Last night (Tuesday January 26th, 2010) I gave a talk at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco to a sold-out audience. 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’s 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’ and 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.
Download the audio for the podcast here.
Below is the speech I gave (not an exact transcript, but very close).