Last night (Tuesday, January 26th, 2010) I gave a talk to a sold-out audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. The crowd was excellent, and I was thrilled to have the chance to deliver our message at this venue.
I say ‘our message’ because so many of you helped to shape the talk, and, most importantly, practically forbade me from doing anything but delivering a no-holds-barred message. So that’s what I did.
Here are a couple of observations. Five years ago I was delivering a version of this message in the basement community room in a local bank in Brattleboro, VT to very small audiences. Yesterday, a half hour before the talk began, there were ~30 people waiting in a side room for a small chance at one standby ticket.
Five years ago, the audiences were all ‘of an age.’ Now they include many more younger people and represent a much broader cross section of society, beliefs, professions, and income levels.
My impression is that the tide is shifting, powerfully, and yesterday’s response proved to me that ideas matter, that people care, and that getting our collective act together is a rapidly-ascending priority for a growing group of people. Whoever says that there’s no interest anymore in big ideas is flat-out wrong.
So thank you to everyone that came, and, if you couldn’t make it in, I’m sorry, and I hope that we get a chance to meet soon elsewhere. If you can make it to the Sonora event, tomorrow night (Thursday, 6-9:30), I’d love to see you there.
Below is the speech I gave (not an exact transcript, but very close).
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