The OECD is getting pretty serious about bridging divides – you know righting the world’s injustices – that kind of thing. It’s making a difference. It’s probably thinking to itself “there’s got to be change” – or thoughts to that effect. Why they even have a conference themed with the very same issue “Bridging Divides” and I don’t see how you can get much more serious than that. Well actually if you thought that – which I did as I wrote the words, but realised too late – you’d be wrong. Because in addition to theming the conference – sorry forum – in this way, the OECD is amping up the words. Yes, you can say they’re just words. But these are words from the OECD so I think you realise they’re not just whistling Dixie.
Well actually if you thought that – which I did as I wrote the words, but realised too late – you’d be wrong. Because in addition to theming the conference – sorry forum, it’s a forum – in this way, the OECD is amping up the words. Yes, you can say they’re just words. But these are words from the OECD so I think you realise they’re not just whistling Dixie.
Anyway, as they say, “You talk, we’ll listen”. Those are the very first words on the email going out advertising the forum so I think you can be pretty sure they’re not just saying that. Not only that but the conference will ask “What divides us? What brings us together? … How can we bridge divides to build more inclusive societies?” How terrific is that? Mary Robinson will bridge some divides right there and then. She’ll “talk about how we can ensure those most vulnerable to climate change aren’t left behind” and, to quote an old pop song, you know that can’t be bad.
Not only that but as the OECD says, it’s not just thinking about you (it will be listening to you remember? Please pay attention.) it’s “engaging with the top – we’re proud to welcome our largest number of CEOs to date who will talk about how their businesses are working to bridge divides”. Do you realise what that means? The CEOs will be talking. So since this is a conference where you talk and we listen, that means that the CEOs will be talking for you. How cool is that? And since there’ll probably be questions from the floor – there will be many many NGOs battling it out over those questions about what divides us and what brings us together – those CEOs will also be listening. They’ll be listening to you. So there’ll be no obstacles between those doing the talking and those doing the listening. They’ll be the very same people! So there’ll be no misunderstandings – and, though it’s a small thing, the OECD will be able to economise on its simultaneous translation budget.
And, you know that worry about it being all talk. Well, the people who will be doing both the talking and the listening will be CEOs. Capiche? They’ll be able to take action. In fact the really wonderful thing is that they already have! You see their companies have sponsored the conference – sorry forum. So it’s all free – the lunches everything. I mean you’ll have to pay for the lunches, but a lot of overheads will be met by the CEOs companies and at least they won’t have to pay for lunch. Sponsorship turns out to be the game-changer – the thing that disrupts the business-as-usual ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’ lunch. And the good thing is that along with the game-changing, the CEOs will be shifting product – changing the game and getting the word out there that there’s stuff to buy, mouths to feed.
Now all this is all very well, but they realise as well as anyone that to be that “you” you need to be in Paris silly! So I’m pleased to announce that, in a trial move, the OECD has funded some imaginary scholarships – sorry bursaries – for Troppo lurkers and commenters to travel – first class – to Paris, for dinner with the character from Les Miserables of their choice – yes, that’s right it can even be Les. You’ll be chauffeured by Albert Camus and serenaded by his sidekicks Jean-Paul and his guitarist Simone – all paying homage to the little people. So feel free to enter in the comments thread below. But please no riff-raff – this is the OECD.