On June 3, 2009, the Global Partnership Initiative hosted its inaugural event – the first U.S. Government sponsored TED Talks, at the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC. The launch of Secretary Clinton’s Global Partnership Initiative at this event demonstrates that public-private partnerships are at the heart of what she refers to as “smart power.” This new foreign policy approach seeks to go beyond “soft power” and “hard power” by employing partnerships with non-governmental entities to achieve foreign affairs goals, while integrating the “three D’s” of diplomacy, development, and defense through collaborative governance.
During one of the talks at TED@State, Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the Acumen Fund, discussed how patient capital has stimulated entrepreneurship in Pakistan, proposing that the U.S. Government create a Global Innovation Fund to invest in the best models of delivering basic services to low-income people in sustainable and scalable ways. Versions of this idea had been previously discussed in numerous circles and now a group of organizations has decided to convene a roundtable to explore it further.
On Wednesday, July 22, 2009, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and the Calvert Foundation welcomed leading voices in entrepreneurship to a roundtable discussion at the Aspen Institute to discuss their best ideas for potential Global Innovation Fund models. Representatives from the U.S. Government, including the Global Partnership Initiative-U.S. Department of State, OPIC, MCC, USAID, White House Office of Social Innovation, and Treasury Department, attended and listened in on the discussion.
“…I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world. On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create more jobs. We’ll open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new science envoys to collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean water, grow new crops…All these things must be done in partnership.”
– President Obama, Cairo Speech, July 4, 2009
“We also will reach out beyond governments, because we believe partnerships with people play a critical role in our 21st century statecraft. President Obama’s Cairo speech is a powerful example of communicating directly with people from the bottom up. And we are following up with a comprehensive agenda of educational exchanges, outreach, and entrepreneurial ventures.”
-Secretary of State Clinton, Foreign Policy Address at the Council on Foreign Relations, July 15, 2009