I worked through the last weekend, and was energized
by the work. It was good. I had a chance to work with food scientists – these
are the people who make sure your lettuce is safe, your chocolate is
fresh, and the food the astronauts eat lasts and tastes good in zero
gravity. They also make pop tarts, create genetically modified
organisms (GMOs), determine the benefits of organic food, fortify rice
(a godsend in the third world) and work tirelessly to address the needs
of a growing planet headed toward 9 billion inhabitants in 2050.
I worked closely over four days with 25 emerging leaders in academia,
government, and industry from over 20 countries including a one day
session that brought together thought leaders and industry experts to
explore the nexus of food, water, and energy. It was a
multidisciplinary, cross-sector scientific collaboration that included
private and public sector support to tackle interrelated and global
resource issues in sustainable food security. Very cool.
The camaraderie was extraordinary. The thinking was spectacular. Gave
me a sense of the future, bringing the best minds to bear on some of
the world’s most difficult challenges. It reminded me of my work with
Royal Dutch Shell, where I had the chance to work with engineers and
experts on providing energy for our world, looking out beyond oil and
I am in awe of science and scientists. We have come so far and have so
far to go. I thank heaven there are people who dedicate themselves to
research, exploration, and finding ways forward in such a complex world
teeming with people. It seems to me that, paradoxically, as technology
advances we get closer to nature in fundamental ways, learning how to
make so much more with so much less.
I am reminded of the recent pronouncement of Nobel-prize winning
physicist Frank Wilczek (he discovered a property of nuclear forces
known as asymptotic freedom for which he shared the Nobel Prize in
physics in 2004). He developed what seemed like a proof of “time
crystals” — physical structures that move in a repeating pattern
without winding down. They get their energy from “a break in the
symmetry of time, enabling a special form of perpetual motion.” (read more here) Wow!
I am so lucky to work with cardiologists, nurses, food technologists
and scientists, earth and space scientists, entomologists, leaders in
the intelligence community, bridge and tunnel and turnpike experts,
leading researchers on aging, geologists, cancer researchers,
transportation specialists, infection experts, and all the other
professionals in disciplines that are part of the world of professional
societies which I count among my clients. I am truly grateful.
to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if
everything is a miracle.
– Albert Einstein