Jun120091:53 pm

Thoughts on a Spirited Discussion in San Diego

When Mark and I were consumed with researching, writing, and polishing our prose, I never gave much thought to how we would eventually promote the book once it was published. One of the unanticipated joys of the publication of Working World for me is participating in a series of “book events” around the country. Sometimes Mark and I are together. These joint events are a lot of fun because we just continue the intergenerational dialogue we started in the book, laced with some added humor and recent experiences. We play off of each other well, and people seem to benefit from our contrasting yet complementary perspectives.

Sometimes — due to geography — I find myself doing an event solo. Despite missing Mark, I always enjoy the give and take with my audience — and their varied reactions to some of the ideas Mark and I share in the book and that I review in opening remarks that launch spirited discussions.

Last Friday was a particularly interesting occasion. Initially, my trip to San Diego was planned so I could speak at the 30th anniversary celebration of NCIV’s member organization there — the Citizen Diplomacy Council of San Diego (CDCSD). That festive event was held May 28 at the San Diego Yacht Club. CDCSD is a dynamic collection of dedicated citizen diplomats, and it was a privilege to be present in person to recognize their three decades of service to their community, our country, and to the foreign leaders whose lives they have touched and entwined with their own.

Last Friday evening, as part of CDCSD’s effort to draw more young people into their work as citizen diplomats, The Internationalists (a group designed to bring young professionals with global interests together) hosted a book event that turned into a lively discussion and a classic networking opportunity. The audience ranged from newly minted University of California, San Diego and University of San Diego grads to a Latina woman who works for Univision Radio to a Navy SEAL with experience in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I learned so much from each of them as I visited with them before and after the formal program.

I’m always quick to point out that we wrote Working World for idealists. Our target audience from the outset was readers who want to make a positive difference in our turbulent world. Now I am discovering how uplifting it is to interact with our readers who indeed are idealists. In this time of grim headlines and somber sound bites, it is truly heartening to interact with such impressive young people (and those seeking a mid-career change or an “encore career”) who are determined to be forces for good in this chaotic world of ours.

My thanks to Enrique, Mel, Christiana, and Eric — and all of your CDCSD colleagues for making the event such a success. The welcoming audience, the buzz in the room, the excellent questions and comments — all combined to provide inspiration and new connections.

Knowing I had a number of recent grads in my audience, I opened my remarks with a reference to Secretary of State Clinton’s commencement address at NYU (described in an earlier post—with a video— by Mark), where she said she hoped we could “harness the energy of a rising generation of citizen diplomats…My message to you today is this: Be the special envoy of your ideals…be citizen ambassadors using your personal and professional lives to forge global partnerships…”

It is a source of great satisfaction to know directly from our readers that Working World is helping them do just this.

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One Response to “Thoughts on a Spirited Discussion in San Diego”

  1. rolf haas cdcsd says:

    It was a pleasure seeing you again.We welcome your presence and your remarks.It appears that your Friday gathering was also successful.

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