After a blogging explosion the past couple days, I’ll offer a few points of reflection on the ServiceNation Summit.
When I agreed to sign up, originally thanks to CK and then bolstered by Kyte‘s Tesa Lau, I knew it would be an interesting opportunity, but I was going there entirely for me and my company. I expected good networking (check), some learning opportunities for technology and social media (check), and some celebrity citings for good measure (check, check, and check – and those are just the three times I saw Usher).
So yes, I managed to go to a landmark bipartisan, potentially historic event dedicated to community service for entirely selfish reasons.
It’s easy to be detached from an event while covering it. Thursday night, I was way too serious about balancing the media uploading (Kyte, Twitter, Zannel, Flickr, TypePad, Facebook, Picasa… oy!) to fully have fun watching a momentous event with some great friends I’ve made thanks to my blog and job. Friday, I was too busy trying to get a few good minutes of mobile video footage to get to enjoy all the sessions I wanted to attend.
But by the closing session, with a strong performance by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and, for me at least, especially moving speeches by Jon Bon Jovi and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (the latter by video feed – he made a promise not to leave California until the state passes its budget) – it finally hit me what this was about. It was building on JFK’s call to service for a new generation, but one that needs to involve all generations, not just "Generation S" as Usher calls it, though they may well lead. Fast forward to 4:01 in the clip below to see JFK’s memorable words (though the rest of the speech is pretty good too – that guy was on to something).
So what’s next?
For me, I plan to take part in ServiceNation’s Day of Action September 27, where there are about 2,300 events planned across the country and hopefully more will take part (I’m having a hard time finding a good fit in New York City, which is unfortunate – let me know if you’re here and see any good ones, or you plan on starting one, or you have a thought for starting one that I can help with).
I also recommend reading the ServiceNation Declaration of Service. It’s eloquent in its brevity.
Lastly, I recommend reading Tim Sanders’ forthcoming book Saving the World at Work. I’m saving my post on that for a couple days, but this is another good one from the Love is the Killer App author.
I’ll leave you with one more photo reel, this one from Friday featuring Caroline Kennedy, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Representative Chris Shays (R-CT), Bon Jovi, and Hillary.
And I’ll leave you with a question: what can and should we do as ServiceNation?