Are we living in the most amazing & wonderful days in world history?

I’m honored to be here I’m in awe of Burak and the team not only for this remarkable gathering but for his lifetime in your lifetime as one of the greatest shifts in world history which is shockingly still not understood. I mean the day before yesterday I had an opportunity to listen to over 50 pitches of startups from Turkey, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan Kyrgyzstan all across the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, Israel, Indonesia and I met perhaps hundreds of their backers and mentors and it was an out of body experience because the quality  confidence thoughtfulness and innovation you represented from well pretty much anywhere in the world. It was awe-inspiring. I wrote this book two years ago and the difference of what I saw in the last two days versus what I saw two years ago was perhaps most stunning to me overall. And it reminded me of something bigger which I think a lot of people don’t appreciate and that is that all the news of political uncertainty terrible violence unrest and Donald Trump. We are in fact living in the most amazing and wonderful days in world history. The macro data is on my side we are living longer killing each other less feeding each other more and seeing rising middle classes everywhere at unprecedented levels. At the same time of course life is more about aggregate numbers and the remains astounding work to be done astounding challenges lead do and will face but this in fact makes me more powerful than anything else. Never have we have had more tools to go with the world’s challenges old and new and have those tools been in more people’s hands. Look guys I can’t tell you what ISIS is gonna look like in a year or how the turbulence in the Chinese market is going to play out in three years but this I can tell you with a hundred percent certainty that at the end of this decade over two-thirds of humanity are gonna have smart devices on their person. Often especially in the United States when I say that, people think what I’m talking about is ever better ever lighter ever flatter screens and features but as you guys know very well what I just said is that in my pocket right now, in your pockets right now in billions of pockets shortly will be the exact same computing capacity that all of NASA had in 1969 to put a man on the moon. There is no precedence for this any time in history where it all goes in the hands I think of the very people who are in this room now. Look what we do know is that this means a new generation that never knew otherwise is not only demanding a direct role in the economic political cultural societal choices but have the capabilities to implement them. We know it means universal access to the world around us and having all of human knowledge at our fingertips essentially for free. We know it means unprecedented sharing of ideas and collaboration and a sense of empowerment when we see people just like us take actions and it works. We know it means less fear of centralized authority and the ability for problems would be solved bottom up by the very people have the greatest stakes in solving those problems. The phenomenon is entirely organic as people around the world are taking courses from universities, reading any blogger best practices or any subject that interests them…    ]]>

─ January 3, 2016