I caught up with Liberal MP Scott Brison after Question Period today, and caught up with what he was up to before the House rose for break, when he was absent for that week.
Q: You were off at Harvard before the break. What was going on there?
A: The World Economic Forum, that hosts the annual conference in Davos every January, has for the last couple of years organised a programme at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, for a group they call “Young Global Leaders,” and it is a two-week programme on global public policy and leadership, bringing together a really interesting group of business and political leaders from around the world, and bringing in some really tremendous professors and leaders to engage with us. People like David Gergin were there. David Gergin has advised four presidents – Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. People like Joe Nye, who advised several presidents. Some of the best business leaders including Bill George who was CEO of the year in the US, and the best business leader in the US for several years, along with some really great public policy experts, and we studied everything from education policy and development policy, environmental and clean energy policy, and to trade and foreign policy – it was just a wonderful, wonderful programme. I really enjoyed it.
Q: Is this something you’re planning on doing again?
A: I was named by the World Economic Forum as one of their young global leaders back in 2005, back when I was truly young, and they’ve kept me on their list. I’ve participated since then in several debt conferences in Davos, Switzerland, as well as what they call their “summer Davos programme” which is in September in China each year. And I’ve participated in their events in Washington DC, and will continue to participate. It’s a wonderful group – one of the young guys I was with is from Mumbai, India. He’s 22 years old, and he started his IT company when he was 14. He now employs almost 300 people in his IT company and is on the board of the World Bank – and he’s 22! Another one of my colleagues in this group, he’s around 37, he is a past finance minister in Argentina. It’s a really neat group, and I very much enjoy it – they’re an inspired and an inspiring group. The motto of the World Economic Forum is “Committed to improving the state of the world,” and it’s really inspiring to be with a group of talented international young people who are committed to it.