Crans Montana is a beautiful small town in a valley two hours drive from Geneva. Here, I came on September 10th, from London to participate World Knowledge Dialogue. This was its second, the first was in 2006 in the same town as you see in my earlier (sorry, but only in Japanese, but many pictures), and indeed, my third time to Swiss this year, Davos in January, and St. Gallen in May.
The meeting was for four days and this time I was honored to meet with Prof. Edward O Wilson of Harvard University, one of the most respected scholars of our time, who wrote many epoch-making, sometime controversial books such as ‘Sociobiology’, ‘On Human Nature’, ‘The Ants’ with the latter two received the Pulitzer award. He is a cheerful and admirable person and we share a good time together over his thoughts including ‘fairy fly’. By the way, you could see his lectures at Harvard on the web, too.
It was very good that quite a number from Japan including Prof. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, participated and our contributions were thought significant.
This year, I appeared in Day 1 at the Opening with Dame Julia Higgins (we know each other well since her days as Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society), and as Chair of the entire Day 4, thus you could see my commentaries and interactions through the webcasts. In particular, the Day 4 is tough, the number of participants are less, everyone getting tired, some have to leave before the end, etc, thus I tried to make the entire session more interesting but casual. I thought it went well and stayed on time and in fact ended 9 minutes earlier than the schedule. Enjoy the website and webcasts.
I really enjoyed the conference itself and meeting with many interesting people, old and new friends. Nonetheless, the format required as we discussed, certain strategic goals, participatory processes, and some outreach deliverables and actions.
There is a great champion golf course here and the Omega European Masters was played one week earlier. I managed to play a round of 18 holes starting 7am finishing 10am. I enjoyed it very, very much.
In the afternoon of Day 4, we moved to Geneva, visited some historical sites. One was University of Geneva campus where John Calvin founded in 1559; he was the one who converted the city to Catholic to Protestant community in mid-16th century, and we wondered in front of a large Reformation Wall of Calvin and other three (see at ‘Reformed Geneva’ at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin).
This visit gave me quite a moving feeling since in the Opening speech I mentioned on ‘Incunabula’ and commented Internet is the incunabula of today, that is to lead an unexpected consequence which may change the world. In fact, I said to the audience, because of incunabula of printed Bibles since Gutenberg of mid-15th century to year 1501, the religious revolution ensued almost 100 years later. This message has been my recurring theme of some of my keynote speeches of ‘flattening and connected world’ as you may see in my blogs (refer 1 , 2 , 3 ) and elsewhere.
By a mere co-incidence, I was just standing there in front of such a consequence of major magnitude by John Calvin.