Infrastructure panel session moderated by John Podesta

 

Every session at the Clinton Global Initiative continues to be a stimulating round table discussion or a panel session with outstanding speakers on addressing key global challenges.

This morning’s plenary was a business panel that included Kofi Annan and various speakers. One speaker was Cisco CEO John Chambers. Chambers stated that four years ago, he never could have imagined the speed at which social marketing has taken hold and to the extent that Cisco uses it.  Another speaker on the panel was GE CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. He noted that in Angola road signs are in Mandarin and that it is the Chinese in Africa who are using a new business model and using it forcefully.

The panel also featured spunky Swede Ingrid Munro, who spoke about her life’s work with beggars called, Jamii Bora, which in response to the government’s total lack of service delivery, has become a self-sufficient landowning community outside of Nairobi. The marvelous Partner’s in Health Founder, Paul Farmer, spoke of the challenges of operating in Haiti for over 25 years with limited infrastructure.

I found the Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic fascinating.  I usually spend my time listening and learning as much as I can about Africa, however I realised how much I had forgotten about the Balkans conflict in the 90s. He spoke eloquently and passionately about trying to reconstruct a society which was attacked by fascists for its multi-culturalism. He stated the conflict wasn’t about poverty or empty pockets, but empty hearts.

by Kristine Pearson