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DLD Tel Aviv & a Meeting with President Peres

October 26, 2012

This week, I attended the DLD Tel Aviv conference, where I learned an incredible amount about the digital world, entrepreneurship, start-ups, innovation, and a host of other things. I was invited to moderate a panel on “Art, Design, Technology, and New Media”, in which I had a great group of speakers!

In addition to meeting tons of fantastic people and hearing all kinds of amazing and inspiring talks, today, I had the opportunity to meet with the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres. This was organized through the DLD team, and there were about 100 or so people who were invited. 

We were ushered into the President’s Residence in Jerusalem at about 9am, and had to have our passports checked and go through security similar to an airport security check. 

The president came into the room once everyone was seated and quiet, and then proceeded to speak for about 45 minutes. At first, I thought he was going to ramble a bit without much direction, but his speech was very focused and articulate, and his message was clear. 

He spoke at great length about his opinions about technology, and how he believes it will be a huge force for good in the modern world, and about his peace-keeping attempts and approach in the middle east.

I jotted down a few of his biggest gems of wisdom from his talk, and have printed them below, so that everyone can share the wisdom and humor. All in all, it was a great opportunity, and truly inspiring.

“It’s a new world – unfortunately with an old mind.”

“The world is extremely global, but also extremely individual.”

“Human history is the biography of insane people.”

“Once we understand the human brain, government will change – not global, not national, but individual.”

“The only slavery that exists in the world anymore is the slavery of women.”

“President Obama asked me: ‘Who’s against democracy in the middle east?’ I told him, ‘The husbands.'”

“Today I don’t recommend to anyone to become a dictator in the middle east. It’s over.”

“The French think that boredom is more dangerous than death.”

“When people face a crisis they always think it’s the end of the world. It’s never the end of the world, it’s always the end of the crisis. “

“There is a trend to use good will instead of naked power.”

“Peace is very complicated, as politics is very complicated, as marriage is very complicated. People want perfection.”

“There are two things you have to close your eyes for: love and peace.”

“Polls are like perfume: nice to smell, dangerous to swallow.”

On what he learned from Ben Gurion about when to use ‘We’ and ‘I’: “If it’s a victory it is ‘We’, if it’s a defeat it is ‘I’.”

“The United States is the only country in the world that gained power by giving and not by taking.”

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