Friday, September 25, 2009

Fast Forward favorite CGI thoughts

Here are some of my favorite CGI snippets of the past few days (I shared these on twitter, and reviewed to retrieve some of my passing thoughts during the swirl of Clinton Global Initiative):

  • Fola Adeola, The Fate Foundation: "What we hold in our hands is a compass, so we can write our maps as we go along"
  • Marilyn Carlsen: "holding up a mirror to ourselves may be best thing we can do"
  • Nick Kristoff: "need metrics of quality, not just quantity"
  • (not sure who said this, but it's good!) @CGI: "what is done to children they will do to the world"
  • (me!) : Why are 4 billion poor people "bottom of the pyramid," not "global majority"?
Fast Forward Fund was honored to get a glimpse into CGI this year, and happy to post guest blogs at!


  1. Hi... just came across this blog from a google alert on "global majority." You might be interested in checking out the website of our organization (cooincidentally named Global Majority" after the premise that if given a choice, the majority of the world's population would prefer to live in peace rather than violent conflict). We have programs in schools in which we do trainings in nonviolent conflict resolution techniques and help teachers develop electives on negotiation and mediation skills. Thanks for the great quotes!

  2. Hey Cameron, how cool! thanks for your comment and introducing us to your org. keep up the good work!

  3. "Holding up a mirror to ourselves may be the best things we can do." It's hard to argue with this statement, but even harder to commit to the truth of it. Growing up a comparably privileged person, I've been conditioned to be a wasteful global citizen. Though in middle school I cared deeply about where and how my clothes were produced, the constant investigation proved to be exhausting and discouraging. I haven't done much investigation since. On a daily basis my actions reflect more concern for social acceptance and professionalism than responsibility to fellow human beings. Even without driving a car, using heating sparingly, recycling regularly and taking staggered showers, one website calculated that if everyone lived as I do, it would take an extra Earth and a half to support us. Since that calculation, I haven't changed my living habits. If I were to live as Gandhi (harvest my own wheat, spin my own fabrics), I would likely be alienated from society to a significant extent and lose the influence I want to change the world. If I were to constantly hold this mirror to my face, I couldn't argue for international justice with as much confidence as I do (and as I feel is necessary to propel my social projects of school-building and rejecting coal contracts forward). In short, it is hard to find the courage to hold the mirror to my face because in principle the obligation to change should follow. It is easier to avoid this obligation than to consciously reject it.