ON MESSAGE: Regardless if Hillary Rodham Clinton makes another bid for the White House, her daughter Chelsea showed off her own talking points Wednesday in a Q&A with Town & Country editor in chief Jay Fielden. The former first daughter capped off the magazine’s Philanthropy Summit at the Hearst Tower by talking up the future of the Clinton Foundation. In more than 35 countries and with more than 2,200 full-time employees or full-time volunteers, the Clinton Global Initiative has bulked up considerably since its early days as a 14-person operation when it was founded 12 years ago.
This story first appeared in the May 29, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Earlier in the day, Donna Karan, Trudie Styler and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the speakers who tried to empower attendees. Karan noted that every person has a hospital or a child “in one way or the other” who could benefit from their help. Soon off to Pakistan to find embroidery specialists, the designer said, “The soulful economy is something I see the industry moving towards.”
Clinton also spoke of counting on the expertise of others. She told Fielden, “I do believe that most challenges have been solved by someone somewhere, and too often there’s this pressure to innovate when it’s not necessarily the idea or the innovation that needs to be imagined so much as to translate it into a specific context or set of parents. Certainly at the foundation we’re always asking who’s doing already something really well and how can we learn from that because it’s important for us to be second or even third if someone has already been first.”
As for the perennial how-should-others-start question, “I always start with, ‘Well, what makes me really angry and where do I think I need to take a position to make a difference?’” Clinton said. “…I think it is important to think about what makes us happy and fulfilled, but at least for me anger and a sense of injustice are a more motivating force.”