Travelling to UC Berkeley near San Francisco and meeting ‘Mr Global Initiative’ himself there — former President Bill Clinton — to discuss your ideas with him. How cool is that? Six EUR students are in the running thanks to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

The students have been working super-hard on their world-improving ideas in recent months. For instance Floki Goods from Evan van der Holst sells shawls with wool produced by Himalayan farmers. Nina Maria Feurstein of RotTourDam is organising alternative touristic trips led by guides who are disadvantaged in the labour market. And Xander Kanon’s project Waste’d Jobs is tackling the ‘plastic soup’ problem in Liberia.

Three winners have already emerged from the first pitching round on 6 November: OrganoBike, UniOrg and Healthy Munchies. Round two last Friday produced three more new finalists. All are student projects with a social and an entrepreneurial aspect. This is the idea behind the Clinton Global Initiative, launched in 2008 and in which 59 educational establishments from around the world are participating this year. In Rotterdam the initiative is being overseen by the Erasmus Sustainability Hub and the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Clinton himself will decide

Alongside meeting Bill Clinton, the visit to Berkeley will provide an excellent networking opportunity and the possibility of meeting new financiers. Whether, and which of, the Rotterdam students will eventually meet the former president between 1 and 3 April, is up to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) itself. They will learn whether they have been selected or not at the end of December.

In any event all six finalists will already receive an ECE Get Started package worth 500 euros, to help them in their personal and project development. Erasmus University is making a total of 10,000 euros available to support the projects and for travel costs.

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