Nothing like a Volcano to kick off a party!

In the background as I work this afternoon, I've got TedxVolcano rocking in the background.

What an amazing thing. A group of Social Entrepreneurs and big money who want to invest in Social Change got stuck in London after the Oxford Jam and Skoll World Forum last weekend. Their first thought, put together a spontaneous Ted event in 24 hours. Way cool. I'd managed to get home from the weekend's events with a previously booked train ticket, but it was enough to make me wish I could go back.

Meanwhile, last week's overarching theme was collaboration, so my inbox is overflowing with emails from people I met last week, who are still stuck in London and organizing post conference meet-ups among the stranded. I have a feeling they are getting some amazing things done right now. I have to wonder when they actually will be able to leave, and can't help but marvel at how powerful this volcano will end up being historically, in both destructive and constructive ways.

On the destructive side, there is the disruption in global trade. Thousands of air cargo planes are also grounded, with thousands of tons of agricultural commodities from sunnier parts of the world laying in wait for export. The long tail of this particular volcanic disaster is going to hit Africa very hard.

On the constructive side, I find it incredibly interesting to think about the implications of thousands of people taking an unplanned extended break from their lives in a foreign culture. What an incredible opportunity for Governments to collaborate for global security; what a terrific non-military challenge to spur innovation in the aerospace industry. What a fabulous gift of unanticipated time for deepening collaborative relationships among the Better World Builders who got to be part of TedxVolcano in London.


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