July 16th, 2009
Last weekend I had breakfast with a woman with whom I graduated high school. Since we had not seen each other since a reunion several years ago there was much to catch up on. The most interesting thing was the fact that her daughter is in the middle of a 27 month deployment as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana. My friend had a thick photo album of her two visits to Ghana to visit her daughter who was living and working in what can only be described as totally primitive conditions.
To see a bright eyed, blond, happy American dedicating herself to service in the most primitive of situations brought back all the idealism with which the Peace Corps had been launched during the Kennedy Administration. I complimented my friend on having raised such a young woman in an age and culture that for two decades has been “all about me”.
This was the same day that President Obama was visiting Ghana and we wondered whether her daughter might actually get to see the President during his one day visit.
Well, she did. What follows is her exuberant account of that day. This is somewhat of a departure for this blog, but I was so moved by the unabashed enthusiasm and idealism of this young woman that I wanted to share it with you. It is the type of on the ground, intensely personal account that the mass media just can’t capture. It points to the power of service and to the …
July 1st, 2009
[Note: This is a column reprinted from the current "Shift Age Newsletter" as it is very timely and has already received a lot of positive comment. If you are not yet a subscriber of the newsletter, please go here and click on FREE subscription]
Those of you who have either read “The Shift Age” or have heard me speak about the Shift Age, know that the accelerating global electronic connectedness is one of the three forces that has, is and will continue to reshape our world. There are now 4 billion cell phone subscribers in the world. Facebook has more that 200 million users. Twitter is approaching 20 million users and all these numbers are increasing every day.
There is no longer any time, distance or place in human communication. That both transforms reality and creates new realities and opportunities. It is as though human communication is completely fluid and like water, can flow anywhere without boundaries, channels or hierarchies. Humans can interact with other humans in ways never before experienced in history. Our connectedness is a force in and of itself.
What has occurred these past few weeks in Iran will be regarded as one of the events in the geopolitical world that is both a confirmation of this new force and a signpost to our future global orientation.
Even a month ago, it would have seemed hard for most people to imagine that Twitter tweets would be used as news sources about a major event in the New York Times, …