Clinton Global Initiative Looks At America – In Chicago

Former President Bill Clinton has spent the years since he left office in 2001 holding conferences that look at problems on a global scale. But this week, he’s staging the first Clinton Global Initiative that will explore issues facing the United States, and he’s doing so in Chicago.

President Clinton briefs President Obama. White House photo

On Wednesday and Thursday, CGI America will examine economic topics ranging from the future of manufacturing to job creation and education as well as the new rural economy. There is a blue ribbon list of participants including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Michigan’s former governor, Jennifer M. Granholm, also is taking part.

Clinton talked about CGI America this past weekend on an unlikely place: Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, the NPR quiz show.

The former president said his goal was to have companies and communities that participate in the session commit to creating new jobs and taking other actions to help the country. As with past CGI sessions, if they don’t make a commitment — or make one and don’t keep it — they will not be invited to a future session.

Said the former president, “The whole purpose of the meeting is to get beyond talking to doing. Once you actually have to put yourself on the line and then you know somebody’s going to know whether you did it or not, it clarifies things quickly, and you really just talk about what will work.”

Changing Gears will be at CGI America, bringing you updates here and on our @ChGears Twitter feed (#CGIAmerica).

If you could go to CGI America, what would you tell all those VIPs? Any special message for the Treasury secretary or the mayor of Chicago?

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