It’s time. Time for our little chat together. You did a lot of growing up. It’s not easy being seven. You have things to do, I get it. Building castles and Lego universes. Taking care of that fabulous family of dolls. Playing piano. Singing. And reading. Because you read now. Books. Endless books. My heart jumps of joy every time I see you completely lost to us, common mortals, in a book.
You pecked me the sweetest little kiss when I left. You told me to enjoy, to tell you everything, and to take care of Billy, the little bear. The moon is softly drowning in Lake Travis, the hotel is asleep, Billy snores. I have just the time to write you this before you wake up. My last note from Austin, before I get home.
I often told you about this lake, Tara. I do not know why, but this is my favorite lake. In the whole world. And the lake is not well. Half of the water is gone. The world is warming, the climate is getting hotter, the planet has gotten enough, of us. People. Water is spilled on golf courses, on cannabis plantations, on rice fields, in open-air swimming pools. Everyone takes water. But here, in Texas, nature stopped given the water back. It does not rain. My old friend Bruce Sterling (the one who wrote some of the books I read) foretold this long before you were born, in a breathtaking story “Heavy Weather”.
There are still people who do not believe it is warming, Tara. They think it is a conspiracy, an invention of the Illuminati. I think they have spaghetti bolognese in their brains, and they should start reading more of your books. Ask more of your questions. But they don’t.
A Million people saw the Apple fall, but only Newton asked why
Keep asking your questions, Tara. Continue hunting for answers. Ask. Read. Ask. Wonder. Discover. Ask. Plunder the library. Curiosity, Tara is the key. The key to the right questions, the answers that matter, the path to discovery. The key to saving the world, is young girls like you asking questions, and not taking “no” for an answer. Stay curious, inquisitive, nosy, puzzled, inquiring, scrutinizing, prying. Leave no stone unturned.
That is why I am here, at SXSW, Tara. Because I still have questions. The more answers I find, the more questions race in that crazy not-so normal head of mine. Luckily, here, I get some answers. On the why. On the how. On the where. On the what.
People have read, looked for answers, bundled their findings, turned it around, questioned it again. We call them scientists. They are restless, like you, to find new things, to discover new truths, to unravel the long thread that leads to discovery. I met mathematicians, physicists, astronauts, astrophysicists, neuroscientists, psychologists, doctors, dreamers, anthropologists, historians, botanists, geologists, meteorologists (they are not happy), biologists, geneticists, ecologists, oceanographers, microbiologists, immunologists, sociologists, and a Shaolin monk.
They told me what they know on the future of work, global warming, artificial intelligence, sociology, economy, human behavior, race, wokeness, history, planets, rockets, flying cars, data, media, communications, and how stars are born. They took my brain, and filled it with precious information. My neurons I buzzing with excitement. Knowledge and connections are cooking.
I hope I bring enough answers to satisfy your thirst of discovery for a year. But here are a few things.
The planet is weeping
We, the old people did not take care of it. We messed it up. Polluted it. Hurt it. Overfished it. We killed trees and forests, poisoned rivers and oceans, annihilated thousands of species of animals and plants. We are propelling chemicals into the only breathable atmosphere in our solar system. We are changing the weather, we are heating the planet. We’re melting the icecaps and glaciers. Water is rising. The first populations are migrating because their islands sink.
None of the above is an opinion, Tara. They are facts. Real. Countless people still think that they can believe the contrary. That it is a game of talking and persuading. They are wrong. Don’t let them get away with it. Show them.
There is hope Tara. We’re leaving your generation a mess. But also all the technology that can solve it. It is all there. Clean and cheap energy, means of de-polluting water, of healing, reforesting, recycling rare materials, changing eating habits, emissions-less transportation. Artificial Intelligence to augment your processing power, seamless communication and unlimited bandwidth to reach out and connect, to share, to help. New workplaces, with less work, and more time to matter and make a difference. New society structures, where everybody gets equal chances. The technology, the formulae, the blueprints, it’s all there. It’s ready to go.
I can feel you are hurt when you look at a senseless war, bullied kids, hungry mothers, angry rivers, burning cities and forests. But know that all the science, technology, energy is there. You can solve it. Your generation will save this planet, I have no doubt. You have the passion, the values, and the kindness to do it. And the urge: there is no alternative.
Power to the Tara’s!
My generation is not going to do it. We’re still to busy messing it up. Because we want more money, more power, more land, more coins, more everything. And some of my generation are pure evil. Here in Texas, Tara; older men took away a hundred years of emancipation, women’s rights and dignity from woman and girls. Older men who think they can dictate how girls should behave, believe and obey. Don’t ever let a man be the better of you. Don’t ever let a man – including me- decide your life and future. Girls and women can do everything. They have equal rights.
I met astronauts here, and astrophysicists. Powerful women from NASA. They created and launched the most powerful telescope in the world. They are able to divert incoming asteroids with their spaceships. You know the dinosaurs died because they did not have a space program? Well, we have, and these women from Nasa are at the very beating heart of it .
We’ll fight until it is right
Humans Tara, will never give up, never give in. We will always find a way. That is what I learned all these years at SXSW. People never give up. They fight back, take care, do better. People like José Andrés and countless others will always be there to address what is wrong. It starts in your school, in our street, in our town, with my clients,… we’re all looking for better answers, we all want that better world. We will not rest until it’s done. Technology will help us, but we’ll have to do it.
I bring clients to SXSW, and I bring the sun of SXSW to clients. A message that people from all over the world do not give up hope. Ever.
I can’t wait to bring you here. I want you to feel it. I want you to be it.