TOMS has brought me many exhilarating experiences, from giving 10,000 children shoes in Argentina to being featured in a publication like People Magazine… and this experience ranks right up there. For the last three days, I have attended the Clinton Global Initiative, an event hosted by President Bill Clinton in NYC. CGI (as it is called for short) brings together 1000 world leaders to raise awareness for the planet's most challenging problems and to set real goals for solving these issues.
In attendance was everyone from Lauren Bush (my dear friend who created the FEED Bag) to Prime Minister Tony Blair, to Mohammad Yunus (the incredible economist who started the Grameen Bank) to senators, religious leaders and even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie!
I highly recommend that you take a look at the CGI site… they have podcasts of all of the panel discussions and speeches. Here is the link: 2007 CGI Annual Meeting Highlights.
As part of CGI, every participant that goes has to make a commitment that they promise to fulfill in the next year… and those that don’t live up to their promises are not allowed to return to the conference. Its pretty intense stuff. TOMS' commitment is to give 50,000 pairs of shoes to children in children in South Africa and 25,000 children in Ethiopia in the next 12 months! This is ambitious, but with so many amazing supporters, I know that we can do it... there is too much at stake not to get it done.