This week I’m here in New York participating with the Intel team at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. It’s my third year here and each time I am thrilled to see the high wattage gathering of government leaders, private sector CEOs, NGO leaders and celebrities, all focused on coming up with innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. It’s an action-packed week of panels, discussions and side meetings that leaves my brain spinning with ideas and my eyes with large circles under them from lack of sleep.Intel participated in two exciting “commitments to action” this week that were announced on stage by President Clinton. The first one is a project to bring best-in-class information and communications technology (ICT) to improve the quality of education in 60 focus schools across Kenya. I have had the privilege of working personally on this project and was excited to see it becoming a reality. We are collaborating with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Cisco and Microsoft to provide the best we each have to offer in terms of teacher training programs, educational content and technology, all with the goal of helping children in Kenya develop the 21st century skills they need to succeed. The project is expected to benefit approximately 7,000 teachers and 39,000 students over the next three years, by providing them with 1:1 educational technology, digital science and math content, educational software, capacity building workshops, and project deployment support. All of the learning from this project will be captured in a new School Technology Innovation Center that Cisco, Intel and Microsoft will establish with the Kenyan Ministry of Education in Nairobi, where curriculum developers, teachers and students from across East Africa will be able to learn and experiment with the best known methods around educational technology. I can’t wait for this project to get rolling so we can get technology into the hands of all the smart, eager students I met on my trip to Kenya this past July! The second commitment we helped announce was the launch of the 1Goal campaign to advocate for Education For All. This exciting campaign, which is being led by Queen Rania of Jordan and the Global Campaign for Education in conjunction with 2010 FIFA World CupTM, aims to mobilize soccer fans around the world to sign up online (www.join1goal.org) to advocate for the 75 million children who are currently out of school in developing countries. According to statistics shared by Queen Rania on today’s panel, the cost of getting these kids in school is $11 billion, which is what Americans spend on pets every three months and Europeans spend on ice cream in one year. When you think of it that way, it’s even more alarming that we have not yet managed to solve this problem. The panel moderator, Nicholas Kristof, compared it to saving a child who is drowning – would we just keep walking by or would we stop to help? Intel is going to help spread the word about the campaign through our online marketing channels. We hope you all will sign up to show your support. And if you’re not persuaded by Intel, maybe you’ll be motivated by Bono and Jessica Alba who also helped launched the campaign today. I know we were pretty excited by it! Soon the CGI Annual Meeting will be over, and we will all disperse back to our respective corners of the globe. But now the real work begins. I’m eager to get started on these two projects, and I hope you’ll join with us in doing whatever you can to improve the quality of education for kids around the world.
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