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Enthusiasm for the future

Dalkey Book Festival “Creativity – where does it come from?” 16 June 2019

Twice I the last two weeks I've had a tear in my eye, thanks to David Puttnam.

The first was at the RDS Vision 2030 briefings series. He spoke mostly about the environment and about how we need ‘profound change in our behaviour’, about how we've been using the resources of five planets over the last twenty years even though we only have one.

He spoke about how important education was and the importance of getting education right and how we need to prepare children for jobs that don’t even exist yet. He encouraged us to ‘Put children first - they understand the future better than we do.’

But what affected me most then, and yesterday at the Dalkey Book festival, was his enthusiasm for the future. His encouragement to try new things, to try the impossible, to keep creating, to go for it.

“Culture and tech when combined become the ultimate power couple.”

He finished both talks with the same film. It features composer Eric Whitacre who composes for choir, but didn’t have a choir. So he auditioned people individually over YouTube. He combined them all, each singing their own part, into a 2,000-voice choir. Eventually it became the opening piece for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow performed live with the choristers beaming in from all over the world.

After he introduced the film, David Puttnam leaned forward eagerly and intently to look again - probably for the nth time - at the opening images of Melody Myers’ solo audition.

I could sense the hairs standing on the back of his neck. I could feel the hairs on my own arm moving.

I love enthusiasm. It's infectious.

Links: Melody Myers’ audition

Eric Whitacre’s TED Talk

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony


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