U2's Bono Opens GEW at Georgetown
Erin Wiley @wileyea
District of Columbia
Nov 12, 2012
Iconic musician-turned-activist Bono opened Global Entrepreneurship Week in Washington, DC at Georgetown University.
The frontman of U2 and founder of ONE, (RED) and other cause-based organizations stressed the importance of startups and entrepreneurs in reducing poverty and bringing stability and justice to struggling nations.
“You must not let this economic recession become a moral recession,” the U2 lead singer told a capacity crowd in Gaston Hall. “That would be double cruelty. … It may take away your generation’s shot at greatness in the wider world.”
He said without foreign aid to struggling countries, the power shift sparked by Arab Spring might not have been possible. However, he emphasized the need for startups and entrepreneurs for sustainable growth and stability.
“Aid is just a stopgap,” he said. “Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.”
That type of power shift from people in institutions such as government and business to the masses can provide a huge opportunity for advocates to eradicate poverty and disease, bring justice and change the lives of those suffering around the world, he added.
The event was a partnership between the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and Bank of America, the initiative’s founding partner. He was introduced by Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan.
GSEI advocates for transformative solutions to the world’s significant challenges in health and well-being, economic growth, the environment and international development.