The last time you saw Bill Clinton was probably at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte as Barack Obama's most dazzling surrogate. But Clinton has a day job: global philanthropist in chief. As the founder and head of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), he has spent the past seven years tackling the world's most intractable problems: HIV/AIDS, climate change and poverty. CGI is a kind of global convener of philanthropists, and the organization estimates that since it began in 2005, it has secured commitments of almost $70 billion for everything from children's health to conflict resolution.
Our cover story this week coincides with CGI's annual meeting (for which TIME is a media partner). At that meeting next week in New York City, Clinton will host leaders from around the world as well as both President Obama and Governor Romney. It's the only place you'll see the two candidates together this fall besides the presidential debates.
Clinton's cover story this week is not about politics, presidential or otherwise, but the largest global trends that are actually improving the planet. At a time when there is a great deal of pessimism about issues like the global economy, the environment and health care, Clinton sees positive forces in technology, energy and human rights that are transforming the globe. After all, he is one himself.
Richard Stengel, MANAGING EDITOR
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