This was an emotional week. We remember a dear close friend who has 'sailed on to higher realms,' have also met some amazing folks, who we hope will remain friends. Plus, I got to watch one of our students, who is inspiring and changing India. Together, they remind of how connectivity enables the best of what it means to be human.
First, as our friend Jay--amazing architect, visionary and one of the most amazing, generous individuals you could ever meet--sailed on to higher realms, we were able to hear about it through CaringBridge, a site that allows friends and family to stay in touch with those facing illness events. It allows communication and compassion to spread and resonate throughout the world, without those affected needing to generate a million emails. It is purpose-built and works well. Thanks, Betsy, for your courage, warmth and sharing throughout the fight.
Second, we got to hang out for a warm sunny afternoon with Lauren and Michael and their sons and share stories of our home exchanges. It was a treat to meet this great family, after having been in their lovely home in the States. They each do interesting work, which I will feature in future posts. They had stayed and worked ('No rest for the virtual.' says Lauren) in our home in New Zealand while we travelled for 6 months. We used Home Exchange.com for our first sabbatical in Europe in 2000 and it worked so well we used it again this year in France and the US with great experiences. Home exchange trades on the simple idea that sharing and exchanging homes allows us not only to forego accommodation expenses, but also to experience a living, breathing home and neighborhood. As baby boomers become freed up for travel, this movement will no doubt expand and grow. Sharing what we already have (a home), we can travel in a world of abundance.
Finally, at a business growth event sponsored by the ICEHOUSE, an organization I work with, I got to watch and listen to Rob Adams, business growth expert, Tim Longhurst, futurist, and Vinny Lohan, who blew me away! Vinny is an entrepreneur and data engineer alum of our engineering school who has gone back to India to make a difference in the world. Vinny demonstrates the wisdom, courage and genuine humanitarian vision (along with a great sense of humor) that you might expect from an older Steve Jobs. One of his technological break-throughs involved taking a ubiquitous connective resource, i.e., radio signals, to connect and transfer data to computers, thereby overcoming the major challenge of connectivity in developing nations. You can find out more about this astounding technology at OneBeep.org.
You can also see Vinny Lohan in action at a TEDx conference. Watching him, you will see why I am proud of this U of A alum, but also why I feel encouraged that the real connectivity challenges of the world will be solved in the hands and hearts of technological leaders like Vinny.
In his TED talk, Vinny observes that we can live 40 days without food. We can live 4 days without water. We can live 4 minutes without air. But, 'we can only live 4 seconds without hope.'
Here's to hope and sharing in a world of abundance.