The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Reflection on the 7th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University 2014

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I was fully funded by the Dickey Center for International Understanding to attend the 7th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) 2014 meeting at Arizona State University from March 20-23. CGI U hosted a Codeathon and brought together over 1,000 passionate young leaders who are implementing innovative projects to address various pressing global challenges.

My highlight of the conference was when my team, MediText, won the inaugural CGI U 2-day Codeathon. The challenge - less than 36 hours, 4 different nationalities, 3 different schools, 1 team, 1 goal - developing a "product" to address the problem of medical adherence in developing countries. After my team was announced as the winner of the Codeathon, Chelsea Clinton acknowledged the team members on stage at the closing plenary session! While backstage, President Bill Clinton shook my hand and congratulated me. At that moment, I was thinking to myself, "Wow, the 42nd president of the United States congratulating me." As of now, my team is currently moving forward with our product to form a start up.

At CGI U, I met so many amazing young people working on various innovative projects to address all kinds of global challenges. There is just something about the passion of these people you don't usually come across. Something so inspiring, so infectious. People are not just talking but actually acting. I learned a lot from colleagues who are working on projects similar to mine such as their challenges, as I encounter mine, and how they overcame some of those challenges.

My project, iSWEST (Innovating Solutions with Engineering, Science & Technology), is an annual summer program in Ghana to get high school students to develop innovative solutions to combat problems in their communities by inspiring them to be creative and equipping them with the requisite soft and hard skills, including basic science, engineering and technology. Not only have I been so inspired but I'm even more confident about the potential of my generation to solve some of the world's most challenging problems as well as significantly impact subsequent generations.

--George Boateng '16, Winter 2014 MLDP Participant

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences