An evening with Barack Obama


On March 13, the POwR Earth Foundation was honored to welcome the 44th President of the United States. For an hour, Barack Obama chatted with Henri Landès in front of a packed house.

As charismatic as ever, the charismatic Chairman skilfully alternated anecdotes and humorous jabs with powerful messages, inspiring all participants to take action to change the world, with determination, realism and confidence in humanity… however messy and imperfect it may be.

Thank you, Mister President.

“We act better in hope than in despair”

“The big challenge is no longer to raise young people’s awareness, but to make them understand that we can still take action. It’s not by being desperate that humanity makes the most progress. The younger generation is capable of doing incredible things, so we need to give them the desire to act again.”

“Be kind, be useful”

As parents, Michèle and I have given our daughters only two pieces of advice: be nice and be useful. We all have the capacity to give meaning to each of our actions, for the benefit of all. We won’t be able to tackle the existential issue of climate change if money is our only ambition.”

“We are designed for planet Earth

“We were designed for planet Earth, and it would be nice to keep it! Even in the event of nuclear war or global warming, Earth will always be more suitable for humans than Mars. Life will adapt and continue here, and we should invest now so that we can continue to live well here.”

“We must focus on replicable solutions”.

“The question of financing is an important one. And it seems to me that it’s in our interest to focus on solutions that have been tried and tested, and that can be easily replicated. This is essential if private investment is to be attractive. In France, you’ve understood this very well, whereas in the United States, you sometimes have to redo everything for each project…”

“It’s not apocalypse or perfection, but rather how run humanity: messy and imperfect.”

“We can’t be sure of staying below 2 degrees. But there will be a big difference between 2.2 degrees and 2.5 degrees, and a huge difference between 2.5 and 3 degrees. Every tenth of a degree can save millions of people and make a difference in terms of famine, migration, disease and war. We need to understand that the future will be neither perfect nor apocalyptic, but rather in the image of humanity: messy and imperfect…”


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