The truth is, prior to receiving one of the best emails of my life (nomination/selection), I had never heard of the Aspen Ideas Festival. But after witnessing this grand phenomenon in person, I promise to raise awareness of your work.
I am a big believer in the power to convene and other than the White House, I had never seen an organization attract such a diverse group of global thought leaders until I met the Aspen Institute. Therefore I am writing this post to forever remember this week, to give thanks to you all and to promote among other young professionals so that someday they may participate in this once in a lifetime event.
Sunday June 28, 2015 Fest 1 Begins
1) Find ways to collaborate with others on Baseball Diplomacy to address international health and education issues that at risk youth face every day.
2) Meet book authors and seek guidance on publishing.
3) Have fun and be a connector for my fellow scholars.
Monday June 29, 2015
Tuesday June 30, 2015
I'm a big believer in the heforshe movement and was inspired by all points, especially Anne-Marie Slaugther's point that society must liberate men and let them know that it's ok to support spouse with care in lieu of cash. After the session, we connected on the issue of gender empowerment and sport for development.
They spoke about how to get young people working since our society preps students to get educated, but not to get a job. The panelists agreed that the easiest thing to teach young professionals is technical issues, not soft skills. Thus we need to provide hope and give folks a way to play offense.
There I met Ai-jen Poo, folks from AARP and a great guy by the name of Alex, whom randomly sat down next to me.
At the moment, no one knew who he was, thus I struck a conversation with him. He said he was in Aspen for an energy conference and we spoke about sports and baseball diplomacy. He's an avid sports fan. In the end we exchanged contact information and promised to keep in touch. Towards the end of the night, someone later told me that Alex was Alex Laskey the founder of a company called O-Power. I thought Alex's introduction was quite refreshing because it conditions you to care about the person and not about what he or she does for a living.
Wednesday July 1, 2015
This meant a great deal to me, because when I graduated from UCLA in 2010, not many months removed from the Great Recession, I had no job prospects, but thanks to my study abroad experience and much help from John Oxtoby and Chairman Paul Volcker's Chief of Staff at the time Tony Dowd and now one of the founder of the Volcker Alliance, I was given a chance. You see, they were my keeper and as a result, everything that I am to date I owe to them. Therefore, I am a believer in opening doors for the next generation because it's not about me but we. Thus, I am personally taking the challenge to help domestic and international youth achieve their dreams through baseball.
At the end of Peter Thiel's talk, I followed him to his car to let him that had his fellowship been around when I was at UCLA I would have gone all in and pursued my passion of baseball diplomacy.