Friday, February 20, 2009

Connecting Around the World

This morning, I keynoted a Student Government conference in Italy while casually dressed in my shorts here in sunny Florida.

Student leaders at John Cabot University in Rome asked ASGA to keynote their second-annual Student Government conference for English-speaking institutions in the region.

Last night, about 2:00 a.m., I tested the Skype video and phone system with the host school, and then this morning about 11:30, spoke for 30 minutes on the role of Student Government here in American colleges and universities.

I dressed in my nice shirt, tie, and suit coat, but had on shorts and sandals from the waist down. Why this ridiculous outfit? I was only seen on the small Logitech computer video camera set up on my screen. They could see and hear me over Skype, and they showed the image on a big screen at the college.

I could hear my voice a second later in the background because of the time lag going across the big pond.

This conference today is so unlike ASGA's 10 events, like the one in New Orleans last weekend. I have to drive or fly, prepare for weeks in advance, ship dozens of boxes of materials ahead of time. It's a lot of work.

This conference was such a breeze comparatively because of the use of technology. It tells me that perhaps ASGA could be leading international conferences for Student Governments in the future?

Tomorrow, I lead another workshop on elections and transitioning at 10:00 EST. Rome is six hours ahead, so it will be the end of the day there.

It was a wild experience doing this Italy conference this morning. I enjoyed it and I think the audience appreciated it as well.