This is my third CGI. While I was able to comprehensively cover the opening plenary, I took notes during the event and typed the post into the computer afterwards while four of the working sessions and a press conference with Lance Armstrong were occuring. (I am now in the press room, with four large screens, one to cover each of the working sessions, and earphones that I can switch to hear any one of them.) So I had to miss those. I think my role here has to be to cover what I can and give a sense of the meaning of the overall event. I’ll try to stick to that plan while here.
First impression, there is no sense at all that there is a financial crisis occurring on Wall Street. None. I have not seen or felt this anywhere in New York since I arrived. People I have talked to in NY seem to feel like this is something that we are being presented with by the television more than something that is occurring in their lives. I’m hearing more about the bailout plan than about anyone being affected by a crisis. If anything, the audience reaction when Bono was talking about this crisis seemed to me to agree with this. But take that with a grain of salt please, I can’t know what the people in the room were thinking.
Next impression, there is a lot more press here than last year – so much that it is difficult to get a seat in the press room. Last year there were maybe a third of the numbers of press here. I don’t know what the significance of this is. Angelina and Brad aren’t even here this year.
Next impression: in the short aount of time I have spent walking around where the members are I am not getting a strong sense of member ego this year. Last year there were a lot of Important People and others reacting to the presence of Important People. This year the same people seem like regular people. I’m not hearing comments of, "there goes so-and-so." Is that a sign of maturity of the event? I don’t think it is just me. What am I getting at? I don’t kow. I am going to write about the evolution of CGI in another post.