Being back in Maine and temperatures lower than seventy degrees is hard for me. San Diego and Clinton Global Initiative were complete successes, I experienced California for the first time, I met incredible students from all over the globe, and I wore shorts! I also got a nice sun burn, which wasn’t on my original list of things to be excited about, but now that I have one I couldn’t be happier.
Going to this conference was such an incredible experience, I heard Bill Clinton, Van Jones (who will be at PowerShift 2011 next week!), Chad Hurley (co-founder of YouTube), Jessica Matthews (sOccket Inc.), and plenty of other amazing people talk about their experiences, and how we, as students and, as the next generation can enact sweeping global change. There was so much energy at this conference, everyone who was there wanted to be there and you could tell how much everyone cared about their commitments.
The Clinton Global Initiative lived up to it’s name, I met students from Haiti, Scotland, Alaska, and Costa Rica., and I didn’t come close to meeting everyone! CGIU has recognized the power of social networking and embraces the interconnectedness of the global age this generation is growing up in by encouraging attendees to friend the CGIU Facebook page to connect with other attendees. There was plenty of business card handing out going on at this conference.
There were a large number of commitments, especially the larger scale commitments (internationally and what not), that were focused on public health, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, malaria vaccinations, and preventable complications with pregnancy. It’s hard for me, along with most Americans, to grasp these global health deficiencies. Coming from the United States where we can walk into a CVS or Rite Aid and stand in front of walls and walls of medication that some people in the world are literally dying to have. It’s easy to take for granted some of the things we have; running water, clean water, electric lights, indoor plumbing, refrigerators, transportation, heating and cooling systems in our buildings, and even organized trash disposal. We are so fortunate to live in the conditions that we do, a day shouldn’t go by that we aren’t thankful for it.