This week is the Republican National Convention, taking place in Tampa and on its heels comes the Democratic National Convention. My concern isn’t simply the fact that we’re faced with an either/or choice with two platforms that aren’t all that great or all that popular, but because both Conventions don’t seem to be addressing some of the primary concerns that may be impacting us all. Let me explain.
Our nation isn’t simply facing a lot of economic challenges, but an identity challenge as well. Who are we now? Do we perceive ourselves differently in a post-9/11 world? Are our leaders truly a reflection of our citizenship or is there truly a disconnect between the body politic and the American population?
These are some questions swirling through my head. With that said, some of the questions that I want answered by the Conventions are as follows: 1) What are the distinctive challenges facing America’s citizens now and for the next decade? 2) Are we preparing young people for life in the 21st century effectively? Tied to this second concern is my desire to understand where public education is headed and how values and truth are being taught within our current public and higher education system? 3) How can businesses and economic leaders create cultural and systemic sustainability? 4) What are you, as a leader, responsible for, not what you blame someone else for?
So, I have, in my mind, created my own convention that is wishful thinking. Here’s the line-up and topics I wouldn’t mind seeing.
Day One: Keynote: Sustainable Freedom by Dr. Os Guinness
- Leila Janah (CEO Samasource) The role of women in freedom
- Dr. Amy Sherman (author/speaker) Vocational Calling and its importance
Day Two: Keynote: A Vision for Business Leaders by Howard Schultz (Starbucks)
- Patrick Lencioni (consultant/author) addressing organizational health
- Jeff Lamb (chief people officer of Southwest Airlines) addressing profits in difficult times
Day Three: Keynote: A Vision for Social Change by Gary Haugen (Founder, International Justice Mission)
- William Clinton (former President of the U.S./leader of Clinton Foundation) addressing systemic change
- John Perkins (speaker, author, and Mississippi activist) addressing a legacy of change
Ok….I guess I am bias to certain voices, I embrace that. With that said, I am also wishing there was an Independent Convention that had both parties speak and the focus was on ideas that have consequences from people who continue to make an impact.
By the way, if anyone is willing to fund the above convention and if the above speakers are willing to commit, I am willing to do the work to pull it together. Until then, wishful thinking isn’t all bad.