On Thursday Oct. 26, The Community Fund of Darien hosted Pulitzer Prize winning author, reporter and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman at The Country Club of Darien. The event was moderated by Darien residents Scott and Jane Pelley, and was generously underwritten by The Peter and Ann Tombros Family Foundation.
Mr. Friedman captivated the sold-out crowd in a room filled to capacity with over 300 people. His data-driven presentation focused on the big trends shaping the accelerations in the world today. Beginning with a private meet-and-greet for premium ticket holders, Mr. Friedman took the stage in the main ballroom and spoke extemporaneously about the forces driving acceleration: Moore’s Law, the Market and Mother Nature. Following his presentation, Scott Pelley moderated a question and answer session with an inquisitive and engaged crowd. The evening concluded with Mr. Friedman signing copies of his latest bestseller, Thank you for Being Late.
When asked about the event, Darien resident and member of the audience, Liz Ann Sonders said, “In an engaging, fascinating and thought provoking conversation, Tom reminded us all that even small communities can have a large and powerful impact in an increasingly interconnected world.”
Mr. Friedman is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of seven best-selling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World is Flat. In Thank you for Being Late, Mr. Friedman offers a blueprint for overcoming the stresses and challenges of a world being transformed by technology, globalization and climate change.
His presentation Thursday evening focused on “The Big Trends Shaping the World Today” and specifically emphasized the importance of community. Mr. Friedman attributes his personal optimism to his upbringing in a small ethnically integrated town in Minnesota and shared with the audience his view of the importance of the golden rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He said, “This fundamental value is learned by children who come from strong families and strong communities.”
The Community Fund of Darien’s Executive Director Carrie Bernier stated, “Thomas Friedman’s theme of community-building connects perfectly to our mission as a community fund. Healthy communities support healthy families and cultivate strong support systems to benefit us all.”
All proceeds from the event benefit The Community Fund of Darien. The Community Fund is the local nonprofit investing in the safety net for our neighbors who are most in need in Darien, Stamford and Norwalk. Last year, The Community Fund invested more than $1 million in grants and Darien community initiatives in areas such as hunger, homelessness, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence and academic achievement for at-risk youth. To learn more, visit www.communityfunddarien.org.