Tomorrow, the U.S. Summit & Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy begins in Washington, D.C. More than 100 NGO leaders working in nine task force groups on a number of topics, including business and development assistance, have solicited and vetted hundreds of proposals from citizen diplomacy organizations, and selected ten top organizations to present in each task force. More than 500 people are expected to attend the summit.
NGOs were called upon to present projects that highlight ways in which organizations within each of the nine sectors can expand existing initiatives and offer new and innovative programs to encourage more engagement of Americans in global citizen diplomacy.
Sonya Perez-Lauterbach, manager of Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO), and Dr. Shawn Humphrey, the founder of Two Dollar Challenge (TDC), as part of the development assistance task force meeting on Wednesday morning, will present the ways in which TDC encourages young adults to become better global citizens through an increased understanding of what it means to live on less than $2 a day. A number of other non-profits fighting global poverty will also be presenting projects as part of this task force, including Plan USA, Heifer International, World Relief, and the Peace Corps, and the group will be chaired by Henrietta Fore, chairman of the board & CEO of Holsman International; Charles MacCormack, president & CEO of Save the Children; and Samuel Worthington, president & CEO of InterAction. Another presiding member of the task force is Barbara Bush Jr., the president of Global Health Corps.
On the business task force meeting on Thursday morning, Ruth-Anne Renaud, Opportunity’s vice president of women’s philanthropy, will present the Women’s Opportunity Network (WON) initiative “Change the World at Work.” It’s an employee engagement program that encourages young professionals to become better global corporate citizens as they learn about and ultimately advocate for Opportunity clients and programs with their professional peers. The business task force believes that an informed and mobilized American citizenry, seeking to build bridges of understanding and respect to other cultures, is a crucial foundation for U.S. business interests’ progress in the world economy. Co-chairs of this task force include Keith Reinhard, president of Business for Diplomatic Action, and Peter Tichansky, president & CEO of theBusiness Council for International Understanding.
Check back in with the Opportunity Blog, as Sonya Perez-Lauterbach and Ruth-Anne Renaud reflect and report on their learnings from the conference. You can also follow all the news from the summit on Twitter at hashtag #citizendiplomacy and watch live webcasts of select sessions and task force presentations throughout the conference.