Yesterday I travelled for 15 hours from Winnipeg to Nice, with stopovers in Toronto and Amsterdam. On the flight to Toronto I chatted with Dan, a fellow who works security and runs a financial consulting business that helps lower income families, prisoners, and regular people understand how to make ends meet.
From Toronto to Amsterdam, I chatted with a woman from Iran who had lived through the transition into a new regime that happened about 20 years ago – when I was a self-absorbed teenager. She described the country of her birth as a progressive, safe, affluent place until the current policies were established prohibiting women from pursuing many careers, telling them how they must dress, and leading to the suppression, rape, and murder of thousands of people who tried to protest. This may be old news to most people, but it was incredibly moving to hear her story, and to hear the frustration she faces knowing that very little is being done to protect the rights of her people.
By the time I arrived in France I was mentally and physically exhausted.
Nice is really gorgeous and obviously really expensive. It’s a strange setting for a conference that is meant to be an opportunity for delegates and world leaders to discuss improving the global economic position. It feels as though I’m as far away from real life economics as it is possible to be, without being in a cloud castle or on the moon.
Meghan Athavale, owner of PO-MO Inc. of Winnipeg MB is one of the 31 dynamic young Canadian entrepreneurs forming the official Canadian delegation at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit (G20 YES) in Nice, France, October 31-November 2, 2011. Follow her on Twitter @pomoinc.