The event takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Clinton Global Initiative University
Clinton Global Initiative University

Seven teams and a total of nineteen students from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy – the most from any institution of higher education – have been chosen to attend the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) annual meeting, which will be held at The University of Edinburgh, April 17-19, 2020.  

Each year, CGI U hosts the annual event where students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. 

At this year’s University meeting, the first held outside the U.S., Harris teams will receive input from topic experts and mentors as they refine their proposals, make new connections, and compete for funding to further develop and put their projects into action.  Harris projects include a mobile app to track your carbon footprint in Chicago, an eCommerce effort to strengthen small businesses in Central America, and a professional development initiative for underrepresented communities in India. 

Group photo with Dean Baicker and Ron Gibbs, seated.
Harris Public Policy Clinton Global Initiative University team members stand with Dean Katherine Baicker and Ron Gibbs, both seated.

The Harris Public Policy teams will be joined by an additional UChicago team, from the School of Social Service Administration (SSA), and more than 600 other students from around the globe who have developed new, specific, and actionable initiatives that address pressing challenges (which the organization refers to as CGI Commitments to Action).

Harris’ strong representation reflects the school’s burgeoning social entrepreneurship program, led by Ron Gibbs, Lecturer and Faculty Advisor, Social Entrepreneurship. This year’s efforts are building on past successes at CGI U. Harris teams have been recognized on stage and received funding at each of the three most recent CGI U meetings, including last year’s hosted at the University of Chicago.  

Harris attendees recognized for excellence in past years have included Hafsah Lak, MPP’17, named as one of twenty to the 2016 CGI U Honor Roll by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton for her work developing Violence Against Women Centers in Pakistan; Meghana Chandra, MPP’18, cited for her work to help women prior to gender-based violence occurring in 2017 and James Lott, Michael Cui, and Maryam Saifuddin in 2018, who were recognized for their proposal to fight the US opioid epidemic.

“There’s a tremendous diversity among the challenges Harris students are committed to solving, everything from rural health care delivery to global warming to sustainable agriculture,” Gibbs explained. “Their impressive ability to conceive viable technology based solutions that automate and scale processes is one reason why our teams are well represented and have performed so well at the CGI U annual meeting.”

The Harris Clinton Global Initiative University 2020 Projects 

1. Education and Enterprise through Eco-Tourism (Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana)

Grayson Clapp and Kofi Nyarko

Clapp and Nyarko’s project focuses on education and enterprise through eco-tourism in Kumasi, Ashanti, and Ghana. They hope to build the first public computer lab in Kumasi and provide employment to 50 local entrepreneurs by giving a platform for people who live in areas of eco-tourism to benefit from it. Their plan is to partner with local artisans, NGOs, social enterprises, and government organizations to make sure the benefits of their work reach the local community.

A table, with Kofi presenting his project with Grayson, seated to the left of him.
Godfred "Kofi" Nyarko and Grayson Clapp present their work.

2. Doki Care (Akinyele, Oyo state, Nigeria)

Segun Fatidumu, Linh Dinh, and Vistrit Choudhary

The Doki Care health care intervention system made by Segun Fatidumu, Linh Dinh, and Vistrit Choudhary will reach 2,500 families in 12 months with a vertically integrated structure that helps individuals receive health care from mobile locations and connect directly with doctors. The Doki Care intervention will work in partnership with the National Youth Service Corps to deliver services including immunizations, diagnostic tests, and medication dispensing.

The teammates Linh Dinh, Segun Fatidumu, and Vistrit Choudhary sit together at a table to share their work.
Linh Dinh, Segun Fatidumu, and Vistrit Choudhary tell the group about the Doki Care health care intervention system.

3. Individual Carbon Footprint Manager (Chicago, IL)

Tianming Yang, Rong (Audrey) Bao, Chengqi (Cal) Fang, and Tianjun Song

The project focuses on the development of a personal carbon footprint account management system which will allow individuals to use a mobile application to see and manage how their choices affect their carbon footprint. The team expects to cover 30% of residents between 18-25 who live in the Greater Chicago area and to help reduce users’ monthly carbon footprints by 40%.

Three people sit at the table. The middle one, Cal, speaks to everyone at the large table.
Chengqi (Cal) Fang outlines his team's project.

4. Preventative Healthcare through a geo-spatial approach (Patna, Bihar, India)

Geet Chawla, M Samiul Haque, and Parth Khare

The group aims to decrease the 90 million workdays lost in India each year due to unhealthy water quality and ill health. Using a geo-spatial approach which analyzes satellite data to find out how pathogens disperse through local waterways, then matching these identified locations with the reported symptoms nearby, the team wants to create a preventative healthcare system featuring programs such as pre-outbreak immunization and data sharing with medicine companies, International Organizations, and philanthropic foundations. 

The three project members speak to the rest of the table.
Parth Khare, Samiul Haque, and Geet Chawla listen to Dean Katherine Baicker's thoughts about their project.

5. The Bridge (Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala)

Ariana Garcia and Nigora Sadikova

The e-commerce focus of this project will help professionalize small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala in order to decrease the rate of poverty in the countries. The partnerships to achieve their mission include local governments, Latin American universities, e-commerce companies, FedEx, and DHL. They expect to legalize 100 businesses and grant e-commerce platform access to 200 businesses within 18 months.

Ariana Garcia and Nigora Sadikova are at the table, talking about their project.
Ariana Garcia and Nigora Sadikova explain their project, The Bridge.

6. Organic Sol Tech (Chengdu, Nanchong, China)

Xiaoxi Wang, Mingxi Xue, Di Chen

In order to increase the feasibility and use of sustainability practices in rural China, the team plans to develop agricultural technology, or agri-tech, using a mobile app which will connect consumers who wish to buy affordable organic food with farmers in rural China. The first stage of their project will boost online organic product sales over the course of twelve months, and the second stage is to build an organic farm resort with immersive learning for city children about organic farming. This stage will last twenty-four months.

Xiaoxi Wang and Dean Katherine Baicker look at each other in conversation.
Xiaoxi Wang and Dean Katherine Baicker discuss Organic Sol Tech.

7. Indian Institute of Policy and Governance (New Delhi, India)

Cheistha Kochhar and Prasanna Samiul Haque

This project hopes to empower people who have experienced issues which outside groups try to solve without having ever been directly or indirectly affected by them. The team will build the Indian Institute of Policy and Governance (IIPG) to aid the professional development of young people from underrepresented communities in India so that they can address the complex issues facing their areas within the highest offices of government in India. They plan to train and deploy 100 young individuals in three years.

Cheistha Kochhar speaks as Ron Gibbs, to her right, listens.
Cheistha Kochhar details her team's project as Ron Gibbs, who leads the social entrepreneurship program at Harris, listens.