share entrepreneurial ideas about service-based leadership. These young adults are looking beyond traditional career paths so that they can prosper and make a positive impact. They aren’t waiting for opportunity to knock on their door — but instead, they’re making commitments to change the world through science, art and technology.
The message I kept hearing was one of self-determinism and “if you want a job, create your own. According to the CGIU’s website, 20 percent of Millennials have started their own businesses and 40 percent envision doing so in the future. It’s an empowering idea and these Millennial leaders have a strong desire to do what matters in the personal and professional lives.
“Young people have a greater ability to enact change than ever before and CGI U is a global network of young people seeking to use the resources at their disposal to make a difference in the world.” Bill Clinton
There is hope on the horizon for the Millennials. With new “crowdfunding” legislation gaining traction, it could become easier for startups to raise capital in small amounts. Being at CGI University this weekend felt like being in a slowly boiling pot of water. You could sense things starting to heat up and it was certain that it wouldn’t be long before these students hit a rolling boil.
On Twitter: @CGIU