You Gotta Love Bono – Ten Promising Ideas for the Next Decade

January 3, 2010 § 2 Comments

I think everyone I know is ready to look forward.  The fact that, not only a year, but a decade has come to a close provides an opportunity – a sort of mental screen coming down – to take the good things from the past ten years, forget about the bad, and move on.  And if  we are in need of some encouragement in the process, some reasons for believing that there are things about which to be hopeful, Bono has come along to help.

In between founding the advocacy group ONE and (Product)RED, speaking intelligently and often about the effects of extreme poverty and their alleviation through a diverse range of solutions, including the Millenium Development Goals, and, oh yes, being the lead singer for the prolific band U2, Bono also serves as occasional New York Times Op-Ed Guest Columnist.

In today’s Sunday Times, rather than looking back at the last decade, he offers a forward-looking top 10 list for the coming decade, “Ten for the Next Ten.”  In his own words, “So here, then, are 10 ideas that might make the next 10 years more interesting, healthy or civil. Some are trivial, some fundamental. They have little in common with one another except that I am seized by each, and moved by its potential to change our world.”

Bono’s diverse list includes the design and production of  sexier American family cars (they used to be sexy, think American Grafitti), the need for intellectual  property cops in the age of the Internet (a topic near and dear to my heart), the promising work of Dr.  William Li and the Angiogenesis Foundation (angiogenesis is the process by which blood vessels grow – in general, a good thing, with cancer, a bad thing … who knew?), and the significance of the World Cup being held in Africa later this year.  Another of his compelling suggestions is an event he names the “Festival of Abraham” and about which he writes:

Here’s something that could never have happened in the Naughts but will maybe be possible in the Tweens or Teens — if there’s a breakthrough in the Mideast peace process. The idea is an arts festival that celebrates the origin of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Every year it could be held in a different location; Jerusalem would obviously be the best place to start.

In Ireland, at the height of the “Troubles,” it was said that the only solution for rabid sectarianism was to let 1,000 punk-rock bands bloom: music helped create a free space for dialogue (of a high-volume variety). So no politicians allowed. Artists only.

I feel more optimistic after reading the piece.  Take ten minutes, you might too.


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