I just returned from keynoting a conference in Singapore and I have
to tell you about that. I'm full of fan palms and orchids, equatorial breezes and bougainvillea, ripe papayas and cracked crabs ~ and the faces and voices of conferees and fellow speakers from India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, China, Bangladesh, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and of course Singapore itself.
It is a truly amazing place, long a crossroads for international trade, now a metropolis of skyscrapers rising above those tropical trees and flowers, ringed by hundreds of freighters from all over the earth glittering by night where the South China Sea meets the Strait of Malacca. How romantic is that?
(A small personal delight ~ wonder of wonders, the city's symbol is a
merlion. I wrote a book called The Mermaid's Tale
~ my house is full of mer-creatures ~ as well as a giraffe or two ~ but I'd never seen a merlion. Now there's one on my dresser.)
Giraffes' stories were the core of my talk for "Women in the Community: Change Movers
," at Singapore Management University
. Of course I spoke about female Giraffes who have changed communities far and wide. It was beautiful to take in the enthusiastic reactions of so many savvy, alert people gathered there from all parts of Asia as well as the US and the UK.
The Straits Times
is preparing a long feature about those Giraffes and about the Project. If there's an online version, I'll send you the link.
So there I was at a university that's focused on preparing students for careers in business and they couldn't have been more receptive to the altruistic service motifs of Giraffe. After the keynote, I did a workshop on taking an idea "From Zero to Infinity" and was on a panel discussing "Skill Sets for the Future." It all worked. And it made me wonder if there was something wrong with the speaking agency that once told us Giraffe was too idealistic to be interesting to US business audiences. Were they wrong or are businesses abroad more open to such ideas than are companies in the USA? What do you think
For sure there are now Friends of Giraffe in many a place where the Project had been unknown. The stats for www.giraffe.org
are showing increased action from Asia. I'm loving it and I'm pumped.
Have talk, will travel. ~ Ann Medlock