This morning I woke up far earlier than usual (6AM!) to get up to the 8am press meeting at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. It’s been a really interesting, crazy time so far, starting from when I first arrived. When I came to Monday’s blogger meeting with Bill Clinton, I was surprised at how relaxed the security was for the meeting. Not so today. Getting into the Sheraton meant passing through the highest level of security I’ve ever experienced. This ranged from the no-tech to the highest of the high tech: manual bag search, walking through a sensor that detected the RFID inside of my press badge and instantly displayed my name and picture on a connected laptop, a metal detector, a handheld wand that could detect the RFID in my badge, AND some weird thing that seemed to take both normal pictures and x-ray type body scans. All to be expected given the number of world leaders, politicians, celebrities, and corporate leaders at the event, but still a bit unnerving. Past the doors, security has been pretty tight as well, with the press being carefully corralled and guided away from any mingling with the Important People.
I’ve spent most of my day in the press room with both bloggers and the more traditional media. These groups don’t mix that much. No matter, because it’s been fun to meet all of the other bloggers who are here and attach faces to names and the words they write. I do keep hoping that Amy Goodman or Juan Gonzalez will walk up into the press room, but I don’t think that’s too likely.
Deanna and I liveblogged the Opening Plenary, which was chock full of celebrities, dignitaries, and noble ideas; check the record of the liveblogging for details. Afterwards, I attended the press conference with Lance Armstrong, where he announced the creation of the Livestrong Global Cancer Awareness Campaign as well as details his return to cycling, which he described as another way to raise international awareness of cancer: “While my intention is to train and compete as fiercely as I always have, this time I will gauge victory by how much progress woe make against cancer, a disease that will claim 8 million lives this year alone.”
Afterwards there was lunch (during which I was reminded that I like the idea of roast beef far more than I like the reality of roast beef), followed by the working sessions in which all of the bigwigs who are gathered here get down to business and try to come up with concrete ways to tackle issues of poverty, energy and climate change, education, and global health. I watched and listened to the live feed of the Global Health working session, the theme of which was “Healthy Transitions for Adolescent Girls.” The conversation and discussion that came afterward were fascinating, and I’ll be posting about it shortly. Then, a panel on philanthropy with Bill Clinton and Bill Gates (!), then home. Whew!
Cross-posted at Feministe