Last night I gave my first official keynote speech to a room full of University of British Columbia 3rd and 4th year engineers, computer scientists, international trade majors and entrepreneurs. There were also about 30 other CEO delegates who attended, and it was wonderful to see these incredibly smart, ambitious and curious young innovators mingle and discuss possibilities in the world of business, robotics, social services, human evolution and more.
One of the joys I have, is speaking to rooms full of students like this, from all walks of life. I love seeing the spark in their eyes, the look of wonder or appreciation or intrigue on their faces. I can see, as I speak, light bulbs going off, and the connection of whatever story I’m telling to something impacting their life in that moment. Sometimes people cry. Sometimes people laugh. Always it’s rewarding.
The theme of my talk last night was grit. I told them what it was like growing up in a one income family in the beginning. My dad stayed home and took care of us the first few years while my mom worked hard to make sure we had food on the table and a roof over our heads. I told them about what it felt like struggling to get good grades and feel valued or hopeful of my future based on what my scorecard told me I was worth.