Today, the Clinton Foundation and Verizon announced a new partnership to help college students develop leadership skills and to inspire them to create innovative, high-quality social impact projects. Through the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) program, Verizon will help college students develop solutions that address social issues with the support of specialized curriculum and programming, as well as access to experts in technology and innovation. These resources will be available to all CGI U students for one year and have a specific focus on engaging students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and community colleges.
This collaboration is part of CGI U’s commitment to provide student leaders and innovators with greater funding, mentorship, training, and networking opportunities throughout the year. It also highlights Verizon’s commitment to support the development of technology-based solutions – including those leveraging the power of 5G – to address significant societal challenges, while simultaneously working to diversify the voices in the next generation of innovators. This new partnership with CGI U is part of Citizen Verizon, Verizon’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement.
“By partnering with the Clinton Global Initiative University, we’re able to tap into young innovative minds who are interested in tackling pressing societal challenges to drive real change,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Verizon. “We’re putting next gen technology, like 5G, into their hands to help inspire them to transform their ideas into real solutions and take the lead as our next generation of innovators.”
As part of the partnership, CGI U and Verizon will jointly launch a technology development competition for university students and CGI U alumni, with the goal of developing innovative, sustainable, business-oriented ideas that aim to solve some of the most urgent social issues of our time. Competition finalists will be provided with access to an accelerator program to advance their ideas towards proofs of concept of their technology solutions, culminating in a pitch competition with the opportunity to win seed funding for their solutions. More information will be announced in January 2021.
“We’re excited to partner with Verizon on this inspiring initiative that will help us reach more diverse students and engage the CGI U community in harnessing technology to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Kevin Thurm, CEO, Clinton Foundation. “Through this new partnership, the next generation of leaders will gain access to enhanced tools, resources, and opportunities to help them turn their ideas into action and make a difference in our society.”
CGI U and Verizon are launching the partnership this week as students will convene virtually to discuss actions that students can take to help address inequality at a CGI U event with Morehouse College, “Entrepreneurship + Equity,” hosted by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. The public event will air on Thursday, October 8 at 11:00 a.m. EDT and will connect students with business and public health leaders to discuss structural inequality, building a more inclusive society, and how to take action amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Verizon will be featured on the panel “Start it Up: Entrepreneurship for Impact” moderated by President Clinton. RSVP here to join the conversation.
Launched in 2007, each year the CGI U program brings together students from around the globe to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges – building “Commitments to Action” that develop innovative solutions to these challenges through peer networking, skills training, funding opportunities, high-touch mentorship with experts across business, philanthropy, government, and more. The most recent CGI U cohort, the Class of 2020, developed more than 650 Commitments to Action to address a wide range of issues within the focus areas of education, environment and climate change, poverty alleviation, peace and human rights, and public health. This new partnership with CGI U and Verizon offers an additional pathway for the Class of 2021 to create meaningful solutions for important societal challenges.