This month Denver is staging the first ever 2010 Biennial of the Americas, an international collaboration of the arts, culture, ideas and music among the 35 nations of the Western Hemisphere. The Biennial should remind us of the connection we have with 910 million other earth inhabitants to help make this side of the planet secure and economically sustainable.
What is catching my policy wonkish eye is the roundtable series taking place. To promote the exchange of ideas and inspire positive action the Biennial includes eight moderated dialogues among former heads of state and U.S. officials before a live, local audience. Topics include terrorism, education, poverty reduction, trade, women and leadership, energy and climate change, health and philanthropy.
So far, each roundtable has concluded with a call for continued, increased and interrelated collaborations to solve hemispheric problems. I've learned about a collaboratively drafted document called the "Social Agenda for Democracy in America for the Next 20 Years." It is the 16-agenda item road map signed by each former head of state to incubate in his own country and turn into public policy action on a unilateral, bilateral or multilateral basis.
Muchas muchas gracias to the individuals and organizations that conceived of the event (the easy part) and are working to execute it (the very hard part) along with the cadres of volunteers willing to perform large and small tasks. No question, your efforts will pay off in seen and unforeseen ways.
Look for a Biennial wrap up later this month.