Besides the fabulous weather and the chance to chill out in the sunshine in beautiful surroundings, the highlight of the festival was Bob Geldof’s Speech.
He was relaxed, engaging, funny and above all passionate. He used a rich intelligent vocabulary, peppered with a few swear words and held the audience in the palm of his hand. The speech began with recollections of his own experience of education which he described as ‘ a horror’. The 2 saving graces were radio and poetry. Radio helped him to see other possibilities – the possibility of change.
He talked of a key message that he had learned from Africa
Only the educated are free.
Inequality is a signature feature of today’s society and in an asymmetric world instability is inherent. 42 million children went to school for the first time as a result of the G8 cancelling national debt, these children have an entrepreneurial spirit far greater than children in our own culture. Similarly in China 400 million people have been pulled out of poverty enabling them to become world market leaders. In the UK education has become a given right and therefore children derive little inspiration from it – perhaps then it is time for a shift in the purpose of education.
Bob Geldof talked of the role of education in this country. He described values as shaping our future. Britain is the most tolerant of all countries and we will only keep to that through education. The cliché is that children are our future, but how do they become our future? The UK is full of creativity, it has fostered many creative geniuses from musicians to poets and the creative arts was the 6th greatest industry in this country for many years. Of course creativity is not only about the arts but also about creating new technologies and inventions and recognising genius early on. He encourages the importance of spreading these values throughout the world ‘or black darkness faces us’.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it
The talk ended with a story of a time in the Congo when he rested from the heat and was fanning himself under a tree. A Bicycle came by and rang a bell and a multitude of people came from their huts clutching laptops and plugged in to download email. The world’s ideas will change as a consequence of such people.
all progress depends on the unreasonable man – George Bernard Shaw.
In my opinion the most important skills we can teach children is to ask questions, think for themselves and believe that they can make a difference. Bob Geldof was so passionate and articulate about what he believes in, that you can clearly see why he has been able to make a difference and will continue to do so.
If you ever get a chance to see/hear him speak don’t hesitate his talk was truly enthralling.