On Humanity, Humanity 2.0 That Is

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Former eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll was a new speaker at TED this year. An interesting choice, since he moved from the world of technology to the world of Hollywood.

Taken by PMO (flickr)

On the production side, he has been involved in inspiring movies such as “Fast Food Nation” and “An Inconvenient Truth.” Beyond production is something he refers to as Humanity 2.0. Appropriate for a former technology executive from Silicon Valley.

He talked about a biggest calamity in the world is the gap around hope. Hope and opportunities. He referenced authors who are great at writing books and stories that make things interconnected rather than disjointed, which so many of us feel in the world today.

On what to invest in and be involved in to help close the hope gap, he gives us a quote by John Gardner, which has resonated with him for years: “Bet on Good People Doing Good Things.” Simple but worth repeating and so he does.

The average person has often felt that they cannot make a difference in the world. With social media networks, blogs and the ability to create an independent film and upload it to the Internet, that reality has changed the dynamics perhaps, but not necessarily people’s attitudes or sense of hope.

His personal hope is that people understand that within each of us there is the potential to fill these gaps and that all of us has a way to make a change in a significant way, even if it is through a story.

They are apparently in the process of producing two new movies about Afghanistan (one about Charles Wilson, a US politician who supported the Taliban to fight against the Soviets) and a second one based on the book “Kite Runner.”

Writes Bruno of the close of his talk: “He closes by dreaming up some headlines for 2010 or 2015: “US imports its last barrel of oil”, “Snows return to Kilimanjaro”, “Israeli and Palestinians celebrate anniversary of peace”, and a screenshot from eBay: “Well-traveled obsolete slideshow for sale” — that’s Al Gore’s, of course.”

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