Knight Foundation announces $200,000 support to Clinton Global Initiative University meeting to be hosted by President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton in Miami

March 6-8 meeting will connect Miami’s emerging talent with more than 1,000 student innovators from around the world

MIAMI – Feb. 23, 2015 – To introduce young Miami innovators and emerging entrepreneurs to a global network of young innovators working to address the world’s most pressing problems, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced $200,000 in support to the eighth annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting. President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will host the meeting from March 6-8 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.

The Clinton Global Initiative University meeting will bring together more than 1,000 college students from around the world, including hundreds of young leaders from Miami. Students will attend sessions, as well as have the opportunity to participate in a codeathon. Programing aims to encourage students to take action on some of the millennial generation’s biggest concerns, such as the future of energy and peace-building in the Middle East and North Africa. Students will join innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to make a difference in Clinton Global Initiative University’s five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

“This high-profile convening is yet another opportunity to put Miami on the map as a global innovation hub,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “The meeting will draw on the diversity and entrepreneurial strengths of Miami students, connecting them with young innovators from around the world to share lessons, best practices and problem-solving strategies across a range of community issues.”

“With the support of Knight Foundation, CGI University allows young leaders to take action,” said Bill Wetzel, director of Clinton Global Initiative University. “These students, including many from the Miami area, are taking real, concrete steps to solve pressing challenges on campus, in their communities or around the world, thanks in large part to the support of sponsors like Knight.”

In addition to recruiting college students from the region, the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting will actively engage the greater Miami area by hosting a Day of Action to give back to the community. President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will host the Clinton Foundation’s 13th Day of Action on March 8, in partnership with the Miami Children’s Initiative in Liberty City. Students will work on neighborhood and school improvement projects, ranging from urban agriculture to revitalizing basketball courts and painting murals. The Day of Action will begin with remarks by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.

Since the first Clinton Global Initiative University meeting, attendees have made 4,800 Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable plans to address challenges on campus, in local communities, or around the world. This growing community of young leaders represents over 875 schools, 145 countries and all 50 states.

This year more than $900,000 in funding opportunities will be available to select participating students to help them turn their ideas into action. These funding opportunities are available through the Clinton Global Initiative University Network; the Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge, a competition focused on engaging students in social change issues; and other avenues.

The University of Miami first hosted the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting in 2010 and is the first school to host the event twice. Throughout the meeting, students will engage in topic- and skill-based sessions to encourage them to take action in their communities and around the world.

Some of the featured participants include Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot; Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway and a member of The Elders; Paul Farmer, co-founder and chief strategist of Partners in Health and Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard Medical School; Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of Women Journalists Without Chains; University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services; Jack Andraka, founder and CEO, Andraka Technologies; Abigail Disney, filmmaker, Fork Films; Wendy Spencer, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service.

Plenary session topics will include:

·       Fast Forward: Accelerating Opportunity for All, which will explore how students and universities, in partnerships with the public, private and civil society sectors, can expand access to opportunity worldwide;

·       The Power of Big Data, which will examine how students can harness big data as a tool for addressing global challenges and scaling the current Commitments to Action, as well as expanding access to big data for all; and

·       The Future of Energy, which will explore how young entrepreneurs can most effectively meet the rising demand for affordable renewable solutions, design the next generation of low-carbon energy technologies and bring energy efficiency best practices to existing buildings, vehicles and industrial processes.

On Thursday, March 5, and Friday, March 6, students will have the opportunity to participate in the Clinton Foundation Codeathon in the lead up to the meeting. The codeathon will challenge developers and designers to build unique digital prototypes inspired by the university’s Commitments to Action in the areas of education, global health, and environment and climate change. Over the course of two days, developers and designers will work in teams or as individuals to create new digital prototypes focused on these three key areas. The codeathon will culminate with a presentation to a panel of expert judges working in technology and social innovation.

In addition to Knight Foundation, support for the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting comes from: Andy Nahas and the Prospect Fund; Laureate International Universities; Peter G. Peterson Foundation; and the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation.

Support for the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding opportunity. Over the past two years, Knight has made more than 90 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida. 

Media registration for the convening is now open. To apply, please complete the form at The deadline to apply for press credentials is March 4, 2015. Journalists may apply for credentials on-site, but space is limited and registered media will be given priority. For questions about press registration, please email [email protected]

Follow @CGIU and @ClintonGlobal or on Facebook at for meeting news and highlights. The official meeting hashtag is #CGIU. Plenary sessions will also be live-streamed during the meeting at

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

About Clinton Global Initiative University

The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U participants do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Since 2008, students have made more than 4,800 Commitments to Action. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Miami, the University of California at San Diego, the George Washington University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Arizona State University, and have convened more than 6,500 students from over 875 schools, 145 countries, and all 50 states. To learn more, visit

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,100 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

About the University of Miami

University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of our diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world.