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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Connected, Gear Engaged. Ignited

It’s amazing how different yet how similar we are. The Aspen Global Leaders Network reunion ACT II ended on Saturday with 160 people from 44 countries dancing classic country and pop music from the fifties. No it was not a pretty sight, a happy one yes, but not pretty. The South Africans of course stole the show with their synchronized line dancing; the waters of that land must be fortified with rhythm. The Central Americans were and always are the life and soul of the party, nah they are the party.

This was of course a fitting end to a program, which sought to and did connect engage and inspire the fellows from around the globe.

The one thing that was clear to me at the end of our readings, conversations, engagements and interactions is not only that all we are all unified in the eternal quest for the definition and attainment of the good life for the largest numbers in our different parts of the world nor how similar the most common human challenges are but how inevitable it is that each must solve her own problems and that, it is the aggregation of such solutions that will evolve a better balanced world order which may preserve us.

One of the boys: Nuhu Ribadu, Maduka Emelife,Me,Nasir El Rufai And Foluso Phillips

It’s not going to be top down but bottom up, the real challenge being the evolution of a gifted new cadre of thinkers, leaders and doers in several parts of the world.
For the first time in such of a forum, I felt a little more confident to say that Nigeria had a good example in the person of Fashola of Lagos. There was of course the inevitable questioning around the situation around Nuhu Ribadu (more later) who was a powerful and compelling presence through out but there was the sense that Nigeria is at the cusp of something infinitely powerful which even or especially our present difficulties will catalyze.

Dele Olojede and Nasir El Rufai

Perhaps the email I sent to a friend of mine (reproduced below and adapted for you all) on arrival in Aspen is a more eloquent text of my feelings seeing as I am too exhausted from two days of slummy it as airports trying to get to New York to think. There were flight cancellation and delays, denial of responsibility by airlines, near fraudulent hotel reservation rule bending and the many other signposts to the flaws of the American system and a testament to the commonality of our search for a better life.

The very lovely very pregnant abby; deputy director leadership initiatives

I shall now go and wash and change out of my 24-hour clothes so I can go find decent food in the only city I truly like in America. Why? New York is honest to God rude, aggressive, nasty and dishevelled but she wraps you in her energy, sexiness and fun spitting expletives at all irrespective of colour, race and nationality whilst offering you anonymity and user friendliness, a feature sadly missing in many other cities of a gifted but insular nation.

Walter Isaacson, President/CEO of Aspen Institute, his daughter Betsy, myself, Okey and Ngozi

Nasir and Zoe

The Nigerian Mafia + 1: Nuhu, me, Roland Akosa, Ngozi, Phillips, Okey Enelamah, Dele, Nurudeen Lemu and Nasir

Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs Ajekigbe and I

Ndidi Nwuneli and Nasir

Peter Hirshberg Technorati chairman and I

Myself, Fmr. Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Ndidi Edozien

Ngozi Edozien and I

Beth Galante of Global Green, Queen Amina (Oyagbola) and the inimitable Keith Berwick

Barclay Snr. Executive Heather Sonn contemplates

United Nations: Mothomang, me, Mark, Heather, Zeona, Zoe and Hugo


The Bookaholic said...

You sure had fun...

411 said...

i remember meeting Ribadu at the airport in lagos and he was the friendliest and most approachable person ever. i was so nervous but i said what i wanted to and he gave me his card and signed his autograph.

We need more leaders like him

Unknown said...

For many things in the world...there is Mastercard...Brainfood...priceless!

LadyP said...

"It’s not going to be top down but bottom up, the real challenge being the evolution of a gifted new cadre of thinkers, leaders and doers in several parts of the world"

As always, you speak the words echoing in my head.
Hang in there Sister!...and come over to Sri Lanka for a holiday;
I think Asia has alot to teach Africa.

Anonymous said...

Please allow your shows air in London, there just isnt anywhere i can watch them.