I’m writing this from DC at the Interaction conference. It’s a gathering of about 1,000 people getting together to talk, teach and learn about NGO’s, government and the private sector’s involvement in international development. I’ve met lots of wonderful people and started some new relationships that may last for a long time. I’ve been challenged on so many levels. I went to bed last night and my mind buzzed with a new sense of passionate commitment to making a difference and affecting sustainable change in this world. Lofty goals, I know, especially with a world full of problems and issues that seem insurmountable. Despite what confronts us, I am a hopeful cynic. I believe we are free and privileged for a reason. Free to act. Choice and responsibility matter. We all need to be doing our part.
Incremental change. Planting seeds. That’s what it’s all about.
Last night at the exhibitors fair I met a company that is changing the dialogue around issues concerning clean water. How about something so simple that all you do is toss it into a water source? Wherever. And a little while later through forward osmosis you have an energy, electrolyte infused drink about the size of a large juice box. Straw included. Though used primarily in relief situations there are other applications as well. Like the space shuttle. Not sure what kind of water sources they’re using up in space. Come to think of it I’m afraid to ask. Redefines the term ‘sky’s the limit’ it seems to me. The company is called HTI – Hydration Technology Innovations. Social entrepreneurship in action. Maybe even “Innerpreneurship.” I got a chill and a shiver while chatting with the salesman. It had nothing to do with the building’s air conditioning and everything to do with the passion and ingenuity behind this idea. I met with Nathan Jones, their VP of Institutional Sales. He’s a passionate guy.
Without a doubt this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I’ve seen some pretty dirty, dangerous water in my day. I’ve been sick several times as a result of some little microscopic, amoeba-like devil of a bug. This technology stares that in the face and laughs at it. Beautiful.”AnyWater. Anywhere.” Seems like a pretty accurate slogan if you ask me.
One of the few things I remember from my middle school science studies is the definition of osmosis. “The diffusion of a molecule through a semi-permeable membrane from a region of high concentration to an area of low concentration.” From my memory, I swear. Grade 7 – over 30 years ago. It’s something I was proud of at the time and in a way still am.
Discovery is marvelous. In many ways the future depends on the innovations of tomorrow. This in turn depends on our level of passion today. The not yet is waiting for us to move forward. Poetry and prose. Solutions rarely come down to “either or” propositions.
Making connections to make a difference inspires me to step forward and take more risks. I’m ready to take a number of leaps. You?