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Clinton Global Initiative University


In order to apply to attend the CGI U meeting, each student must develop and submit a Commitment to Action. There are three criteria for Commitments to Action:

New: Each commitment must be a new initiative, or an expansion of an existing effort that focuses on a different geographic area, works with new partners, or shifts in focus or scope.

Specific: Each commitment must address a specific challenge with a defined course of action and detailed objectives.

Measurable: Each commitment should achieve measurable results that can be reported back to CGI U.


Brainstorm different ideas for action: Some of the most effective and sustainable commitments start small. What are you passionate about? Would your commitment be an individual or group effort? How could your university get involved?

Ask "why": Understand the root cause of the problem or challenge you are hoping to address. Ask yourself why something is the way that it is. Each time you come up with an answer, break it down further and ask yourself why the new answer exists.

Evaluate your toolbox: Consider developing an innovative approach to a challenge you are already working to address, or using the skills, knowledge, and networks you already possess to alleviate a problem or issue in your community. You can always expand your toolbox along the way.

Consider measurement: How will you gauge the success of your commitment? Flesh out the metrics you will use to measure your impact and devise a method for measuring your progress. Make sure your evaluation plan is detailed and realistic.

Get feedback: Once you've come up with an informal plan of action, start soliciting feedback from classmates, professors, and your target beneficiaries. Do they think your timeframe and action plan are realistic? Would they be willing to join or support you? How could your plan be improved? Attaining honest and meaningful feedback from the start is crucial to long-term success, and it is a great way to find allies early in the process.


Once you've developed your Commitment to Action, formally submit your application. We strongly encourage you to draft your commitment offline before you apply, and keep a record of it in case you experience any technical difficulties when applying online. 

If you are applying as a group, you must appoint one member of your group to apply first, submitting the group's Commitment to Action. Other members of the group will receive emails to complete their portions of the application once the group leader's application is complete.

Here are some hints for completing your application:

  • In your brief autobiography, include any relevant campus or leadership activities and organizational affiliations. Make sure you include any compelling information about your personal story, and note any experience you have that directly relates to your commitment.

  • When selecting your focus area, consider the problem or issue your commitment seeks to address. Many commitments fit into several of CGI U's five focus areas, and many applicants have a background or interest in a focus area different from that of their commitments. While you may be studying education, or there may be an educational component to your commitment, the core aim may be to address a challenge in a different focus area.

  • Think carefully about your primary and secondary keywords. CGI U will use these keywords to help you network with students working in similar areas, and to assign you a mentor to guide you as you implement your commitment. Learn more about CGI U's commitment keywords before you apply.

  • Be specific about the geographic region where your commitment will take place. When implementing a new project or initiative, students are often most successful when they work in a community or region where they have a pre-existing relationship or partner.