This talk "The Rise of Turkey" was moved to a larger room (about 100 in the audience and live-streaming the podcast to Commonwealth Club members everywhere) and we ran out of books to sign right away.
I was joined on the panel by:
- Steven West, Ph.D., Fulbright Scholar to Turkey; Professor of Turkish Studies and Cross Cultural Communication
- Bonnie Joy Kaslan, Honorary Consul General, Turkish Republic, S.F. Bay Area
- Joel Brinkley, Professor of Journalism, Stanford University; Foreign Affairs Columnist; Former Pulitzer Prize Winning Foreign Correspondent, The New York Times — Moderator
Amidst the turmoil of the Arab Spring, Turkey has arisen as a powerful force in the Middle East. The distinguished panel will discuss the nation's culture and its sometimes bitter past, the growing influence of religion in Turkey, and her frayed alliances. In addition, the panelists will discuss how Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's dynamic prime minister, is becoming one of the most powerful voices in the troubled region.
I was on a live online video call on this day in 2013. I was conducting a monthly Global Niche workshop. This one I was talking to a writer about the merits of a zigzag life path. She was telling the group, creatives and entrepreneurs logged in from around the world, how those zigs and zags aren't failures and inconsistencies, they're part of a bigger picture filled with meaning you can build on.
Meanwhile the building management sent a painting crew to repair some water damage on the ceiling.
After I hung up the call, one young painter came up to me.
He told me he was eavesdropping on the conversation and now saw how his own life zigzagged.
He said he went from a kid in the ghetto in Richmond to being a successful UC Berkeley grad and athlete, to an NFL football player, and through drugs and bad choices to incarceration and losing his kids, to rehabilitating his life, and now speaking to youth groups and writing a book about his path.
I was blown away!
This came in the mail today. It's from the major faculty of my liberal arts college, an event for my professor of Bronze Age Archaeology, Jim Wright. He was a great teacher, as I recall!
Also, it's a reminder of the solidity of liberal arts education. This classically-based education was meant to turn out a person who was "virtuous and ethical, knowledgeable in many fields and highly articulate." It doesn't matter what you do with it, you're equipped as a well-rounded individual.
Today's email and its particular Bronze Age lens on power and place is so far from where I am right this minute, and yet I am back in class in an instant, to when civilizations around the Aegean first established a far-ranging trade network and all together moved out of the Stone Age.
Then I'm back again, to today, back to looking at the future of stories for millennial audiences as a business, tech, and entertainment issue. That's a focus of mine right now and based here in California's own power centers of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Hope all my Bryn Mawr archaeology peers have a fun symposium!
Cool Arts South Sea was a web project I worked on when I lived in Malaysia in the '90s. I researched and gathered historical images and stories about the South East Asian region for modern-day travelers.
"That's what talking to you is like....if you're interested in an idea, or even if you aren't," a consulting client said to me recently. "You talk, I just write."
Hee, this is music to my ears!