Just over one year ago, President Obama gave a rousing speech in Cairo laying out a vision of a new ethic for U.S. relations with the world - that of Global Engagement. As a policy, Global Engagement is an effort on the part of the U.S. Government to strategically and sustainably engage global communities in innovative ways to build substantive partnerships based on "mutual interest and mutual respect." As a call to action for government agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Engagement is an opportunity to connect and learn from the stakeholders, the people we work every day to help.
In response to President Obama's call for "a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from one another; and to seek common ground," USAID is excited to host the upcoming Global Pulse 2010 event as an initial step in our Global Engagement effort.
Global Pulse 2010 will be a three-day online collaborative discussion between thousands of engaged participants from around the world. The discussion will focus on sharing ideas on how to deal with ten critical development issues based on input and buy-in from those most affected by them. Issues to be discussed are:
- Empowering Women and Girls
- Enabling Essential Education
- Building Stronger Partnerships
- Exercising Political and Civil Rights
- Inspiring a New Generation
- Promoting Global Health
- Advancing Entrepreneurship, Trade and Economic Opportunity
- Fostering Science, Technology and Innovation
- Supporting a Sustainable Planet
- Pursuing Grand Challenges
For participants and citizens in developing nations, Global Pulse 2010 is a chance to have your voice and ideas heard by government, non-government and private sector policymakers and development professionals. The U.S. Government, our hosts, and the leaders from organizations spanning the spectrum of development, are holding this event because we all want to hear from you.
Registration for the event is already underway, with encouraging results. We've registered participants from over 70 countries, with 60% of participants coming from outside the U.S.; 45% of registrants are women, and 27% have Arabic as a first language. These trends indicate to me that this event will indeed be a useful and worthwhile endeavor and hopefully one that can expand the understanding of the needs and nuances of developing communities.
The vision for global engagement is not a short-term priority. Rather, it is an opportunity to focus on what to invest in, who to partner with, and how to bring effective, sustainable solutions to scale in the long-term. I am truly excited to see what USAID and other donors can learn from this dialogue.
Let us hear from you, log on to www.globalpulse2010.gov March 29-31.