I don't often stray outside the remit of this blog, which I see as being to focus on information for and about cancer survivors in Second Life. But Saturday was exceptional.
I found myself sitting with avatar friends from all over the globe in Second Life, joined via a chatbridge to participants in Metaplace, watching President Obama speaking live to the people of Ghana. Wiping away a tear as he reminded Africans and people all around the world that: 'Africa's future is up to Africans ... I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. After all, I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family's'.
Second Life is such a powerful immersive environment, that I felt as if I was watching from inside the parliament building in Accra, surrounded by friends.
As one of the people watching in Second Life said, politics aside, it is a tall order addressing Africa's social, and economic problems. There was not much new in the content of the President's speech, rather, it was the fact that he was there, affirming his own and America's commitment to help Africa to change and telling them 'yes you can'.
Which brings me back to the relevance of blogging about this event here. The President confirmed America's commitment to help Africa to carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, polio, to invest in public health systems that promote wellness and the health of mothers and children, through a comprehensive, global, health strategy.
The speech was followed by a panel discussion in Second Life moderated by Tori Annenburg. KentonKeith Kitalpha (Ambassador Keith Kenton), DNA Dumouriez (African musician Derrick Ashtong), and Timothy Bergson (African Studies professor, Timothy Burke) engaged in discussion with Second Life and Metaplace participants. I wasn't able to stay for long enough unfortunately to report on what sounded from the outset a very interesting discussion.
What a privilege is was to be watching this moment in a global community. Congratulations to the Vesuvius team and to others who were involved in making this event work.
The full transcript is on the White House website:
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