Clinton Global Initiative Asia Meeting Attended by Rare Staff

Shiyang Li, Director of Rare China, recently attended the Clinton Global Initiative Asia Meeting with Nigel Sizer, Vice President of Asia Pacific, and Lindsay Hower Jordern, Director of Individual Giving Programs.

Bill Clinton at the meeting

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Asia meeting was held in Hong Kong Dec. 2-3, and it was one very special meeting — specifically because this is both the first and the last CGI meeting to be held outside the U.S. This is due to Hilary Clinton’s appointment as U.S. Secretary of State. Interestingly enough, President –elect Barack Obama named Hilary Clinton Secretary of State the same day CGI opening. Thus, 400 media representatives rushed to the conference; along with Rare staff Nigel Sizer, Vice President for Asia Pacific; Lindsay Hower Jordan, Director of Individual Giving Programs; and me, Shiyang Li, Direct of Rare China. We were among 400 other people working for the preparation of the conference.

Shiyang works hard for the facilitation team for the Climate Change Group!

The meeting is a collection of celebrities and political elites, – the biggest catches include: Bill Clinton (of course); Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi; and Former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew.

For us, the biggest catch was definitely Nigel Sizer, who is a theme leader on climate change – meaning he helped to run this session. Climate change has drawn much more attention over the other two themes at the conference — education and health. Nigel identified three crucial issues to be discussed at the three working sessions. These included: “Green Buildings, Green Cities,” “Valuing Resources, Changing Mindsets,” and “Developing Green Technology and Renewable Energy.”

The working sessions were particularly innovative as all key points from each table discussion were instantly recorded by table facilitators and sent to the theme team, which I was a part of. At the end of each 90 minute working session, Nigel had only 2 minutes to read the discussion record collected from 14 tables, with the help from Lindsay — the deputy theme leader — and made a great presentation summarizing the discussion outcome to all the audiences.

Nigel reviews the table discussions summary from 14 tables on climate change theme and prepare for the presentation

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that forest degradation in Asia and the community engagement have draw so much attention from many participants. This resulted in action oriented financial commitments on alternative energy projects and campaigning in the local communities. Despite the financial climate, we are convinced that Pride and our methodology will address the needs in Asia and draw more attention in the Asian philanthropy landscape.