This is my first CGI event and obviously there were so many incredible people there doing extraordinary things, I wanted to talk about a few things that really moved me. Just as the day began, Jennifer Hanley, who does communications for President Clinton, was running down the hall to prepare some of his talking points, as he was about to announce pledges from people.
During that session, one of the people speaking was Al Gore, who I haven't seen in several months and as well as I thought I had gotten to know the former Vice President, I was completely blown away by the short, concise and passionate speech he made as he updated us on the issue of global warming and, of course, why it is the most important thing facing us in our lifetime.
I then played hooky and took a cab with Jeff Skoll, who own Participant Films, as he screened for us his new documentary Darfur Now. What an extraordinary documentary. Bound to have Oscar buzz. I got back to the conference just in time to see Angelina Jolie tell one of the most moving stories I think I've ever heard about two refugees that she met in Syria. One had been brutally burned and dumped in a trash can and the other was a ten year old boy, and how the two of these people somehow helped each other over a period of months. She was convinced that this little boy, who had spent so much time taking care of this horribly burnt man, who literally had maggots in his wounds, would someday be a doctor and that these people we call refugees are all people that are regular, hard-working people that have been stripped of everything.
The last thing I want to report back on is something the education minister of Afghanistan said. He was talking about how this year there was a terrorist attack on a school. When he arrived on the scene, two girls had been shot dead. He went to the hospital of a very badly wounded young girl, and as he comforted her, he said "Don't worry; we're going to take care of you." She said back "It's not me I'm worried about. Please, whatever you do, don't close the school down because of this."
My take-away from all of this was the enormous amount of violence in the world, but as much violence as there is, there's even more goodness and that's what this conference seems to be about; people actually taking action to do good.