Eleven days and 8,500 miles ago I stepped on a plane to Washington DC (I’m about to do a final 3,500-odd miles back to London). It’s been a hectic but very productive few days.
To kick things off, I spent a couple of days with the Institute for Reproductive Health helping them design a prototype “standard days method” texting service using FrontlineSMS. It was exciting and interesting work, and I’m looking forward to following their future progress.
The following day saw me speak to around 150 leaders from Latin America who had gathered for a workshop at George Washington University. It was the first time I’d spoken to an exclusively foreign audience accompanied by a live translator, but at least I now know my jokes translate well. Next I headed to the west coast and spent the weekend working with an interesting bunch of computer scientists who had gathered at Berkeley. You can read my thoughts and reflections on that in a blog post here.
After spending a couple of extra days catching up in Palo Alto and San Francisco (one of my favourite places for taking photos, incidentally), I headed back to Washington DC to speak about innovation on a panel at the UN Youth Assembly. It was the first time I’d been to the UN, let alone spoke, and it looked and felt exactly as I’d expected (see photo, above). It was a great experience, and after the short talk I was totally cleaned out of \o/ badges by the delegates.
Today saw a final – and slightly random – parting event when I featured on the BBC “Test Match Special” cricket website, which had earlier in the day been discussing the demise of Tophill Joe, a championship breeding sheep. The image (below) comes from an earlier tweet of mine in the week when I saw what can only be described as a “niche” publication in a bookshop in Palo Alto, California.
It was a nice way to end a fun and productive – if not tiring – eleven days on the road and in the air. Next stop Cambridge, i.e. home.