Euphoria and next steps

Never before has one man (and his entourage) created such a boost in confidence from one day to another. I work quite a bit with Americans (in America) at the moment and the otherwise relatively ‘cold’ business conversations have turned into highly personal exclamations about the present and the future. I find it fascinating to receive emails like the ones below from people I hardly know.

From the Bay Area:

I can’t even explain to you the joy happening here! This man has created a whole new experience of America. He joined so many people together in these months. Everyone was working for Obama. The amount of community organization was beyond all expectations. It became such a bonding factor. People were out in the streets celebrating till the A.M. hours in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco. Even when I went to bed in the early hours of 11/5/04, I could here the music and gaiety.

I can proudly say, for the first time in so many years, that I am an American. I feel no shame, guilt or other. I am finally proud to be an American. Wow!!!

From NYC:

We are estatic, elated, thrilled, stunned and relieved! We believe that there is a huge mess to clean up but we are up for the challenge. Hoping Gore will be appointed to the EPA.

What is the reaction in London? I’m hearing everyone around the world feels as we do.

In terms of the next steps, Wired ran a feature a while back, asking various experts about their advice to the incoming president: The 2008 Smart List: 15 People The Next President Should Listen To.

My institute director (and examiner), Steve Rayner, suggests that Obama should take climate change seriously and consider it a driver of innovation:

The outgoing administration failed to come to grips with climate change out of fear that reducing greenhouse gas emissions would damage the economy. But the decision to deal with climate change doesn’t lend itself to cost-benefit analysis. It is a strategic choice, like the decision to get married. You have an opportunity to define the nation’s character and upgrade its infrastructure — and bold action would be consistent with America’s historical role as a leader in innovation.

Climate change aside, restoring America as a leading country is indeed a daunting task.

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