Monday, November 19, 2007

Investing wisely

I had the phenomenal opportunity to work with a group of 17 second-year MBA students from Stanford University yesterday. They were in the Arabian Gulf region on an "Energy Trek," looking at what high-resource countries are doing to invest in their people. I was so excited to share with them the work of Qatar Foundation. From Education City to Reach Out to Asia, to $100,000,000 for Katrina relief, to forming a Qatar National Symphony, and many other things, it is almost overwhelming. The 17 students represented 12 different countries and none had ever heard of or witnessed anything like the Qatar Foundation.

So, the interesting question that floats in my head is "investing wisely" and for what purpose? Obviously, the Stanford students were inquiring whether or not Qatar and other Gulf countries are investing money in ways that will benefit large numbers of citizens and will create a positive future for this region. I hope that some of them read this blog post and join in the conversation by offering their perspective. I know my opinion and I don't hold back from offering it.

However, I left this group after three hours of very interesting conversation by encouraging them to invest in another way - investing themselves. This was a diverse, talented, and engaging group. They can make a real difference in the world but only if they decide on issues that matter and issues that reflect a wise investment on their part. Indeed, they have too much talent to waste an ounce of it or a minute of their time with frivolity. They have numerous opportunities to deepen their awareness of the world, one of which is the Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX); we may seek to become a GMIX sponsor which would allow Qatar Foundation to have a Stanford intern for project-based work.

The importance of investing wisely came to me in another way today. I received messages from TJ and Anne about one of our dear Miami friends, Joe. Joe has struggled for the last couple of years with cancer and he lost the battle this weekend at around age 22. Joe was an amazing individual, full of wit, wisdom, and will. He was in remission when I saw him last. He was joking and carrying on as if there was nothing threatening his life. In his short years on earth, he invested wisely of his talent and his love of others. There are those who will read this post and know exactly what I mean.

Invest wisely - our talent is too great and our time to short...

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