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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Say I Want a Revolution

"I am not an optimist, I am a prisoner of hope." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

I am headed home today after two full days at the UN Foundation’s Social Good Summit, hosted in partnership with Mashable & Ericsson at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

I was offered a free press pass and entry into the Digital Media Lounge, because for some reason, there was a perception that more than ten people actually read my blog. Not one to argue or to point out that most of the readers are my family and the others are just people who are too nice to not support my endeavors in writing, I jumped on the opportunity.

There were so many compelling reasons to go. When I saw the agenda, I gasped out loud. Tell me you wouldn’t too?

Check it out.

The focus of the Summit was about expanding awareness for Socially “good” causes while using “social” mediums. Understanding the game changing implications this creates in raising international awareness.

Twitter. Facebook. Blogging.

We are at a place in our society where we are enabled by technology and people's desire to "connect" where we are looking at a true democratization of information. We are not beholden to stuffy men in conference rooms determining our fate - on some level, we are - but the reality is that people are empowered through social platforms in a way like never before.

This is where you start a revolution, my friends.


I checked in at the Summit on Monday and made my way to the Digital Media Lounge, where I met several journalists, bloggers and had an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the Summit Speakers.

The conference started with a bang, with none other than Ted Turner taking the stage. I had never heard him speak before and was blown away by his wit, his genuineness and his complete "irreverence" when talking about individual and corporate responsibility towards social good programs.

I also had this strange desire to go up onstage and sit in his lap and call him Grandpa. He was just so darn cute! But yes, I know that this would have been odd and I would not only have been kicked out of the Summit before it hardly started.

It also is not lost on me that Ted Turner looks nothing like either of my grandfathers, both of whom were very wonderful Indian men. Ted Turner is pretty amazing, alright. But he is not Indian.

So that was odd too.

Here are some of the gems I was able to capture when I wasn't snorting up my coffee:

On Nuclear Weapons:

"The world is too nice of a place to blow up."

Word, sir.


On Climate Change & Sustainability:

"More should be expected from us. Clean renewable energy IS possible."

"I'd rather have a nuclear power plant than coal. One might kill you & one WILL kill you for sure."

On Creating World Influence:

"You can't make people like you by bombing them."

"Instead of sending in troops, let's send in doctors, engineers and scientists."

Makes sense, right?

"It costs the US 1 million dollars for one soldier a year in afghanistan - It's crazy! It made sense in the middle ages. There was no TV."

On Individual Wealth:

"My goal is to leave my children enough to cover my funeral expenses."

That will be some snazzy funeral, Mr. Turner.

"Rich IS better. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You have to be able to afford dessert."

Why I wanted to hug him and pinch his cheeks:

"We have to make it together or we are not going to make it at all." Amen, sir.

I guess the biggest message I took away from Mr. Turner's speech (other than that he is really cute, like a little teddy bear - but richer) and something that I kept thinking about was one of my favorite quotes from Mother Theresa:

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

I will be continuing a recap of some of the most memorable moments of the Summit for myself. Hope you stick around to hear more about it.



Diana said...

Wow! Wow to all the speakers at the Good Summitt- and as always, to how you relay the info with wit, humor and honesty. Started my day with a smile. I love all the quotes you shared from each amazing speaker- and I feel like I say this to you all the time- but, man, I agree. I am perfectly capable of my own thoughts and opinion- and have never been one to try to morph my opinion or beliefs into someone else's for the sake of social acceptance. But you, my friend- are able to express so much of what I feel and think and want for this world that we share. I am inspired by what you learned. Inspired by you. Thank you. Next time see if the cute teddy bear will make an exception for the queen of cry babies to come with you... maybe I can sit in his lap? :)) Thank you for caring about the world and each of us that lives here!!
Love, Diana

webb said...

So, adopt him as your Great Uncle! Great quotes. Isn't it interesting how so many really rich people have recently spoken positively about all being in "it" together.

I love it that you got invited as a blogger Whoohoo for you!

politices said...

You love all the quotes for each speaker and amazing Shared tell you I feel like it's all the time, but I agree. I can do it perfectly with the comments and for social acceptance of other people's opinions and beliefs in the first you've ever tried to morph. However, we have you, I share my feelings and thoughts about the world and what they want to express too many friends - have. I have learned is inspiring. Inspire you.

love sms


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