Service has always been a hugely rewarding part of my own life. As individuals and as members of communities, we all share a responsibility to help those in need, whether they live next door or around the globe.
Today’s challenges, both global and local, demand that each of us take on the responsibility to act. We all have something to teach and something to learn, and no one person or group has all the answers. Nowmore than ever, engaging citizens in addressing social issues can and does spark significant change. That’s why the discussions that you will be having over the next few days are so important. Issues like unemployment and economic development will not be solved by any one actor; it will take governments, corporations, NGOs, active citizens building on each other’s strengths and ideas to develop creative solutions to these problems.
I hope your discussions will inspire a number of new ideas about how we can all work together to serve our communities and our countries. We’re counting on you to pioneer the next generation of innovation in volunteerism. Thank you all for being here and for your commitment to service.