I recently had the opportunity to attend my first conference in-person since the start of the pandemic last March. Held concurrently with the United Nations General Assembly, the Concordia Summit was founded ten years ago. I was honored to sit on a panel and attend several others, making some great connections throughout.

Over the course of the event a number of thoughts occurred to me that serve as both timely reminders for all of us, and prompts to expand our thinking in the weeks and months ahead as we all continue to play our role in making an impact.

I would be happy to dive into any of these that strike you, and I am sure I’ll be doing some writing to drill down into many of them very soon.

Here are a couple other take aways from the week:

1- Despite everything, there remain so many smart, dedicated, hard-working leaders in business, government, media and NGO’s working tirelessly to leave their mark.

2 – Seeding ideas is just as important as tilling them. As you know, we spend a lot of time diving deep into big, hard challenges, and it was great to spend some covering a variety of topics as I think it’s really complimentary to our approach.

3 – Threats to Democracy are threats to both US national security AND global security/stability.

4 – There has never been greater concern that hyper-partisanship is leaving government unable to solve the challenges of our time. This was a recurring theme in every panel I participated in.

5 – Public private partnerships remain essential components of the solution “mix” – butting up against the responsibility of companies to shareholders. I remember when I was a PDAS at DoD and we were creating many of these programs. Public Private partnerships work best when there is a real mix of the private entities at the table. They may not be the perfect solution, but it’s better than nothing at all.

6 – Stories matter. They make leaders…and leaders make them. In our technology driven world, they are perhaps more important than ever. Again, this was a theme that repeated itself through out the week. As you know, it’s also something I’m passionate about.

7 – Concordia did a great job of hosting a high-level event in the midst of a pandemic. We all had to show our vaccination cards, wear masks, get daily temp checks and Covid tests. For those who didn’t want to do this, no problem, they were welcome to join virtually.

Overall this was a terrific event with meaningful exchanges and thought-provoking takeaways. I look forward to discussing these and continuing to grow with you all.