I woke up this morning to the distressing news that more than 52% of UK voters opted to leave the European Union. This decidedly isolationist stance is partly in response to the fear mongering with respect to border control and immigration as well a perception of a lack of control over self destiny. Sadly, it also feeds into Donald Trump's agenda on this side of the Atlantic but that deserves a separate discussion.
Almost 30 years ago, ISPA began holding annual congresses in cities around the world. Increasingly our membership has grown to reflect the diversity that is our global village. I believe what unites many of our members is the belief that we need to work together. A recognition of an interconnectedness, a knowledge that what impacts one region will ultimately impact other regions.
Today's challenges are global and there is no doubt that yesterday's vote in the UK is a huge step back in the face of these challenges. The refugee crisis, the global economy, climate change, terrorism, all of these problems and many more require a coordinated and unified response and action. It is hard to imagine today wanting to stand alone in the face of these sometimes overwhelming realities.
I can't help but think back to ISPA's New York Congress in 2006 and the subsequent congress in Durban in 2008 where the theme of Ubuntu was celebrated. Loosely translated, it refers to humanity and the concept of "we". It also brings back the proverb, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
To the 48% of voters that chose to remain in the EU, know that there are countless people around the world that stand with you.