Walk The Bridge: My TEDx Talk
They say when you speak from the heart, you don’t need to worry about preparing too much, but I received a lot of guidance and feedback from several wonderful friends who helped my shape my talk, Walk The Bridge at TEDxZug. THANK YOU to: Jack Vincent, Ivo Bottcher, Paul Cox, Bobbette Buster who gave feedback, helped clarify my ideas, and calm my nerves. I’m grateful to David Campbell the founder and Executive Director of All Hands Volunteers, who granted permission to share the beautiful Project Tohoku video. My unending gratitude to my Habitat for Humanity mentors: Skip and Laurie Skipper and Allie Harned, The All Hands Volunteers family and my fellow Fellows at Kiva for showing me the way.
My sincere thanks to Jack, Natalie and Giovanna, the wonderful TEDxZUG organizers for the inviting me and for introducing me to the five other speakers; Freddy, Simon D., Leslie, Simon P, and Christian – all amazing people I feel incredibly fortunate to now call friends. The audience at TEDxZug was warm, encouraging and it was an honor to meet so many after my talk.
Part of overcoming my biggest fear - being vulnerable and feeling shy about putting myself out there to be judged was difficult. I worried that I might possibly fail or more likely babble incoherently but mostly, I wondered if I could credibly speak about such a rather squishy topic. I realized that I still have a lot to learn, but my experiences have changed the way I think about charity, aid, international relations and diplomacy.
Our world is fragmented now more than ever.
Lack of Access to Financial Services
Yet, we are all connected.
We can’t sit back and wait for governments to solve all of the challenging problems in our world. I believe that international volunteers and citizen diplomats are an untapped, limitless resource that can be our best asset as we address complex issues facing the world.
I hope my talk will inspire regular people to become citizen diplomats through joining hands-UP volunteer projects that help alleviate poverty, provide basic financial services to spur economic opportunity and equality that builds a bridge of trust, dignity, respect and understanding across cultural, economic and political divides.