Plenary panel at University for a Night 2006

University for a Night 2006

This is a transcript of discussion among E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company; Charles A. Minor, Ambassador of Liberia to the United States; Ingrid Srinath, Chief Executive, Child Rights and You; Ted Turner, Founder and Chairman, United Nations Foundation at University for a Night 2006. Peggy Dulany, Founder and Chair of Synergos moderates the discussion and Robert H. Dunn, President and CEO of Synergos moderates the entire event.

Also included is a transcript of remarks by Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations, and David Rockefeller who present the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Awards to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Mr. Turner. Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf participates by video message.

Welcome and Introduction

ROBERT H. DUNN: I have the honor and privilege of serving as the President of The Synergos Institute. And on behalf of our Chair, Peggy Dulany, the members of our board, our staff, we welcome you to University for a Night. I have only three tasks. One is to thank our gracious sponsors. The second is to say a word or two about Synergos. And then the third, to introduce the panel.

So first I would want to say that this evening is only possible because of the support from members of the Synergos family, who include JPMorgan, and particularly the Private Bank, who are the founding sponsor of this event -- you can hold your applause until the end -- the underwriter for this event, Marcos de Moraes, our leadership sponsors, The Coca-Cola Company and David Rockefeller; and the co-chairs of the event, Peggy Dulany, Maria Elena Lagomasino, Anne and Vincent Mai, John Whitehead, Tim Wirth. And we were also blessed with a wonderful committee for the evening. Their names are listed in your programs. And I would appreciate it if you would join me in acknowledging and thanking all of them.


Next year Synergos will be twenty years old. We are a nonprofit organization that works to address issues of global poverty and inequity. We do that honoring the word that defines and describes us, synergos, which has a Greek origin, and which means, "working together." We bring people together, often across divides, serve as a bridge, because we believe strongly that the only way we can make significant systemic change and expand opportunities for those who are often left behind in our global society is by involving everyone -- bringing diverse people, the resources and innovations that they have, and making it possible for them to co-design the future.

The next event is called University for a Night. It's an unusual university in that everyone gets to be a student and a member of the faculty. In the first part of the program, you will have the privilege of being students to a very distinguished faculty assembled on the podium, and later tonight over dinner all of you will have a chance to be teachers as well as learners in the rich discussions that we know will take place.

Because this is a university and because I'm the President of this institution, and because we are grateful to you all and know you will learn a lot this evening, I will be awarding honorary degrees to everyone before we adjourn. So I would like to introduce to you the people who are on the stage and who are going to participate in our panel discussion. President Sirleaf unfortunately is unable to be with us tonight. We have a recorded message from her that we'll play later on. But we are very honored to have Ambassador Charles Minor, who is the Liberian Ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Sitting next to the Ambassador is one of our honorees, Ted Turner, who is the founder and Chair of the UN Foundation, and as all of you know, a pioneering philanthropist and businessman. I'm going to pass over our moderator and introduce her at the end. And so next is Ingrid Srinath who is the Executive Director of CRY -- Child Rights and You -- one of the most important civil society organizations in India that provides services to more than a million children there. I'm happy to say that Ingrid is also an alumna of the Synergos Senior Fellows Network, and she is someone who is a hero to me.

And next to her, we are absolutely delighted to have Neville Isdell, the Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, a company that needs no introduction, whose products are available in more than two hundred countries around the world. And last, it's my pleasure to introduce the Chair of Synergos, and someone who incorporates the qualities and work of all four of the other folks on the stage. So Peggy Dulany -- diplomat, philanthropist, social activist and businessperson -- it's a pleasure to have you moderating this evening.



And welcome, everybody. It's great to be back in this room with those of you who've been here before, and to welcome those of you who haven't. So tonight we're talking about the power of partnership. But since partnership begins with somebody reaching out across their own boundaries to meet somebody else who's willing to reach out across their own boundaries, I'm going to start with a question to each of the panelists about what it is in them -- what came through their background, through their ideology, through their commitments -- that enabled them to reach out. Because not everybody does.

So I've given Ingrid a warning, because this is perhaps an unexpected question. And so I'll start with this side of the room. And you can be thinking about what in your own histories led you to be what we call "bridgers" at Synergos. And we'll move on to some of the more professional aspects of partnership. So, Ingrid, knowing what you do, how did you get there?

INGRID SRINATH: I'd have to say three things, really. I think growing up in India, sort of upper middle class, it's obvious, looking around, that most people aren't as fortunate as you are. But you live in these little islands of prosperity that are floating on this great ocean of the injustice. But my parents both, I think, set an incredible example of not doing this in any organized or grand scale, but just in their day -- to -- day lives treating everyone equally, being there for the people that needed them. And then, on a more personal note, I come from a very boisterous family -- lots of shouting. So quite often I've found myself just sucked into this role of interpreting and explaining these various loud people to each other.

DULANY: Are you a middle child, by any chance?

SRINATH: No, I'm not. I'm actually a first-born. [LAUGHS] But, and then subsequently I spent about twelve years in advertising, which actually is very much like running a nonprofit. Because you've got a set of bean-counters that are asking you about dollars and cents, and a set of creative, utopian idealists. And getting those two groups of people to work together was, I've found in retrospect now, looking back, just the ideal sort of preparation for working in the nonprofit sector.

DULANY: Great, thank you so much. Neville, I also gave you a small warning of this, so you know we're going to move on in the next, to how you've actually implemented this in your business life. But what about you as a person? Where did this come from?

E. NEVILLE ISDELL: It also goes back to an early age. Actually my parents moved me, at the age ten, to Africa, in 1954 -- which is going to age me now. And I spent four days on a train going two thousand miles up to Zambia, through the heart of Africa, in 1954. And from that and from also my own parents. My father actually became quite friendly with Kenneth Kuanda in independence, when the struggle was going on.

I went to the University of Cape Town, and I studied social science. I'm a qualified social worker, actually a registered social worker. So I did some six months of work in various social welfare institutions, follow -- up work for the Red Cross Children's Hospital, the burns unit -- burned children in shantytowns and the like. But I also, at the same time, I was involved in the Student's Council, which was at that time an anti -- apartheid council. So I had that other political element within me. But I became fascinated with business at the same time.

And I remember going back one day to see my old sociology professionals, and he says, "So what are you doing?" I said, "Well, I'm working for Coca-Cola." He said, "You're what?" And I had come to the conclusion that working in the business world, that -- I never thought I'd end up with this title -- but in working in the business world, I could actually add more value back to society than I could to continuing to work as a social worker. It also paid better, but that's coincidental.


DULANY: Great. Thank you very much. Ted, let's move on to you. You've obviously worked in partnership. But where did that come from? Where inside you did that come from?

TED TURNER: Well, the bigger the problem, the more people you need to do it. I'm a student of history, and I was fascinated with the building of the pyramids, because they took over fifty years to build and thousands of workers. And you can see ants doing the same thing. They'll move a lot of dirt and they'll build a big anthill. And so if you do something big, you need a big organization. You need lots of partners. So you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. [LAUGHS]

DULANY: I just wish that other leaders in the world would figure out the same thing.

TURNER: And what you've got to do is treat people like partners too. If you want to get the job done, everybody's got to be motivated. One guy can't be ordering everybody else around. You've got to kind of all fit and work together. I mean, it's good to have leadership, but constructive leadership. And you don't do that kind of leadership by going around bombing people.

DULANY: Right, good point.


DULANY: Ambassador Minor, can I call you Charles?

CHARLES MINOR: [LAUGHS] I wasn't sure Ted was finished.


TURNER: I'm not.

DULANY: We'll give him a second chance.

MINOR: We'll give him a second chance, right.

DULANY: But in your own case, tell us...

MINOR: Well, actually, it's interesting. The position I now hold -- I never expected to be in this position. And why it is in my generation -- I grew up working with student Christian movements and working with the churches, getting them to pull resources together, to go up country, build wells for the people who didn't have running water, no toilets, during our vacations. So I've got that kind of background, almost similar to Neville, working with young people. But I realized that sooner or later you've got to really meet the bills. And I married and my wife started having children.

So started working as a manager in the agricultural sector in my country, traveled all over, lived with the families, got them to export their commodities. And we made some money for the families and our government as well. And then we had a coup. So I was sent to prison. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was also there. But after eight months I was released, and decided I would do nothing for government any more. Because I had worked diligently, trying my best to indigenize our agricultural export for the benefit of the farmers, and I ended up, because this organization was government owned, in prison. So forget you, government. And I pursued the private sector.

But we had a government that didn't help, so I decided that I'd better say goodbye to Liberia for the time being, and look forward to coming back at a new day. So I came back to this country, went back to school, got some more qualifications, and then started to work for an American firm that sent me back to Africa to work in Ghana, where I spent eight years.

And then I was headhunted to go to the Netherlands to work for a partnership. This was an interesting organization. It was formed by the United Nations and the International Finance Corporation, but it used a lot of private sector money to improve the private sectors in Africa. We thought I would be there for two years, but I stayed ten. But after 9/11, traveling all over the world, my family said that's about enough now; you'd better slow down. And I was just about to slow down, returning to the private sector, when I was asked to take this job with the new government. So that's how it came about.

But I do feel that it is important to get resources, talents, from wherever you can find it in society for the benefit of society. They're not all in the government. Certainly they do have organizations and the management skills there. You can find some of them in the private sector. But they're very stingy on the pennies, except people like Ted, who knows the value of that. So you've got to find a way in which you can work with all of these to bring to the table the resources you need to work on the serious problems we have in Africa developing our people.

DULANY: Thank you very much.

Neville, I'm going to turn to you first for the next round, and ask you both what you have exemplified in Coke in terms of reaching out to other sectors, and why in particular you feel it's important for the business sector to engage in partnerships.

ISDELL: Well, I think I'd go back to, one of the reasons that I actually joined Coca-Cola was the global nature and the global reach. And I think Ted's ant analogy is a very good one, in terms of the size of what Coke can do. But more broadly, as I've looked at businesses' engagement, I think there's more and more a need to be sure that you have what I call "social license." And part of what I'm trying to do in my current job is insure that we are a functioning and recognized member of society everywhere that we are, in fact, every community in which we work.

Because for the Coca-Cola Company, the name on the bottle says Coca-Cola; the name on the building says Coca-Cola. And I think in the 21st century we're looking at global corporations that, in order to be truly global, have to match their involvement and their buying of the license, if you want to put it that way. There's more than that. It's their legitimate involvement, their completely dedicated involvement in society.

The people that work for you -- the young people, the good people that you want to attract -- will not work for a company that is not engaged properly in society. And therefore I think in the pursuit of profit -- because you need the profit to be able to do everything else -- that it is absolutely important that you build an organization that is totally committed to working in society as a whole. And I think that's been in the DNA of The Coca-Cola Company for a long period of time. It is not something that I've brought. It is something that I've enhanced. It's something that I'm developing into a model that is more pertinent to the world of today.

But I think it's always been there. We've always been engaged. And the multiplier then that we're all talking about comes into place. But it's not just about money. It's about the commitment of your own people and the resources that they can bring, the linkages that can be brought, and the involvement in the community.

And you see that just the work of our people -- I remember when the tsunami hit, just a story from Thailand, in Phuket, the 26th of December -- within thirty-six hours fifty people were down on that coast helping. They were all on vacation. They saw it on television. They gave up their vacation, took vehicles to go down and help and do the right thing. No one told them that's what you have to do. They knew it was what they were expected to do, and it was the right thing to do. That's what you have to build into an organization.

DULANY: Can you, just to follow up on that, can you give us an example of a partnership that Coca-Cola is engaging in and who the other partners are and how you actually work together?

ISDELL: Yeah. One that may surprise you would be the linkage that we have with Greenpeace. And it really comes out of concerns Greenpeace has with CFCs -- chlorofluorocarbons. And Gerd Leipold [of Greenpeace] is actually here this evening. And it's not that we have an agreement that they will never disagree with us or never protest against us. There's nothing of that nature.

We have a shared belief that we need to get CFCs out of the whole chain. We're piloting in a number of areas -- one that also involves energy efficiency. We now have a goal to reduce, by 2010, the efficiency of our refrigeration by between thirty and forty, by forty percent actually. And we will meet that goal. But we're taking out CFCs that are used in the insulation of refrigerators. We've found a way to take that out. That's 75 percent of the problem.

We're now developing new technology in terms of using CO2 in refrigeration, which then takes CFCs completely out with regard to climate change. But the other linkage of that -- and Gerd and I were talking about doing something in Davos to multiply this -- we're only two percent of the market. So now we have to widen that in order to get other businesses involved, to have the impact. So everywhere you come to Ted's multiplier. And so we're a pioneer.

And I think the other side of the bargain is what's happening with regard to NGOs. I think NGOs have understood that if they really want to achieve their objectives, they have to be involved in that multiplier in exactly the same way. And I think one great sign for businesses, because we'll complain about accountability -- well, the eleven NGOs that signed up to the accountability mechanism, that I think was in May of this year, just shows that whole maturing of this relationship, which I think is very positive.

DULANY: Thank you.

Ted, you're known for being, shall we say, outspoken. So my question to you is, when is it time to speak out in a forceful and firm way, and when is it time to negotiate work with other people in partnership? How do you distinguish between the time for conflict and the time for negotiation?

TURNER: Well, I don't think that that's a conflict. You can speak out forcefully and still be very good at partnering. So I don't think there's a problem there. But as far as when you should speak out, I see the human situation now as desperate. You've got nuclear proliferation, nuclear weapons, that's occurring right now, and it's about to get out of control. And if we have a full-scale nuclear war it'll be the end of humanity if not the end of life on earth. And that basically will happen in one afternoon.

And then if we somehow survive that, we have global climate change, that if we don't get a handle on that and move away from fossil fuels rapidly and in a massive way -- and both these things will be good for business. Getting rid of nuclear weapons would be good for business because we're going to need all that highly enriched uranium to power the nuclear power plants that we're going to need around the world to stop polluting the atmosphere with fossil fuel emissions. So we need that.

And combating global warming by redoing our energy regimes all over the world will be great for business, and it'll be great to do away with air pollution and a lot of our water pollution and make the planet cleaner and cooler. So those are two major things that we have to deal with. And if we don't deal with them, we're not going to be here in fifty years, in my opinion. So I think we have to speak out forcefully and we have to get some action. And that doesn't include going around bombing everybody that we don't like. That adds to the pollution.


DULANY: So that's the outspoken part. Now let's talk about the partnership part.

TURNER: I'm mad as hell... [LAUGHS]

DULANY: I can tell.


TURNER: ...and I'm not going to take it anymore.


DULANY: Ted, just to follow up on that for a moment -

TURNER: And while we're doing it, we've got to tackle poverty in the developing world. We've got to go along with the Millennium Development Goals that the United Nations has set, and really try. I don't know that we can eliminate poverty or not, but we've got to make a real effort to do it. We can't live in a world where five percent of the people have ninety percent of the wealth. That's not sustainable.


People all over the world should be able to afford a Coca-Cola. Not just in the rich countries.

MINOR: Obviously one of the concerns about the developing world, and in our efforts to help to solve some of the problems, is that we really have got to take partnership seriously. We cannot prevent the people from the South from migrating to the North if the South would remain poor, and they can watch CNN and see the wealth in the North. So they've got to be able to have some of that wealth that they see in the north shared with them. That's the only way we can keep them there. As we speak, there are hundreds of people trying to cross the Sahara every day trying to get into Europe.

And the same thing would be from Latin America into North America. A true partnership means that we have to work with those countries more. And one of the problems I have worked with in more than twelve years in these partnership arrangements, and for instance, when we seek financial support to meet a problem -- and all the donors do that. We are constrained to spend eighty percent of the resources back in the developed countries, and only twenty percent in the country requiring it. And that can't be an appropriate partnership. And that's some of the things that we've all got to work on and help to change, so that development can really take place.

DULANY: So can you speak specifically about Liberia and some of the partnerships you're trying to develop?

MINOR: Liberia has been fortunate to have had a strong international presence in the last two and a half years to assist us, primarily because I think the world conscience could not stand the killings that it did watch on television. And so it was this country that pronounced, "Listen, Mr. Taylor has to leave." And then we got the neighboring countries to come in with the troops and help to maintain the peace, until the United Nations came in and supported them and made it possible for us to have a peace deal that facilitated a two-year transition towards democratic election which Mrs. Sirleaf won.

Now we're continuing with that partnership. So we have a partnership where, even in the government's efforts to remodel the country, to develop the economy, in every face of it, you've got government participation and you have the international community -- the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, the African countries. And some of them are stepping up to the plate in surprisingly interesting ways.

As you may have heard, one of the promises our president made when she was elected, is to bring electricity to parts of Monrovia.

And she did that with considerable assistance from Ghana. And that's the sort of partnership we can find even amongst the people within our own society and in our own region. So we do have lots of involvement. One of the things we're looking forward to see is more involvement of the civil society. Many of them work for donor countries. But we need to have them on board in a much greater way than we now have them.

DULANY: Thank you.

And speaking of civil society, Ingrid, when I visited India, as I was founding Synergos nineteen years ago, I met with a very feisty group of civil society leaders who at that time were not particularly interested in partnership. But my sense is that that atmosphere is shifting in India. And I wonder if you could talk a little bit about why you think that is, and also how you've involved CRY in such a way that it really does work in partnership with other groups.

SRINATH: I think in India the scale of the problems that we're dealing with just make partnership mandatory. When you've got 442 million children, 226 million went to bed hungry tonight, that's a scale that no amount of private philanthropy by itself is going to change. The state by itself is not going to change it. Civil society by itself is not going to change it. So when you're dealing with that scale of problem, partnership is inevitable I think. And I think growing numbers of nonprofits have come to that realization.

Also, as Neville said, if one company the size of Coca-Cola changes its policies, whether it has to do with the environment or whether it has to do with philanthropy or whether it has to do with supply chain management, they can make a bigger difference than a hundred nonprofits of CRY's size. And therefore, it'd be in many ways more worth my while influencing Neville than it might be just indefinitely funding grassroots programs.

The founder of CRY was a remarkable man. He was just 25 when he founded CRY. He was an airline steward. He had no money, he had no connections; he didn't even have a particularly solid educational background. He just had this lunatic dream that he could change the world. I think because he came at it without an ideology -- without an MBA, without a Master's degree in Social Work -- that may well have set the DNA of CRY to be open to everybody.

As you know, we actually raise all our money from the Indian public, which gives us a degree of autonomy and a degree of leverage when we're talking to government or corporate sector that very few nonprofits have the luxury of having. And that's really what we've built our strategy on -- including just everybody.

DULANY: Thank you.

So, Ted, turning back to you for a moment, in terms of the UN Foundation, which was actually set up as an effort to work in partnership with the UN but also with corporations, foundations…

TURNER: Whoever wanted to be partners with us and help the UN.

DULANY: Yes. So how did you think this up? I mean, I know about your huge announcement which has subsequently inspired lots of other people, but...

TURNER: Well, the thing that really got me thinking about it was the fact that the United States had been withholding its dues, even though it as legally obligated as a member of the United Nations to pay those dues. Just like if you belong to a country club, you've got to pay your dues. And since we were the biggest dues payers and we were a billion dollars in arrears, the UN was having trouble paying its bills. And that really worried me, because I thought if the UN were to collapse we'd be in a hell of a mess.

As a student of history, I don't think we would have made it through the Cold War without the United Nations. I think one of the most poignant moments was when Khrushchev was addressing the general assembly, and he was so mad he took his shoe off and hit the podium. Remember? But he didn't order the bombers to fly, because there was a place for him to let off steam. That's why I think it's so silly for the United States not to have relations with North Korea and Iran.

We established relations right after the Vietnam War with Vietnam, and Vietnam and the United States were at peace. We did it with China. We kept our relations with Russia open during the Cold War, and we didn't agree with those regimes any more than we do with North Korea or Iran or Cuba. But at least we had diplomatic relations and we talked to them.

A lot of times if you just talk to somebody, talk to your wife, she won't leave you if you listen to what she has to say. [LAUGHS] Now it's not so hard. It doesn't cost anything except a little time. And we've got all these diplomats sitting around with not enough to do anyway. Send a couple of the spare ones over there to listen a little bit. You learn a lot more when you're listening, when you're talking anyway.

DULANY: But what strikes me -- this is the diplomatic part that you're talking about -- but in fact what the UN Foundation does is more development oriented...

TURNER: That's right.

DULANY: ...working across boundaries, whether it's corporate, U.N or internationally.

TURNER: But basically, that's why I got the idea. I thought, well, I had made a lot of money real quickly and it was burning a hole in my pocket. And the first idea was, I was going to go to the UN and buy the debt for a billion dollars. Well, buy it at a discount -- maybe nine hundred million because it was behind. And then I was going to sue the United States. I was going to present the bill to Congress and say, this is a legitimate bill.

Because the UN couldn't sue the United States, but I could. I could have threatened them -- not with a whole lot, but I could have made life unpleasant, and just say, "Pay me." And then I would have made a hundred million dollars if I got the full amount, the face amount. So I was going to be like a repo man. And I found out I couldn't do that. And that's when I came up with the idea to create the UN Foundation in 1997. Because a US citizen can't sue the US government for non -- payment of dues to the UN. It's against the law. But that's where I got the idea.


MAN IN CROWD: Thataboy!

DULANY: I have the feeling that the civil society needs a little of this creative thinking...


SRINATH: Absolutely..

DULANY: ... in its fundraising strategies, don't you think?

Let me turn back to Neville for a moment. We've come to know about Coca-Cola's water initiative, because one of our members of the Global Philanthropist's Circle, Jin Zidell, is sitting over there, has been working with your company about this. And it just strikes me as such an interesting initiative. I wonder if you would say a word about that.

ISDELL: Well, first of all, we've got the global water challenge, which is actually with the UN Foundation. And we pay very regularly because we don't want to be sued by Ted Turner. But seriously, water is core to what we do, what we're all about. And I think that whilst the major focus on energy is a very important one, that the other really important issue is water. And Ted's a student of history. Wars have been fought over water, and they could be again.

And whilst we are not the major user, because it's agriculture that uses the most water, we have to play our part; we have to do our best; and we have to minimize our footprint in terms of what we do. The Global Water Challenge -- there are many pieces that are involved. We brought other businesses into that with the UN Foundation. We've got Dow; we've brought in Procter & Gamble. And if you take one of the projects, take Kenya as an example, we're trying to provide water and its proper sanitation to 1,500 schools in the next five years. That will involve the government.

I think part of this is also leadership and what you do, what you're seen doing within your organization. I was out in Kenya nine months ago, and I did an absolute first for a chairman of The Coca-Cola Company. I formally opened up an ablution block in a slum in Nairobi, Kibera slum. And that was part of the work that we were doing in terms of the Water Challenge. We'd opened a well as well at the school. Want to do that with 1,500 schools.

And that's part of the programs. It ties all back in to the poverty, to the high death rate of children, to just giving people opportunity. It's a virtuous circle here. And Jin Zidell, with Blue Planet Run, is going to bring a tremendous awareness to the whole issue of water around the world, I think, and heighten that. But we're looking at reducing our water usage by three, four percent a year.

That's a long way away. But that's the sort of goal that you need to have. If we're going to minimize our footprint -- you can never eliminate it -- but minimize our footprint on the planet, those are the sort of goals that you have to have.

DULANY: Yeah. Thank you. We're about to run out of time. But I just wanted to end giving Ingrid, and do you mind if I call you Charles, about a minute each. From the perspective of your respective sectors, namely civil society and government, if you had a message for other sectors in terms of what's the right way to engage -- what's the respectful way, what would be the most useful way to address the problems that you're facing -- what would that be? Ingrid?

SRINATH: I think too often when we use the word partnership, we're really talking about, I'm going to tell you what's right for you. Too often, whether it's government, the corporate sector, or even the financial sector, what we've learned is that the only sustainable change is the one that comes bottom up; where our role, whether we're government, civil society or market, is really to amplify the voices of the poorest of the poor, and really, what Mr. Turner said, which is, actively listen. We're not passive listeners. We dialogue with these people. We have our own point of view. But it is critical to remember that they're the ones that we work for. And really just listening more actively I think is probably the one thing I'd like more of.

DULANY: Thank you.


MINOR: I think one of the things that's important as we work, particularly with civil society -- civil society organizations abroad that go into Africa and other parts of the world should try and identify with the local people. I think to assume that you have all the solutions -- and this is even more so true with the international organizations and some of our bilateral partners who come and say they have the solution to our problem -- they need to come and, as Ted suggests, listen. They need to come and work with the local people and find out how they will solve the problem and what help they need.

I think if we participated in this kind of partnership, partnership that would give those who are supposed to be beneficiary a greater opportunity to participate in the decisionmaking, in the implementation strategies, I think it will be much more appreciated, and the reward would be far greater than the rewards today. We need to look how we can get more benefits from even the tax dollars that bilateral countries send to the developing world, how you make sure that those tax dollars pay off. I've seen projects that, the returns are so minimal, and the local people will undertake a similar project with far less resources. So we need to really work with the local people far more than we are today. And as I mentioned before, this 80/20 percent relationship got to change.

Questions and Answers

DULANY: Thank you very much. Bob is now going to take some questions from the audience.

DUNN: So we have a few people in the audience with microphones. We'd invite questions. What I'd like to do is take a few and present them to the panel. And then if we have time we'll take a few more. I would just ask your assistance in being as concise as you can in stating the question that you want to pose. So if you have a question and you just raise your hand, if someone by the aisle here... Anyone else so we can get a mic near you?

DULANY: And please introduce yourselves as you speak.

JANICE PERLMAN: Janice Pearlman, the Mega-Cities Project. I've heard a lot of things about how you created partnerships and bridging partnerships. I'm very interested in what you think are the obstacles and barriers you had to overcome in doing so, and the honest underlying, let's say mistrust or stereotypes that people from different sectors often bring to the table while speaking the words of partnership, and in fact, trying to create them. So I'd like to know some of things that you've had to do to break down those stereotypes, and actually some of the hurdles you had to overcome in really building these partnerships. Thank you.

KATHLEEN HAYS: I'm Kathleen Hays. I work for Bloomberg Television. And Ambassador Minor mentioned the issue of sharing wealth and how unequally it exists in the world. I'd like to ask a question about creating wealth in Africa, for example, which such a rich continent. What do all of you think are the obstacles to creating wealth in these countries, so it isn't a question of sharing it, it's a matter of having your own and having people like those 256 million in India having a part in that?

DANIEL FEFFER: Good evening. My name is Daniel Feffer. I'm from São Paulo, Brazil. Partnership is something that's intrigued me for a long time. And I wonder, would like to ask you how could we benefit from partnership considering that we're doing so many different things with each other, and what the world needs is focus? And in a sense we are competing with government that delivers social services. And this competition I understand is not only for services, but it includes also power. Because social responsibility is a very powerful tool. How do you see this? Thank you.

DUNN: And I'm going to take just one more in this first round.

LIZ GOLDHIRSH: Hi, I'm Liz Goldhirsh from Boston. And I'm wondering what your suggestions are for handling nuclear states when sanctions or talks don't prevent them from continuing with their weapon's capabilities?

DUNN: Thanks. Peggy, back to you.

DULANY: All right. Who would like to start? You want to start with that last one?


TURNER: I'm sorry, but I'm hard of hearing and I couldn't hear the question.


DULANY: [LAUGHS] That was a good try.

ISDELL: Okay, I'll go. But I'm not going with the nuclear option. Let me take the one on wealth, because I think this is a broader debate where it can bring society together, and having been brought up in Africa. I think that the scandal- and I use that word thoughtfully -- the scandal of developed world agricultural policy is something that we absolutely have to address.

Because unless we give the poor farmers of Africa and the rest of the world the opportunity to earn a living, to pull themselves up, and if we're only in a cycle of providing relief, of being philanthropic, without actually basically changing the way that we trade and the way that we allow people to develop, I think we'll still be to some degree just applying band-aids. We've got to think holistically about this, and it's a global societal issue, and something that we all need to address together.


DULANY: Ingrid, do you want to take one of the questions?

SRINATH: Sure. I'd like to speak to the question about barriers to partnership. And speaking for myself as an individual within my management team, or whether it's CRY working with other nonprofits, other sectors of society, the single and only barrier that we have encountered is arrogance. For me personally, just to get over that ridiculous notion that I knew everything, that I knew more, that my abilities were superior to the people who, for example, sold greeting cards or did work in packaging, that I actually knew more than them, was the first barrier I had to overcome. And it was similar for the organization as we worked in alliances.

For example, we work with an alliance of 2,500 NGOs, which may be the hardest thing we do. There are more egos in that room than in most, I think than even at the UN. [LAUGHS] But it was really being able to step back and not demand authorship, not demand naming rights, that allowed us to do that, to really be able to lead from the side rather than lead from the front, was our big learning.

DULANY: Thank you.

MINOR: I would tap Ted on that first question, because he and I have been discussing it privately here, about how you handle the nuclear nations. I think we agree that it's very difficult morally to stop others from doing something that you're doing. The developed world also want to feel powerful. I mean, there's not a country in the world that wouldn't want to exert some amount of power. And therefore, how do you determine power?

One way in which power is determined is by military might, military strength and nuclear energy. But there's a club. Now, if you're not in that club, then of course you try to do what you think is in your best interest to get power and to either join the club, or to be recognized by the club as an important person to deal with. So I think we've got to look at that as an important problem and as a moral issue. We can't realistically tell my brother not to do what I'm doing, and think that he will listen. So I think that's what we talked about earlier. I just want to convey that; I think we share that.

The other question is -- and I think it was addressed to me -- is the creation of wealth. I strongly believe that it is the private sector, it's the individual in countries in the private capacity that create wealth. Wealth is not created by government, even by a number of civil society organizations. If you look at the development aid, development assistance that's around the world, whether it's coming from the multilateral or from donor countries, they're all directed to governments. The resources that are transferred are transferred to governments. And governments can build the infrastructure correctly.

But the creation of wealth requires the application of management know-how to ensure that resources can be generated and expanded and profits can be made. We in Africa lack that management capacity. And to the extent we have it a huge amount of our managers are working abroad. Some of them work for Coca-Cola, obviously. We need to be able to attract our managers. How can we do that? I strongly feel that some of our development aid should be used to attract Africans in the diaspora to go back home and manage the resources in Africa. We can't stay over here and expect that to happen with people who have little capacity.

Secondly, our markets are very, very small, and they are constrained. And until we have a larger market setting, until we can trade with ourselves better, it's very difficult for us to have a market to expand on what we are now producing. I think if we were to be concerned with those two issues, we will help in the creation of wealth instead of distributing the little we have.

DULANY: Thank you. Ted, you want to take on of the questions?

TURNER: I couldn't hear the questions.


DULANY: Oh, okay. All right. Bob, do we have time for some more?

DUNN: I think probably just one more.

MAN 1: I don't need a mic. I'm simply a huge fan of Peggy Dulany.

MAN 2: You do need a mic.


MAN 1: Two days ago I had the pleasure of listening to the President of Botswana talk about what they'd done. And I walked to my office in there with a friend of mine who's Chairman of TechnoServe. And I said, what are you guys doing there? And he said, "Well, not much, because we can't get much aid for that, because it's too successful." And I said, "That sounds, pardon my French, ass backwards. If they're successful and transparent and modernizing and democratizing, why aren't you giving them more aid so the countries of Africa and others countries in general stand up to that?" And I guess, Ted, if you can hear this, this is directed to you. And, by the way, ten years ago as a law student, you gave me driving directions on the corner of CNN's headquarters.


DUNN: Just one more.

[JOHN BALLOUT]: Thank you. I'm John Ballout, Senator from Liberia; Maryland County. I would just like to say concerning the question about wealth creation, wherever it's coming from, Liberia, like most parts of Africa, is a rich country with many poor people. In Liberia, for example -- I like to take my case in particular -- we've had a very troubled past. And we've had the challenge of setting our own house in order. And I think so far we're doing a great job at it. And I'm proud that we're here honoring our president today. But that goes beyond all that. We have embraced democracy. We have embraced our best brains and best people.

I'm a real example. I'm a civil engineer; I had no business being in politics. I had come into politics to straighten things out. Now with the President, she has brought in the best brains we've had -- good managers. So now we're putting our house in order. We're establishing some credibility trying to inspire confidence. But yet it's not happening. So there's something wrong. We have the resources because the country's rich. We have from timber to iron ore to gold to diamonds, to the 40 percent of West African forests. And along my own coast we're just attempting to discover oil.

So what is wrong? How do I get for my country the needed investors to come help us transform our resources to wealth? It's a win/win situation. So I'm just looking at it, and I want to ask this question directly to Mr. Ted Turner and Neville Isdell from Coca-Cola -- I just want you to tell me, how do I get those funds to come bit by bit and build that big anthill? If it was as simple as putting a spoon of honey, believe me, I would have done it, but I know it's more difficult than that. That's why I'm asking an expert at it. Thank you.

Presentation of the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Awards

DULANY: So we're going to actually have to postpone the answer to that question, because the Secretary-General just arrived to give the awards. We're extremely pleased to have him with us. So hopefully you'll be able to get an answer informally after, and I apologize for not giving you the time to get that now. So we're going to move on to the next part of the ceremony. And I'd like to ask Secretary-General Kofi Annan to please come up so that we can begin the award part.


KOFI ANNAN: This is quite an attendance. It's really wonderful to be able to join all of you tonight, and to join you in honoring two wonderful individuals. I'm sorry that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf could not be with us tonight. She's an incredible lady, for those of you who do not know her; you can take it from me.


She was here for the General Assembly, and I was in Liberia a couple of months ago to visit her, and to see how the UN Operations were going. And to see this woman, this woman President, the first ever elected women presidents in Africa, take charge the way she did after a war -- and the war was brutal -- and for her to take charge with such conviction, such dedication. She was determined, decisive, and felt that something can be done to improve the situation in the country.

Of course, being a woman, she was immediately dubbed, "iron woman." If she had been a man, they would say, not only is he a go-getter and aggressive and assertive -- all those adjectives would have been positive -- but I think they'd say it affectionately in that case. But the main thing is that she is working with her people to turn the country around, and doing some really incredible things, looking at all the concessions which have been given in the past, to insure that the agreements that were signed were defensible and should stand the test of time, and where the agreements are corrupt or fraudulent obviously she will insure that they are rescinded and new agreements signed that will be in the interest of the people in the country.

It is a tough job she's taken on. We have a tough neighborhood in that region. We still have civil war going on in Cote d'Ivoire. Sierra Leone just came out of conflict. So the whole region has to be looked at very, very carefully, and she's very much aware of that. But what she's determined to do is to make a difference in Liberia. And since she took over, lights have been turned on in some parts of Liberia.

She's determined to push for agricultural development, push education, public sector and security sector reform. So she's doing all the wonderful things. And I'm really happy that tonight one is honoring her achievements and her success. I think this is the sort of encouragement she needs. But I hope the support we have for her will not be a one -- night affair, and that we will sustain that support for her and Liberia as we move forward. Thank you.


DULANY: And I believe we have a brief film that we're going to show with her speaking.

ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF, VIA VIDEO: I send warm greetings to all of those who are participating in this event tonight. I'm sorry that due to the huge domestic agenda, I'm unable to be with you.

I'd like to say thank you to David Rockefeller for his leadership in the financial sector through many years and for the Bridging Leadership Award that he's giving tonight. Appreciation, also, to Peggy Dulany of Synergos, who has worked with so many of us in promoting development worldwide, particularly in Africa.

The other recipient of the award tonight, Ted Turner of the United Nations Foundation, really deserves this award for all the work he's done in promoting the United Nations and its development effort. We'd just like to say to Ted that the world thanks him for what he's done in this regard.

In my work with the United Nations over the many years, we've identified leadership that worked towards strategic partnerships, partnerships between government and civil society, government and the business sector, government and young people, and together we've been able to create this worldwide impetus for promoting the development agenda.

We're pleased that in Liberia, as we make our transition from peace -- from war to peace that we, too, are relying upon strategic partnerships. Our development agenda concerns peace and security, economic recovery, infrastructure rehabilitation and good governance. And we also are using our partnership with our external agencies to promote the interventions that will foster and accelerate our development effort.

The award tonight just helps to provide us more motivation and encouragement in the work we're doing to make Liberia a successful post-conflict country. We thank you all.


DULANY: So fortunately, Ambassador Minor is here to accept the award on behalf of President Johnson Sirleaf. And since the award is named after you, Dad, I wonder if you would help the Secretary-General in presenting the award.

DAVID ROCKEFELLER: Thank you so much, Kofi. You're one of my heroes, and therefore I think that you've done one of the great jobs in the world today in keeping peace at a moment when there is so much trouble in the world. And it's a privilege to have you here with us this evening. It's also a pleasure and a special one for me to be here this evening for this evening's University for a Night. I have to say I'm a very proud father and I...


ROCKEFELLER: ...I can't help interrupting further remarks and saying that I really think that my daughter Peggy and the work she's done and the leadership she's given to Synergos over the years has been something which I feel has been important. But as her father, I find it very moving that my daughter is playing this remarkable role.

DULANY: Thank you.

ROCKEFELLER: And thank you, Peggy, for what you've done.


ROCKEFELLER: I'm also grateful to Ambassador Minor who is here to accept the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award on behalf of Liberia's President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. President Sirleaf has worked assiduously to create the basis for an enduring peace and unity after years of unrest in Liberia. She has established a model of democracy and governance in her country that I hope world leaders will emulate in the future. Indeed, President Johnson Sirleaf epitomizes the effective leadership this award was created to recognize. So I ask, sir, that, would you please accept and pass on to her our warmest congratulations and best wishes. And thank you very much indeed for your being with us and accepting this for her. Thank you, sir.


MINOR: The founder and Chair of Synergos Institute, President Dunn, Mr. Secretary General, David Rockefeller, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen -- it is with profound gratitude that I accept this David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award for and on behalf of our president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. You've already seen and heard her express her regrets for not being present, and her appreciation for the high honor bestowed on her and honor our country this evening. I confirm that appreciation.

The award, symbolic of the ethos of the Institute and its founders, honors outstanding achievements in leadership and the building of bridges across boundaries and historical divides; bridges that facilitate reaching beyond the ordinary, creating a more livable and better world -- a world in which families have a roof under which to sleep, food on their tables, and schools for their children to attend; where medical attention can be obtained and life can be lived in peace under laws that give equal protection to all alike.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in whose name I speak, believes such a world is not too much to ask for. It is her mission to pursue such a world for the people of Liberia. And we thank you for recognizing her efforts to begin the process of building bridges from the old order of death and destruction, of gross inequities and abject poverty, of high illiteracy and unemployment, from rampant corruption and misuse of the national assets, to a world of hope and faith in a brighter future, a future all Liberians would be proud to participate in and to help develop and defend.

We believe such a future is possible with the application of concerted and combined efforts of all our partners from the governments, multilateral organizations, foundations, and other civil service organizations, the faith communities, educational institutions, and not least, the private sector. Together we can achieve our goal of a bright future for all our people. I thank you very much.


DULANY: Thank you so much.

ANNAN: I'm back again. Let me say that I'm not Peggy's father. And so I can say with straight face, in all honesty, without being embarrassed or blushed, that she's done a really great job, and she's a wonderful leader.


ANNAN: And, David, you have every reason to be proud of her. Let me now attend to our next honoree, Ted Turner, whom I'm sure most of you know or have heard of. But I think most people, when they think of Ted, they think of CNN and they think of some of the other more public activities that he undertakes. I cannot think of anyone who is more aptly suited for this award. Bridges -- he's been building bridges all along, in more ways than we can realize.

For example, how many of the people in this room know that about eight years ago, when we tried to get the United States to pay back its arrears and then succeeded, working with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and lots of people in this room, to Senator Tim Wirth and others, eventually we had a deal the US would pay, and then we had to look at the distribution of the cost -- who pays how much. And the US had to come down from 25 percent to about 22 and a half. And it was all negotiated very tightly and neatly, and everyone agreed.

But there was a gap of about $39 million. And because of that, the deal almost fell apart. And we are talking of the UN's core budget, which is reserved only for governments. We do accept voluntary contributions for other activities, but the core budget must be paid for by governments. But we have this gap, and no government wanted to pick it up. So, Ted said, "We'll give you a check." So he bridged the gap, and the deal was sustained. And we were able to move forward with an understanding and settle the problem.


And of course, you all know about his billion dollar contribution to the UN. But there are other things he does. I saw him the other night, and he said, "I have an idea on the nuclear proliferation, and we have to do something on it." And that's how it always starts. [LAUGHS] And I think it is wonderful. I mean, sometimes people who don't know him will say, this is a dream. And I say, well, you have to start with a dream. You start with a dream and then begin to give it foundation interpreted into action. And Ted is very good at that. Nothing is too big for him to want to try.

And what is also wonderful about him is, he likes to do something nobody else has done before. Most of us are scared that this hasn't been done; how do I know it's going to work? That doesn't scare him. And this is why he is able to take such bold steps and reach out to all sorts of people. And in fact, through his gift, the UN has been able to carry on all sorts of activities we would not have been able to even consider. We have a very small core budget. And the contribution he has made -- and I just shared with a group of people in New York just a few nights ago that we received the one billionth dollar from the UN Foundation only last month. So we got a billion dollars out of it.


Yeah. But what is also remarkable is that he had hoped his own contribution would encourage others to come forth. And I think it has. Since then, many prominent and wealthy individuals have come forward and made contributions, agreeing with Ted that an individual can make a difference, and an individual has a contribution to make, even in areas where governments dominate. And this is one of the messages that I think is important for all of us.

But what I find remarkable is that working with the UN Foundation and Tim Wirth and others, that he has used his contribution, his offer, to encourage others to join the Foundation. So when I talked of a billion dollars, six hundred of it came directly from Ted, and four hundred million came from others who have joined in. And the program continues, with Ted going to provide an additional four hundred million dollars, and I hope others will join him in this offer.

So I would want really to thank you for selecting him for this leadership award. And I think you really, really deserve it. And as I said, you've been building bridges, and keep building it, and we need more like you in our world. Thank you.


ROCKEFELLER: Thank you so much.


ROCKEFELLER: Thank you, Kofi, for those gracious, appropriate and moving remarks about our awardee. Ted, it's a special pleasure for me to have the honor of giving you this leadership award which bears my name. I'm not quite sure how I deserve the name, but I'm glad I do; especially when it's being associated with you. I've always admired the great passion and commitment with which you've pursued your objectives as a world -- class sailor, an innovative businessman, and as a strategic philanthropist.

Much of your life has been spent breaking down the barriers that have prevented more effective cooperation among individuals, corporations, and among nations. Your role as an international statesman has been exemplary. At a time when all too few in this country speak in defense of the United Nations, you've been one of its most steadfast defenders. You understood that partnership between public and private sectors, as well as among nations and the world, are essential to the creation of an effective, enduring and compassionate global world. So I'm very proud, Ted, to be able to present to you -- and where is it -- [LAUGHS] -- here it is -- an award which you most richly deserve.

TURNER: Thank you, sir.


TURNER: Thank you. This is a very touching experience for me, and I cannot thank enough, Kofi, for coming over; and Mr. Rockefeller, thank you so much too. And I also want to thank Tim Wirth, the President of the United Nations Foundation, and Amir Dossal, the head of UNFIP, that works with us, representing the United Nations, and the entire United Nations Foundation staff. Quite a few are here. And I want to thank all our partners, including Coke and so many others -- Vodafone -- that have joined with us -- individuals, corporations, foundations -- to help -- of that billion dollars, as has been said, 400 million of it was put up by partners. And this, with the United Nations Foundation, 600.

And Tim tells me that projecting, that during the next eight years, when the other 400 million of my money, my funds are expended, that we plan to -- well, I don't know -- hope to raise 600 million more at least, so there'll be another billion dollars coming in to make the world a more equitable and better place. And I'm proud of that. And I just wish my mom and dad, who aren't alive today, I wish they were out in the audience. It would sure make me happy. Thanks, Mom; thanks, Dad for teaching me all the good things you did. Thank you.


DULANY: So congratulations, Ted, and congratulations, Ellen, wherever you are; and thank you for accepting, Ambassador Minor. Kofi, we really appreciate your coming.


Dad, you seem to be puzzled about why the award was named after you. So I can clarify that for those who weren't here several years ago. It's because you were very deservedly the first recipient of the award for the remarkable bridging that you've done, and which has been tremendously a model to me.

Thank you, everybody, for coming to this plenary.

I imagine that you might be ready to eat some dinner. But don't think that you're just going to have a nice social dinner, because all of you are going to be sitting at a table with table topics. There will be two distinguished faculty member at the table, and a host who will guide the discussion. We hope that each of them is as good as all the tables have been in previous years. We're not going to have any further announcements. So it's going to be scout's honor that you actually go to your table and begin the discussions. And we look forward to hearing about them from the various people who participate in the discussions later. Thank you so much.