So Christine and I got back Saturday evening from TED@Aspen. I still need a few days to sort through my thoughts about TED since I'm in the thick of a few other projects.
The last day's sessions were "How Dare We Be Optimistic?" and "And The Point?"
"How Dare We Be Optimistic?" was with Paul Collier, economist and author of The Bottom Billion, and Al Gore.
Paul Collier asked when was the last time the wealthy of the world got serious about developing another region of the world? He said the last time was during World War II when the U.S. helped Europe. There were four primary areas:
- Foreign Aid. Money. Thanks, he said.
- Trade Policy. Opened up its market. General Agreement on Trade & Tariffs created.
- Security. Isolationism to troops in Europe for over 40 years. I believe he said 100,000 troops currently in Europe.
- Governance. UN created
What about the new "bottom billion." How U.S. can help again?
Money isn't the issue here. The critical issue is the level of governance in these various resource pools. Sometimes democracies makes more of a mess. What countries of the bottom billion need are more checks & balances.
How can we improve government and implement more checks & balances? International standards. What are these standards? Resource extraction standards. What? Verified auctions.
Why are these standards and rules not there yet? Because we don't have a critical mass of informed citizens in our societies, and politicians will get away with gestures. We need to work on this.
Al Gore comes on the stage. Cool. Yeah! Yawn :)
"AND THE POINT?"
John Francis, "Planetwalker," was silent for 17 years. He also walked. A lot. Walked 500 miles to Ashland, Oregon to obtain his college degree. Then walked to Montana to obtain his MA, and taught a class in silence. How effective was this class? Would it have been better taught if he spoke?
He was writing on oil spills when Exxon Valdez happened. He was the only one in the U.S. at the time, so he was thrusted into the limelight.
How much more effective is he speaking now versus before?
He spoke on Earth Day for the first time in 17 years.
Why he starting talking again? He was studying environment and found there was an informal level. Changed from being about just trees and about how we treat each other.
He was afraid of change, but he needed to to tell his message.
(Ok, so my notes here were really scattered. Sorry!)
"TED2008: How dare we be optimistic?" TEDBlog
"TED2008: And The Point?" TEDBlog
"TED2008: Innovation in the morning" Ethan Zuckerman's blog
"TED2008: Paul Collier - Compassion and enlightened self-interest" Ethan Zuckerman's blog
"TED2008: Al Gore with solutions" Ethan Zuckerman's blog
"TED2008: John Francis walks the walk" Ethan Zuckerman's blog
"TED2008: Liberals, conservatives and moral humility" Ethan Zuckerman's blog
"TED2008: Geldolf asks for help" Ethan Zuckerman's blog
"TED 2008 Day 4 Highlights" Cerdafied blog
"Day 4 at TED@ASPEN 2008" Howard Wright's blog
"TED Highlights Day Four" Microclesia blog