I have some observations about the growth of this conference. Last year I felt that CGI was about trying out a new approach to philanthropy – developing new forums and channels that bring together the business, government and non-profit worlds to form partnerships aimed at solving the world’s problems. And it was about applying a venture-entrepreneur approach. For some time ideas about venture/entrepreneurial philanthropy had been in discussion, and early pioneers were exploring early implementation. But after last year’s CGI I wrote,
"Now from my admittedly limited, outsider perspective, last I knew the various innovative ideas of venture/entrepreneurial philanthropy and public/private were supposedly still in formative, developing stages – yet here it’s almost as if these had been an operational strategy for decades, all the kinks worked out, “of course this is how it’s done”
In many ways this conference feels like a dam bursting, releasing an explosion of pent-up, problem-solving energy."
So last year was proof-of-concept. And this year we can see that it worked. All of that energy was applied, people met their commitments. So this year is the beginning of implementation rollout. We’re seeing a scaling up, and many new commitments are being made. Let me give an example. I wrote earlier today about the carbon-reduction efforts mentioned at President Clinton’s press conference,
"In the last two years more than 20 million tons of carbon were kept from the atmosphere as a result of CGI efforts. But this year, just yesterday brought commitments to reduce another 555 million tons."
This shows the difference of scale between last year and this year. Last year it was remarkable that the different cultures were brought together, partnerships were formed, lots of money was committed and incredibly practical, specific "tackling global challenges in bite-sized chunks" goals were established.
This year that is all so last year. This year everyone sees the method working, the process is understood and people are jumping on board. Huge commitments are being made, everyone expects the projects to succeed and expand.
Next year in May the first Asian CGI will occur. So we are seeing the beginning of taking the process worldwide.
Please, leave a comment and tell me and the readers what you think about this.