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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why I'm Running for U.S. Senate

Over the course of the past few days I have thought long and hard about my decision to run for the United States. The best way to convey to you the rationale for my decision is to share some of my favor quotes with you. They come from a diverse group of individuals including Albert Einstein, Margaret Mead, John F. Kennedy, Gandhi and Alan Kay, and are listed below in no particular order:

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
--Gandhi

We need men who can dream of things that never were.”
--President John F. Kennedy

The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
--Albert Einstein

Never doubt that a small deeply committed group of individuals can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that has.”
--Margaret Mead

The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
--Alan Kay

The two common themes which tie the quotes together are a compelling commitment to the future and the need for individuals to recognize that they have a role (and, I would argue, a responsibility) in creating that future.

For the past five years, since I have left the Ventura Administration, I have written a series of books. Two have been on nanotechnology: The Next Big Thing is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business and Investing In Nanotechnology; two have been on the topic of leadership: Into the Unknown: Leadership Lessons from Lewis & Clark's Daring Westward Expedition and Soldier, Stateman and Peacemaker: Leadership Lessons from George C. Marshall. More recently, in 2008, I have had two books published: Jump the Curve: 50 Essential Strategies to Help Companies Deal with Emerging Technologies and Green Investing: How to Profit from Environment-Friendly Technologies.

To achieve these goals, however, we need leadership – real leadership. The change that is being hoisted upon society by the forces of nanotechnology, biotechnology, the mapping of the human genome, and, more broadly, globalization, are very real. We can either harness these forces to create a better society or we can close our eyes and pretend they don’t exist or, alternatively, hope they’ll go away.

The latter two options are, of course, not solutions at all. Therefore, I am of the very strong opinion that we don’t have any alternative but to engage society in a discussion about our future. The bottom-line is this: we can either allow others to create our future or we can create it ourselves.

I choose the latter. And because I have not yet heard any of the other candidates for U.S. Senate talk in any meaningful way about how they intend to create this better future, I have decided to put my “money where my mouth is.” Said another way, it is time for me to put my words and beliefs into action, and one way I can do that is by running for – and winning – a seat in the U.S. Senate.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please encourage others to visit the site and post their thoughts and ideas as well (I intend to update the blog on a regular basis). The first step to creating this new future is to engage others in a meaningful dialogue about how we can create it.

Jack Uldrich