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Posted at 3:29 PM ET, 01/29/2011

Takeaway: "Follow your heart and your passions"

By Daniel Joshua Cullum

British Council Global Changemakers is a network of young social entrepreneurs and community activists from 110 countries worldwide.

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind. I'm physically and mentally exhausted from this amazing Davos fever, but here are two moments for you today:

This morning: the IdeasLab, pitching an idea that will in essence have the ability to change the world.

In the practice, I performed in a very elegant fashion what the younger generation might describe as an 'EPIC FAIL'! Everything that came out of my mouth didn't make sense and I was extremely confused as to what happened. I decided to not think about it and let the adrenaline flow like it does when I'm on stage, and look at it from the point of view that this is just a story, a simple tale that I'm telling from the heart

My fellow Changemakers did a fantastic job and the sense of family after the presentation and now as we are all frantically typing these blogs, it is something I'm going to hold on to for a long time to come.

The second thing:

I saw Bono today. But I met Mark Johnson.

My expectations of Davos were to interact with mainly business and governmental sector leaders, but today, I connected with music!

And tonight I will find myself taking out my guitar, which has still been by my side although rather quiet during my time here in Switzerland, and playing an inspired tune.

Mark Johnson is the founder of Playing for Change, an organization that connects musicians around the world and sends out a global message for peace. The movement's version of the song "Stand by Me" was a huge YouTube success, becoming viral and amassing more than 28 million views.

I ran into Mark yesterday in the Congress Centre and we began talking about our passion for music, to see faces light up and lives changed through song and after a chat today we worked out how I can get involved with Playing for Change!

Music has always been where my heart has been, no matter how many writer's blocks I've faced. The thought of bringing change in New Zealand and in the Pacific through music and hooking up with what Playing for Change is doing throughout the world is a challenge that I cannot wait to tackle.

To round off, as cliché as it sounds, the main message us Changemakers have gotten from Davos is to "follow your heart and your passions"; bearing in mind it is fine and well for the business elite to say that on their million-dollar salaries. However at the end of the day, regardless of the pay packet, it has become evident that whether success follows you or not, where your heart is, your treasure will be also.

There should be one thing Changemakers don't change, the ability to discern their hearts and passions and never let them go. It is an honor to be one of 700 youth around the world doing that!

Yeah, cheese on toast. Bite me. It's all truth.

Dan is concerned most with the issues in the Pacific Islands near his home, New Zealand. He dreams of creating awareness and making a tangible difference in the communities whose dire social situations are often overlooked because their needs are dwarfed by other world issues. To reach that goal, he has been working with underprivileged Maori and Pacific Island young people in South Auckland who are exposed to drugs, alcohol abuse and domestic violence through local camps for young people and sports events. He has won three national public speaking titles and most recently came in third at the English Speaking Union International Public Speaking Competition, where more than 40,000 young people around the globe participated. Dan was Head Boy of Botany Downs Secondary College in East Auckland, and has always been active in sport, music and theater. He is now studying at the University of Auckland on the University of Auckland scholars program, majoring in politics and economics.

Return to the Insiders' Guide to Davos 2011 page

By Daniel Joshua Cullum  | January 29, 2011; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  Daniel Joshua Cullum  
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