What a week!
I’ll try and summarize all of my learnings in bullet point format so we can all retain this info together (somehow, ‘cause it’s a lot!).
I went to the Global Opportunities Think Tank to solve some of the “world’s greatest challenges” with academics, government folks, entrepreneurs, United Nations and non-profit peeps. I have to say, the people I was most impressed with were, you guessed it, the entrepreneurs. They were able to look at the problems from a new, fresh, creative perspective and not be bogged down by so much red tape that squelched their imagination.
One of the Danish men actually said to me: “It’s so nice to see women giving their ideas, gives a nice fresh perspective.” Um...yeah. He meant well but like...
Anyway, we addressed 5 global risks on the planet that are systemic, global, timely and actionable (we recognize that there are many many more risks and issues on the planet but these 5 were the ones we focused on based on the above reasons):
Rising violent conflicts and instability
Increased inequality and slow sustainable development
Explosion of Cyber Attacks
Cities faced with disruptive effects of climate change
I learned that:
40% of the world soil is degraded
Rising violence costs 13.4% of world GDP
1.5 billion people are affected by violence
The average number of years in refugee camps is 17 years (unbelievable - and these are people just like you and me, could you imagine!?)
0.7% of world population owns 41% of global wealth
Cyber attacks cost $445 Billion
Some of the solutions that I came up with, that, ahem, weren’t quite mainstream and had a lot of pushback but I defended them anyway:
Bringing mindfulness work to places of violence (yoga, meditation) and measure how raising consciousness can lower violence
Bringing things like “Headspace” to refugee camps since they have access to phones and internet and measure how mindfulness can help people who are in deep despair while trapped in refugee camps
Figuring out how to get world leaders and tribe leaders to take the medicine psilocybin together so they can all realize that we’re all Earthlings on Spaceship Earth (ie. why are we fighting instead of helping/supporting each other?) I understand the risks involved with this idea but would be incredible to remove ego from these convos and get to the root of humanity.
Export simple assembly jobs for people in depressed, violent countries / refugee camps who just want to work to feed their families and not resort to violence
Work with Linkedin to create a section on the site for refugees so they can help each other out
Anyway, it made me so, so, so grateful to be living where I am. Those reading this truly won the lottery of life and if we can do anything while we’re here to help those who picked the wrong lottery ticket, then that would be a life well lived.
After the Think Tank, I headed to Washington DC to a) speak at National Geographic Magazine for MCon (stands for Millennial Conference but this conference was actually an Impact Conference) and b) to appear on air at ABC local channel 7 to talk about THINX.
Speaking on a local TV station might sound “meh” to you, but it was actually a GIANT step forward for womankind. This was the first time EVER that I was able to talk about periods on mainstream television. All national television stations still say to me “America isn’t ready for this conversation yet” (can you f-ing believe it? I know. I know. Crazy). So just speaking on a small local station was a big deal. National TV, I’m comin’ for you.
Watch the clip (and see how uncomfortable the anchor is talking about it) here.
After that, went to Nat Geo Museum for my talk in front of 500 people in the auditorium and 20,000 people tuning in from around the world (eek!). Walking into this iconic place felt so nostalgic to me, even if I’ve never been physically. My family collected Nat Geo magazines my entire life. The magazine covers lined the walls of the Museum and I recognized almost all of them. Unreal.
I decided to lead my talk with “Holy Shit, We’re Alive!” (See my Instagram feed to understand where this saying came from and why it’s so powerful.) We'll post the entire talk on social tomorrow, so look out for that :-)
Finally, today, I went to a cool conference on community building with Creative Mornings. Seth Godin spoke at one of the Creative Morning talks (not this one) but I did think this talk was especially interesting, please watch (sitting on a toilet watching this works too, and while you’re on the toilet, you really should think about getting a Tushy if you know what’s good for your health and the planet).
Pls do share this email/newsletter to people who you think might be into it and have them sign up for the blog at shethinx.com.
Till next week!