Francisco Noguera

Friday Roundup – 2/11/11: “Egyptians Have Inspired Us”

Choice and human dignity are at the core of the social enterprise idea. Choice and dignity are also at the core of the events that shook Egypt in the last week.

Today we had the privilege of witnessing history taking place. I stood in front of a TV as Barack Obama delivered his speech at 3pm. His words are worth a close look and a moment of reflection, for they carry in them the very values that define our industry, our movement.

The following excerpt stuck with me:

(…) And above all, we saw a new generation emerge — a generation that uses their own creativity and talent and technology to call for a government that represented their hopes and not their fears; a government that is responsive to their boundless aspirations. One Egyptian put it simply: Most people have discovered in the last few days…that they are worth something, and this cannot be taken away from them anymore, ever.

This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence — not terrorism, not mindless killing — but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.

And while the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can’t help but hear the echoes of history — echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the streets, Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice.

As Martin Luther King said in celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana while trying to perfect his own, “There is something in the soul that cries out for freedom.” Those were the cries that came from Tahrir Square, and the entire world has taken note.


In case you missed it: NextBillion this week

Make sure you don’t miss it: Upcoming events and opportunities

IADB’s Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ) is one of the most innovative models leveraging multilateral resources to advance enterprise solutions to poverty in Latin America. Next week, OMJ will host a very interesting workshop to discuss the lessons learned in several projects that are now part of their portfolio. We’ll make sure to bring you some of the highlights and conclusions from this important summit.

Harvard’s Social Enterprise Conference is coming up on March 5 and 6. Put it on your calendars, as well as Yale’s Conference on Global Health and Innovation which is coming up in April.

Lastly, Indicorps opened its application process. Learn more here and tell aspiring leaders and changemakers based in India.