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Making Good Last: Hillary Clinton's Contribution




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The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
February 7, 2013 | 2,973 views | 10 comments

By Jill Iscol and Peter Cookson, Jr.

With the departure of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, now is the time to reflect on her legacy, not just in the field of diplomacy but her broader vision for the United States as a catalyst for turning idealism into action.

Recently we have seen the rise of a new humanism -- the desire of people to do something bigger and more lasting than themselves. Making Good has become the ethos of a generation committed to making a more just world.

But how can we mobilize and organize the efforts of individuals and small groups into a sustainable long term movement?

Secretary Clinton's work provides an answer. Under her leadership, the State Department created a suite of public/private initiatives that brought together visionaries from the two sectors in groundbreaking programs.

These coordinated cross sector actions can accomplish amazing things. They must become an essential part of on-going American foreign policy.

Take the Clean Cookstoves Alliance, for example. Every year, nearly 2 million women and children die prematurely from the toxic fumes of traditional cookstoves and open fires. The Alliance raised over 160 million dollars in support of the goal of 100 million clean cookstoves by 2020.

This is just one program under Secretary Clinton's groundbreaking umbrella organization, the Global Partnership Initiatives, headed by Kris Bladerston. He has identified four elements that contribute to successful public/private partnerships. Each of which is worth emulating.

The first is leadership. Without a strong visionary leader inertia and routine become the enemy of action.

Second, a successful partnership requires a platform. Bringing activists together through the convening authority of an influential organization expands the conversation and connects projects and people.

Third, the partnership itself is critical. Mutual support and teamwork isn't just about money, it's also about networking, shared values and communication. The communication revolution is a vast network for collaboration and combining resources.

Finally, professionalization is key. Sustaining long term change means engaging with the issues in a progressively informed and agenda setting atmosphere. We need professional programs for those who want to make a career of making good.

These four elements are a good place to start building a culture of commitment that is broad and deep. Turning idealism into action is a natural extension of the new humanism; the time has come to build an organizational infrastructure to support this new movement.

We have yet to learn what Secretary Clinton will do in the coming years to extend her work at the State Department. We hope that she will continue to advocate for public/private partnerships and remain a leader in the worldwide movement to embrace the power of making good to transform lives.

There is no way forward without risks. But inaction is the greatest risk of all. Action combined with careful planning is a lesson we have learned from the Clinton State Department; let's not forget it as we take the next step forward.

Jill W. Iscol and Peter W. Cookson, Jr. are authors of Hearts on Fire: Stories of Today's Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action, to be published by Random House January 2013.
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
February 11, 2013 3:48pm
 
Politicians micromanaging a combat situation or a war is not wise. Remember LBJ and Vietnam.

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
February 11, 2013 1:16pm
 
How many people have died on BO's watch? Never hear anything about that do you? As soon as BO won in 2008 the running count of the dead stopped immediately! Why was that? Huh? Huh? huh?

 
Facts only please  
TX  
February 11, 2013 11:40am
 
4th: How many people died on GB watch? Talk about an administration that failed. Have you forgoten 9/11?

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
February 11, 2013 11:17am
 
Has everyone forgotten that it was on her watch that 4 innocent people in an embassy were murdered cause his pleads for more security and help when they were under attack was ignored. It's not good enough to say she was unaware ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
February 11, 2013 6:09am
 
Vision ???? This is so phoney. China started a clean stove program in 1980 at about the same time as India. The China program was far more successful as about 150 million stoves were distributed. India was far less ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
February 10, 2013 3:49pm
 
Reduction of indoor smoke depends on the fuel being used in the stove and the fool using the stove. A simple vent pipe to the outside reduces the indoor smoke by about 60 percent. Don't need vision as common sense should ... More ›

 
Joseph Canady  
Floresville, TX  
February 10, 2013 2:06pm
 
Four dead Americans says it all!!

 
Californian  
Oceanside  
February 10, 2013 10:31am
 
I thought Secretary Clinton's legacy was that an American Ambassador and three other Americans died because no one was paying attention.

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
February 10, 2013 10:29am
 
My guess is that you won't be buying the book! LOL

 
Bob Pritts  
St Hedwig, TX  
February 10, 2013 10:06am
 
I read the above article twice and all I can say is WOW! I can't remember the last time I read one page of such moronic idiocy ... and printed on the net no less! The content is a brilliant example of a blatant failure to ... More ›

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