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Image for Burkle Global Initiative Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai addresses guests at BGI event

Burkle Global Impact Initiative

The Burkle Global Impact Initiative, a program of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, strives to connect the entertainment industry to global issues.

The Burkle Global Impact Initiative (BGI), a program by the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations has worked since 2013 to activate the entertainment industry across all sectors, to engage more deeply and effectively with global policy, humanitarian, and advocacy issues. The program's mission has been to promote and facilitate the treatment of critical international issues within the content creation community as a way to educate and inform the public about international affairs. BGI has worked with the United Nations, UN agencies, with the UN Foundation, US government agencies, USAID, NGOs, as well as several social impact ventures – and it has tapped into the academic resources and the strength of UCLA faculty in order to vet and develop content ideas.

BGI convenes members of the entertainment community - writers, showrunners, producers, agents, actors - with subject matter experts to shed light on pressing issues, foster discussion, develop ideas for storylines as well as educate subject matter experts on effective storytelling. Facilitating these types of exchanges and relationships is an essential component of BGI’s work and critical for sustained impact. Personal connections and networks established over the years have served as ongoing resources to content creators and experts alike.

Burkle Center Director Kal Raustiala is convinced that "entertainment is a powerful gateway for the public to learn about, and engage with, a wide range of critical global issues. A more educated public is an important goal in itself. But it is also a crucial steppingstone to more enlightened and effective policies.” BGI does that by connecting the brightest and most creative minds to encourage collaboration around impactful policies and storytelling.