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Gore talks global drivers, new book at McAfee

When former Vice President Al Gore started an investment firm in 2004, he said he wanted to name the business after its founders – himself and David Blood.

While the name Generation Investment Group wasn’t as head-turning as Blood and Gore could have been, the former presidential candidate told a packed McAfee Concert Hall Saturday afternoon that the business was worthwhile in organizing what he saw as drivers of global change.

“It turns out this actually had value in the real world finding companies on the horizons,” he said

Those ideas were what Gore turned into “The Future”, a book he released last week. He discussed with former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham at Belmont University in an event co-sponsored by Parnassus Books.

Meacham, the book’s editor, spoke highly of the book and of Gore’s time in and out of public office.

“Very few people have contributed more to the life of this nation and the life of the world than Al Gore does,” he said.

In front of a very receptive crowd, Gore and Meacham discussed what Gore called drivers of global change he described at length in his power, which included rapidly advancing sciences and technology, climate change and global growth, connectivity and transition of power.

“What is shocking about this point in history is that there have never been so many revolutions going on simultaneously,” Gore said.

Combined with these revolutions is a planet with issues it has to deal with on a global level, the Nobel Prize-winning environmentalist said.

“The world as a whole must confront the incredibly powerful changes it faces,” he said. “Leadership is required.”

That leadership, the former vice president said, must still come from the United States as opposed to other states who have not shown the initiative or moral imperative to take charge. However, he said that leadership must also go beyond the current economic benchmarks he linked to the overuse decades-old concepts like gross domestic product.

“If we use the same philosophy and approach in this climate as in a [economic] climate where short-term success is the order of the day… that’s not satisfactory,” Gore said.

By the end of the lecture, Gore said he was still optimistic about the outlook of the future, especially after writing his book. Technology will allow more people to come together around the world and address the issues he said need to be changed.

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