Friday 25 September 2009

"The best organised sector in the World"

Got the chance to talk to Bill Clinton yesterday. He said he thought the UK had one of the best organised sectors in the world and had been impressed with the OTS and with the way DEC organised following the Tsunami.

Amusingly, just before I met Bill I had had a text from Angela Smith MP , our Third Sector Minister saying she was at the TS Awards so I passed on Bill's comments which she told me she used. It is interesting that the UK is seen as a beacon around the world in the strength of our sector and the power of the relationship between Government and sector. I don't think Government have sufficiently realised this could be used in diplomatic circles and how this could be showcased.

A fascinating session on the regeneration of New Orleans. Brad Pitt certainly drew in the crowds for that. I did not like his beard, but that apart he was brilliant in presenting how a new project has built 150 eco homes in one of the devasted wards of New Orleans. They all have solar energy, reuse rain water and are built in a sustainable way. The average monthly energy bill is $35. " Make it Right" says they can build such homes for the same price as an average house! It was powerful stuff and a great advert for sustainabilty. That has been quite a theme of this Conference and a strong passion of Clinton who argues that this is an industry that will create jobs and drive a better economy.

A great lunchtime plenary involves Queen Rania and Bono. I wonder if I can get some of these people at ACEVO's annual conference! Over coffee I meet one of the top guys from Facebook who says Bono is a great facebook fan. I have to admit I don't do it- though all my nephews and nieces do! Blogging is quite enough new technology for me.

I do the cocktail drinks but decide I'll give the"tastes of the world" buffet a miss. I'm off to dinner in a gorgeous resteraunt on Upper east side with my old college friend Miles Young. A Global CEO no less , which means being picked up in a car.... But never fear I manage to do business as we eat and fall back to the hotel refreshed. I love Americans. But they can be full on. So nice to get an evening of British humour, and irony. A counterpoint to the relentless optimism and evangelical fervour of the Clinton delegates. Mind you , I have not heard a single whinge or moan whilst here. Not one complaint about wicked Government or bemoaning our loss of independence. So unlike our own sector I can't help feeling? Mind you I get an email from Jenny, our ACEVO North Director saying the Liverpool ACEVO conference went superbly.

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