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Diana Ayton-Shenker’s Fast Forward Fund, a Pioneering Youth-to-Youth Social Investment Venture, is Launched at Clinton Global Initiative University 2009

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— As part of the 2nd annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU), held February 13–15 at The University of Texas at Austin, former President Clinton showcased the Fast Forward Fund (FFF), a pioneering youth-to-youth social investment venture aimed at addressing global issues related to climate change and energy, poverty, health, and human rights and peace. The Fast Forward Fund, a project cofounded by Diana Ayton-Shenker, senior fellow and faculty member at Bard College’s Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA), was selected as one of only three projects, among approximately 1,000, to be featured and discussed by Clinton in his press conference. Ayton-Shenker’s course at BGIA on Strategic Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship is serving as a pilot program to train students in the process of strategic investment for FFF.

“We believe investing is action,” says Ayton-Shenker, a longtime champion of investment activism and president of FFF. “Young leaders today have the capacity, energy and imperative to truly drive global change as social investors. While we often turn to our leaders for inspiration, CGIU & the FFF remind us that we must look at each other, and at ourselves for action. This is the promise and opportunity of FFF: young people themselves becoming social investors to help each other solve global threats.”

The FAST FORWARD FUND (FFF) is a youth-driven, social venture fund, directing philanthropic capital to youth-led initiatives for global change. Through peer-to-peer investments, FFF offers an innovative vehicle and catalyst for youth giving and a targeted source of capital for young social entrepreneurs to address the most pressing global challenges faced by this generation and our time. FFF’s philanthropic portfolios support: climate change and energy, poverty alleviation, global health, and human rights and peace.

The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), a project of Clinton Global Initiative, challenges college students and universities to address global problems with practical, innovative solutions. At the CGI U Meeting, young people and universities do more than simply discuss the world’s challenges—they take concrete steps toward solving them. To learn more, visit

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, 14 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading global CEOs, heads of foundations and major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,300 commitments valued at $46 billion, which have already impacted more than 200 million lives in 150 countries. Commitments made at the 2008 Annual Meeting are expected to affect almost 160 million people. CGI will hold its Fifth Anniversary Meeting from September 22–25, 2009, in New York City.

For more information about the Fast Forward Fund, contact Diana Ayton-Shenker at or 845-876-1510 or visit


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This event was last updated on 02-24-2009