CGI U participant shares experience with past conference

Arizona State University students can now apply to volunteer for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which will be held at ASU in Tempe, March 21-23. Each year, CGI U brings together nearly 1,200 attendees from around the world to make a difference in five focus areas: education; environment and climate change; peace and human rights; poverty alleviation; and public health.

ASU News sat down with HydroGene Biotechnologies co-founder and CGI U 2013 participant, Nisarg Patel, to get his insight on CGI U.

Chandler, AZ

Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology / Political Science

Tell us about your company.
HydroGene Biotechnologies is a biotechnology venture using synthetic biology to solve global health issues, with a focus on medical diagnostics. Our team is developing biosensor technology for on-site rapid screening of any bacterial pathogen of interest in the water supplies of developing countries, food processing plants and clinics. Unlike current biosensor technology, our product requires no electronic machinery, costs cents to produce and produces a quick response to pathogens. Our goal is to take the guesswork out of safe drinking water.

What was your affiliation with CGI U 2013?
I attended CGI U 2013. This year, I serve as the CGI U Campus Representative for ASU. As CGI U Campus Representative, my role is to mentor students with the application process and their projects. 

Were you able to make networking connections?
Yes. I met students from my commitment area, as well as other areas, like education and environmental sustainability. I also had the opportunity to speak with world leaders from institutions like the United Nations.

What was your greatest takeaway?
I was inspired by the incredible potential of young people to change the world.

What is your advice for others who are thinking about applying to CGI U this year?
Don’t worry if you think your project is too small to make an impact. With over 1,200 students attending, every bit of change that we make adds up. Be confident in your ideas and build as many relationships as you can with other attendees.