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Old 02-25-2002, 03:53 AM   #1
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Bono on world economics and Grace

Did you guys listen to any of Bono's contributions at the World Economic Forum? I know this is somewhat belated (and the Superbowl was a sexier discussion ), but the clips from the WEF have lingered in my mind, continuing to move me.

Here's the C-span link to the Opening Plenary Discussion, "For Hope" -- http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/...102_opening.rm
If I knew how to excerpt it, I would, but the panel discussion starts about 42:00 minutes into the clip. Charlie Rose, moderator, made me smile with this introduction of the panel:
Quote:
"I am pleased to introduce to you the President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; Abdullah Abdullah, the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan; Elie Wiesel, the noted Nobel Prize-winner and author; Bono, need I say more? The Archbishop Emeritus of South Africa, Bishop Tutu; and Queen Rania of Jordan."
C-span's caption calls him simply "Composer & singer." I'm sure there were people in the audience, despite Charlie's introduction, going, "Emm...who?" Sure, I checked it out just to see Bono talk, you know, fast-forward to the "good bits." But the discussion itself is exciting for those of us who feel for our global brothers and sisters, and who fear for them.
Economics frankly baffles me -- frustrates me, scares me, angers me, when it behaves like a big number-crunching machine that puts communities in the service of the System, rather than the system working for the community as it's meant to be.
Part of my heart is with the protesters outside the Forum, railing less against "globalization" than against the dehumanization it often entails. Okay, off my soapbox -- the cool part is, the panel ackowledged those protesters, respectfully! (Bono did it first.) That is, they acknowledged a dialogue.
This brainstorm of movers and shakers, post-9/11, were discussing the moral implications and obligations of economic decision-making. (Let me stop and repeat that to myself.) And Bono, despite Charlie blindsiding him with a what-is-the-meaning-of-life sort of question right off the top, comports himself with an earthy and easy grace, drawing both laughs and applause at various points. We've been reading the "bytes" of his Drop the Debt campaign, and much of what he says here is not new to us. But what's illuminating is how naturally he fits it into this larger discussion, what a compelling contribution he makes!
I love especially when he jumps in -- he's seated next to Bishop Tutu, and seizes an opportunity to acknowledge South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Tribunal (itself one of the defining moments in my own spiritual and community life) as an example of how forgiveness and grace can work in the political sphere. Elie Wiesel speaks movingly about his generation, the Holocaust generation, and Bono follows him respectfully with observations about the modern holocaust, the people we "allow" to die.

The clip I've linked here actually cuts Bono off mid-sentence after 45 minutes of coverage. But I found it all tremendously inspiring, not nearly so dry as I feared. I urge you to listen to it if you think the world is too busy to notice God, or too busy to notice His children.

peace all,
Deb D

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Old 02-28-2002, 09:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by truecoloursfly:
And Bono, despite Charlie blindsiding him with a what-is-the-meaning-of-life sort of question right off the top, comports himself with an earthy and easy grace, drawing both laughs and applause at various points. We've been reading the "bytes" of his Drop the Debt campaign, and much of what he says here is not new to us. But what's illuminating is how naturally he fits it into this larger discussion, what a compelling contribution he makes!
Couldn´t agree more Deb, his words and manners were balanced, he talked carefully and tried to put things in perspective, a down-to-earth view of the problem and the possible solutions. He´s really passionate about the subject and he has used his natural charisma and grace in benefit of the causes he believes in.

Btw, I don´t know if you heard about the World Social Forum. The first WSF took place last year, here in my town, Porto Alegre, Brasil, as an opposition to the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, starting as an initiative of several Brazilian non-government organizations, with the support of the mayor of the city and the government of my State. The idea is to discuss globalization with another focus, which is people instead of money and economics, and to propose solutions to the major problems caused by globalization. In its 2nd edition this year, the WSF received an incredible increase on the number of participating, whether is countries or organizations.
There are already some talk here about inviting Bono for the 3rd edition of the forum next year. Somebody said in a local newspaper that his place is here, he belongs to the World Social Forum, not the World Economic Forum. Couldn´t agree more as well.

If you´re interest in knowing more about the World Social Forum check this link, the forum official website, in 4 languages:
http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/



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Old 03-03-2002, 05:34 PM   #3
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Truecolors - I did listen to the WEF clip. Actually I listened to pieces of it multiple times. I agree with you and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I find world economics challenging and very sad because parts of the world are in such despair. I do have some hope though after listening to Bono, Elie Weisel and President Arroyo.

Bono talked about the shortcomings regarding past foreign aid to developing countries and how if money is used efficiently, he believed there was "a mood" for our countries leaders to take it on. I really liked this part, he said "it’s insurance that this war on terrorism doesn’t need to be fought ever year. There are another 10 Afghanistans out there." It's too bad that a catastrophic event like 9/11 might be the thing that really wakes people up.

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