This past weekend, we had the great pleasure of attending the 2012 Millennium Campus Conference at Northeastern University, where we joined 1,200 other attendees including student leaders, development professionals, innovative social benefit organizations, and some of the world’s leading economists, to discuss progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and how to more efficiently work towards their achievement.
With a superstar line up of keynote speakers including Dr Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Peace Prize Winner, Emilia Pires, Minister of Finance of Timor-Leste, and Steve Radelet, Chief Economist at USAID, there was no shortage of powerful minds and voices, urging the audience to listen closely to the populations they wish to serve, to act boldly, and act in concert with one another.
Over the course of the two day conference, more powerful speeches were given and discussions had then we could ever hope to summarize, but we would like to share a few pivotal moments with you:
- Akhtar Bradesh, Senior Director of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Microsoft urged the students and young leaders in attendance to:
1.) BE UNREASONABLE
2.)BE A LEARNER- “Listen when people say you don’t know anything.”
3.) FAIL – “You will fail- it is the only way to know success.”
4.)BE COMPASSIONATE, not just passionate.
“Compassion takes your personal work, drive, motivation and turns it into societal benefits.”
- Dr. Paul Farmer insisted that you cannot plan ahead for every set back or defeat. He identified perseverance, humility and partnership as the key ingredients that will carry you through even the worst of disasters.
- Steve Radelet of USAID stood in front of the packed auditorium, and boomed out, “Some people say development is failing. I am here to say they are wrong. Never before has there been so much progress… Fighting poverty is happening.”
We walked away from the 2012 MCC fired up and excited to forge further partnerships as we strive towards better care, better education, and more widely accessible opportunity at the Flying Kites home, school, and surrounding community.
-Julianna Morrall Director, Ambassador Program