My date with famous people was kind of similar to many of the other dates I’ve had. I spent forever (it seemed) at the mall trying on clothes looking to find that ONE amazing piece that was gonna’ give me the energy confidence boost I needed. This experience while (again, I was so over-hyped about was) exciting and nerve-wracking was also a test of my true self. I wasn’t in it to meet the celebs, but that certainly was an added bonus. I was in it to be in the loop about what our world was planning for tomorrow. From world politics to local issues, from health and science to music and art there were sessions that appealed to all, and I was, let’s just say, a bit overwhelmed. There were thousands of people and it seemed like everyone was networking and hobnobbing while I was for the most part people-watching and keeping a careful eye on those I knew lest I get ‘lost’. I was so nervous I took a picture of the map of the layout plan, just in case.
I’ve been going on about the Presidential Conference because I’m such a newbie. I was giddy that I got to go onto the lines set aside for speakers and press! I bumped into a few people who I used to work with so that was fun catching up, but it was time to finally begin this journey. First up was Tony Blair, Rahm Emanuel, (ex) President Bill Clinton and Shimon Peres and a very weirdly dressed talk show host/journalist that was moderating. To see amazing photojournalism on this event, check out my friend’s site, The Real Jerusalem Streets.
I walked in and was greeted by one of the coordinators where he was kind enough to find me a seat amongst cameramen, journalists, photojournalists and other bloggers. The announcer came on and asked us all to be seated.
I won’t go into the details about what everyone said. It was mostly good, at times inspiring and then at times if I can quote Robert DeNiro, “just, I dunno’, whatever”. For me, and probably for a lot of people, the most amazing speaker *(besides Professor Dan Ariely, of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, or Jon Chambers; Chairman of the Board and CEO of Cicso or Weili Dai, co-owner of Marvell Technology Group – which I will totally write about another day) was Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
She was engaging and funny and brilliant and funny and insightful and funny and really approachable and teeny, I just absolutely adore her. I sat in on her session (which I leave to the professionals to blog about) and I laughed and I smiled and then had to rush out so that I could make another session all the way at the other end of the building, but first I took a selfie with her.