From everything I have seen in my travels so far, I believe humanity’s best hope to change the world for the better is through business and the development of clean technology. And I’m not alone in thinking that business leaders have a critical role to play in our collective future.
The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey that measures public confidence in key social institutions, found that business is more trusted than government in 21 of the 28 geographies they polled. People also don’t see government, media, and NGOs as being capable of solving the most pernicious social, environmental and economic problems of our times without the involvement of business. They actually expect business leaders to step up.
One of the reasons I wrote Take That Leap: Risking It All for What REALLY Matters was to inspire others to get clear about what they care about in this world—and take a leap towards taking care of that. That’s why it was a great privilege and an honour to be the keynote speaker for the British Columbia Institute of Technology Alumni AGM last week. (Can it really have been 35 years since I graduated from the mechanical technology program?)
Friends told me after the event (which was filled to capacity and had to be broadcast into two ‘overflow’ rooms) that many in the audience were physically leaning in to listen as I shared highlights of some of the adventures in my book, oohing and ahhing at certain moments in some of my stories or at the images of some of Aqua-Guard’s technology. I reminded everyone that we, as alumni and elders, have a great responsibility to share our wisdom and learning with the next generations, to give back to our communities, and to leverage whatever platforms we have built over the years to do good in the world. From the number of individuals who came up and spoke with me afterward, it was clear people had also been listening just as intently when I expressed my belief that graduates like ourselves of learning institutions such as BCIT, MIT and others are our best chance for positive change in the world.
All proceeds from the sale of books this particular evening went to Covenant House Vancouver to support our at risk youth in the city. A special shout out to Jackie Leonard and Kim Wing from Covenant House, who were invited guests, and to the BCIT alumni from Aqua-Guard who attended. And last, but not least, a huge thanks go to Leslie Courchesne, executive director of the BCIT Alumni Association, and Paul McCullough, vice president of Alumni Relations, for hosting such a great event.