school, books, experiences: in my own words (more or less).

Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bono's 3 wishes

Bono, of the band U2, was recently one of three winners of the inaugural TED humanitarian award. As such, he was awarded $100,000 and was allowed to ask the 800 attendees to grant 3 wishes, which were:

  1. to organize 1 million American activists committed to fighting poverty in the world, especially in Africa;
  2. to spread an antipoverty message 1 billion times before the July 6-8 Group of Eight meeting; and
  3. to wire every hospital, health clinic, and school in one country -- Ethiopia -- to the Internet.
To assist with the second wish, famous actors and actresses such as Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, and company, are shown in antipoverty web-ads that deliver a message of how we can step forward, one by one, to make a difference.

Very noble, I couldn't agree with the cause more, but I'm also interested to know what these individuals are doing outside of appearing in a web-ad directed to the general public. I'm of the mind that the social and financial status that comes with being a huge Hollywood movie star also comes with some responsibility to society (ditto for corporations). The greatest wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few. One George Clooney can easily contribute more than several thousand Brad Carsons can (very modest estimate, mind you) so when George and his pals show up on my doorstep (or in my web browser as it were) asking for a handout in the name of poverty, forgive me if the hypocrisy and irony of the situation prevent me from scribbling out a big cheque on the spot. Try canvasing Microsoft or Pepsi instead.

Read more on Bono's challenge in this article from Business Week.


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