This week marks a triumph for not only the world of entrepreneurs, but, I believe, for society in general. More than any other week in history, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2012 has ensured that starting a new company is the dominating topic of discussion for millions of people around the world for an entire week. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of this incredible effort and to see how much the global Startup Weekend community is not only contributing to the dialogue about starting new companies, but pushing tens of thousands to dedicate an entire 54 hours of hard work to actually transform those ideas into action and actually creating new companies by participating in the Global Startup Battle.
During just the first weekend of GEW (Nov. 9-11), there were 68 Startup Weekend events in 34 different countries that produced more than 500 new startup teams. On social media, we had more than 35 million impressions in just three days from entrepreneurs buzzing about the events and their new company ideas. This coming weekend, there will be another 70 events that will push the all-time tally near 1,000 Startup Weekend events in 107 countries in just three-and-a-half years. The real accomplishment of GEW, though, is the unprecedented access to entrepreneurship and models like ours that help people experience and learn how to be better at company creation. No longer is it an elusive topic at dinner tables, but a virtuous one promoted from the highest sources. We are witnessing the democratization of entrepreneurship -- and Startup Weekend is incredible proof of this with events taking place from Tehran, Iran and the Canary Islands to Johnson City, Tenn. and Des Moines, Iowa here in the USA.
Global Entrepreneurship Week for us is a celebration of what is possible. It is a time not only to recognize but to participate and experience entrepreneurship -- widely acknowledged as the most fundamental underpinning of our global economy. It is this reality that, as global citizens, bestows upon us a great responsibility. A responsibility to take our future and that of our communities and society into our own hands, for there is no greater way to realize the full potential of oneself than to create something of genuine value for another. The thrill of this quest and the opportunity to make a living out of it is one of the most powerful ways to achieve the all-too cliche adage, "do what you're passionate about." And it is this infectious notion that, while not easy to achieve, has become a defining characteristic of our generation.
Today marks National Entrepreneur's Day, which was declared by President Obama as part of National Entrepreneurship Month, and it should be more than just a reminder to us of how incredibly fortunate we are to live in such an amazing nation that fosters this ideal, creating a culture supportive of creativity and innovation. It is what our great country was founded upon and represents to the rest of the world; however, we also must never forget that entrepreneurship, as the greatest American export of all, is something that transcends every imaginable social, political and religious boundary. I hope I speak for my entire generation when I say that I would be less than satisfied if we were not remembered as the generation that further unleashed the true power of entrepreneurship as one of the most powerful forces for good in human history.