Bill Clinton’s plan lets students tackle world challenges

When he ran for president in 1992, he captured the attention of the MTV generation with his saxophone in hand. Now Bill Clinton is trying to do it again – with global issues in mind.

The Clinton Global Initiative University is a project that involves a group of 500 college students who will meet in New Orleans March 14 to discuss global concerns and volunteer in a service event.

The project is an expansion of Clinton’s Global Initiative project, which brought leaders of government, business, education and nonprofit organizations together to discuss global issues. Leaders in CGI commit to attending a yearly meeting in New York, where plans for tackling these challenges are discussed and put into action.

In a conference call with selected college journalists and Tulane University President Scott Cowen on Feb. 13, Clinton discussed the new college project.

“We’re expanding CGI because young people have proven they are enormously committed to changing the world and they have enormous power to do so,” Clinton said. “College students today can connect with each other as never before, learn more about what needs to be done and join together to make a real difference. Whether it’s on climate change, poverty, health issues, human rights, you can make a profound difference.”

When asked by The Miami Hurricane what global issue college students can single-handedly have the greatest impact on in everyday life, Clinton encouraged students to push for a carbon neutral university to help fight global warming.

“If all the colleges and universities in America were to become carbon neutral, it would reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions, I think, by something like 6 or 7 percent,” he said. “It would make a huge difference and give everybody something to do right there on the campus to examine what can be done to promote clean energy and energy efficiency.”

Chelsea Kate Isaacs may be contacted at

To Know: Although the deadline to sign up for this year’s CGIU meeting in New Orleans has expired, visit on March 15 to watch a live webcast of the meeting.