Nov06_081Ever since I can remember, I have been pulled by the energy of the world; curious about culture, and people and foreign lands. I first traveled internationally when I was 19 or 20, on an official business trade mission to Japan and China with the Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ACE), a great organization, now no more.

And so, it makes sense that today I am so very comfortable with constant traveler, as my job and mission with and at Operation HOPE, demands it.

And so, I am off once more. This time in flight for HOPE Global Initiatives to Turkey, India and Germany. In Turkey and India I will lead the charge for my fellow Young Global Leader and Global Dignity board members, as we launch Dignity Day, Turkey and Dignity Day, India in local schools. In both countries I will also participate in the World Economic Forum meetings.

In Germany I will again join my personal hero, Ambassador Andrew Young, where we are both scheduled to speak on our respective work at the Africa Forum 2006, entitled "Fostering Entrepreneurial Spirit," at the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics.

Yes, the civil rights movement was fought and indeed won in the streets, but the silver rights movement will be won in the suites; from corporate boardrooms, to conference rooms, to children’s classrooms, and education will prove to be the ultimate poverty eradication tool. Because when you know better, you tend to do better. And the key the success of this movement or any other, will be the ability of leaders to continue to "show up" where and when needed. The world is big, yes, but getting things done is still all about people. Domestic and international travel allows leaders to show up, gaining an understanding and perspective on local culture, challenges and opportunities that they simply never would any other way. Certainly not from email.

As a global citizen of the world we live in, committed to making things "better," I thank the people of all the countries and continents that I have had the distinct pleasure of visiting over the course of the last 20 some-odd years…for helping to make me better too. United Airlines Global Services, for getting me there (smile).

Onward, with HOPE

John Hope Bryant

Africa Forum 2006 "Fostering Entrepreneurial Spirit"

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