Monday, February 20, 2012

GCCF's Better Together Luncheon

I will state right off the bat that at times it was hard for me to follow Salim Ismail's presentation at the Ritz Carlton last Friday for Gulf Coast Community Foundation's Better Together Luncheon.  It certainly wasn't his fault.  It was just a wee bit over my head and I think I am a fairly smart cookie.  He is brilliant and what he was saying was incredibly interesting.  I tried to write some of it down, but I just got bits and pieces of it.  It was about things I never think about, but definitely should be thinking about!
GCCF's President and CEO Teri Hansen, who looked so pretty in her bright yellow dress (yes, I hope by now we know you can be smart and pretty), had seen Mr. Ismail at a conference and just knew she had to invite him here.  The community should be grateful she did!  He is the type of speaker RCLA should be having for Town Hall.  No, he is not a recognizable international name, but he should be.  It is too bad that only 400 + people were able to hear this thought leader, who by the way, spoke entirely without notes.

Who is Salim Ismail?  He is the founding executive director and currently the global ambassador of Singularity University, where he is helping to educate and inspire a new generation of leaders to apply accelerating technologies to society's biggest problems. SU, in Silicon Valley, is based at the NASA Research Park and offers interdisciplinary graduate studies and executive programs in six areas: medicine and neuroscience, networks and computing systems, artificial intelligence and robotics, biotechnology/bioinformatics, nanotechnology, and energy and environmental systems.  SU students are challenged to develop products and services that will positively impact 1 billion people within a decade. 

Okay, I just copied this last paragraph from the media kit they gave me.  That night when I tried to explain to my husband what I had heard at the luncheon, I really couldn't.  I just kept saying it was fascinating, it was interesting, it was about things I never thought about, it was just fabulous.

I am going to try to tell you about some random things he spoke about, but if I were you, I would go to the SU website.  Here it goes.....In today's world, societal changes are driven by technology; they are creating a cancer-fighting beer from resveratrol from wine (there was a lot of clapping when this was announced); while listening to certain type of music, we learn 10x better; we need to fund students - some of the greatest discoveries in history were made by people in the early to mid 20s.  There were so many more complex issues and discoveries that were discussed that I cannot adequately write about here.  As I said, go to the SU website and be prepared to be impressed, amazed, and to sit in wonder at the world of technology that is quickly changing our lives and impacting our world. 

Wendy Deming did a terrific job pulling the luncheon together.  The steak salad was one of the better ones at the Ritz and the cookies were quite yummy. too.  Though, Lordy, the Ritz MUST do something about the valet in both coming and going.  I arrived at the Ritz at 11:30 AM and it took me 20 minutes to get from the end of the driveway on 41 to the valet.  That is just plain crazy.  Why can't they fix that?  And we all know it takes forever and a day to get your car when you leave. have to tack on at least another 30 minutes to the end of the event just to get your car. 

Also attending and not photographed below were Ann Logan, Marjorie Floyd, Alan Quinby, Susan Brainerd, Jan Chester, Erin McLeod, Dr. Larry Thompson, Scott Collins, Sheena Robinson, Graci McGillicuddy, Sophia LaRusso, Steve Wilberding, Janice Zarro, Linda DiGabriele, Joy Mahler, Michelle and Stephen Hazeltine, Gina Taylor, and scads more. 

Dr. Jeane McCarthy and Wendy Deming

Joel Elkes, Salim Ismail, Sally Lucke-Elkes

Margaret Wise, Ariane Dart, Zara Shoemaker

Jessica McDaniels, LaShawn Houston, Ana Deshields

Phil King Steve High, Jim Shirley

Robin Lankton, Victoria Leopold, and Jocelyn Stevens

Bev Koski and Alice Rau

Julie Delaney and Susan Hines

Grace Carlson and Stacey Corley

Johanna Gustafsson and Susan Jones

Chris Pfahler and Sally Schule

Johnette Cappadona and Eve Kommel

Erin Barker and Karen Dove

Stephania Feltz and Susan Brennan

Margaret Wise and Flori Roberts

Karin Grablin and Peggy Abt

Andy Walker and Susan Scott

Marty Katz, Dennis Stover, and Jessica Rogers

Pat Thompson, Deb Knowles, and Jenni Hudson

Sally Yanowitz, Scott Anderson, and Lois Stulberg

Kraig Koach and Jay Brady

Ping Faulhaber and Veronica Brady

Hillary Steele and Judy Cahn

Barbara Banks


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