Sustainable Living is Dying

Posted by Kristin Arnold on February 5, 2008

Coming to you from Philadelphia, PA, I am chaperoning my daughter (Marina)’s high school club at the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference. Mr. Bill Mansfield of the United Nations Environment Programme addressed the opening plenary session to 2,000 high school brainiacs…and lost them in the first two minutes.

Pity. He’s an older gentleman who just didn’t connect with his audience – admittedly, his staffers told him that he needed to “get on Facebook and MySpace.” Okay, so he got a slight laugh, and then went into Dilbert blah, blah, blah.

Mr. Mansfield was talking about one of the hottest topics for this generation – sustainable living. And he killed it. Literally. Let us recount the ways:

  1. The audience was HUGE. 2,000 people is a lot of people – especially without an IMAG.
  2. He read from a script. Boring!
  3. He spoke too far away from the lectern microphone, which made it hard to hear.
  4. He gave his standard stump speech, with a small reference to his aides in the beginning and then a reference to “you young people” in his call to action at the end.
  5. Blah, blah, blah, bureaucratic speak.
  6. At the end, he asked the audience to sharpen awareness, create an action plan with a timetable….all the things Al Gore asked the nation to do in the Inconvenient Truth.

Such a shame. Great topic. Dead speech.

Question: Are you connecting with your team?

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