It was an honour to be invited to the inaugural summit of Obama Foundation by former US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
The foundations mission is to inspire and empower people to change their world.
Huge emphasis is on our voices being heard, the art of story telling and starting with helping your own communities and building from where your heart is. One of the key points was reflection and expression of diversity in the room. It was refreshing to see that.
Passion, ideas and commitment was flowing without barriers. Obama himself sat in small group discussions like any other member of the audience. I didn’t have a single boring moment in the 36 hours i was there and it’s seemed some how the summit managed to bring forward more challenging conversations openly than just typical parenting style being everybody to be good. What it means that the Obama Foundation cares about real change and open to diversity of opinion and not afraid to ask the hard questions which is required to bring about real change.

It was good to listen for a change and I say that humility. For last couple of years I have been only going to events where I’m speaking. I enjoyed the social impact discussions where I listened with deep concentration and it was detoxification for the soul. Even Obama was in the audience and listening with full concentration just like one of us. We had these custom cards made for us so when we meet fellow attendees we give a glimpse of we are and what’s our drive than just company and job title.

Other inspirational speakers were Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobhani- great storyteller.
Bryan Stevenson was a powerhouse – he completely captivated the audience. I was wowed by his passion and purpose.
Lin Manuel Miranda and rapper actor Common did some fascinating improvisations as word class wordsmiths they are.
The overall star for me was Michelle Obama with her candid style, humble manner and ability to genuinely connecting with the masses.

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