After watching several Food Summits and United Nations Summits it appears to me they all sound the same. This is the problem, that is the problem, they are the problem. So there are a lot of people studying the problem. The actor Leonardo Di Caprio asked the U.N. to come up with and provide solutions and really what has changed?

From my experience at University, I received my degree, but was thrown out into a business world very different from the one in academia, the ivory tower. The reality is education overseas is for the upper classes. The lower classes, from my own country are still called plebellos – in English it means plebes.

So, who is empowering the plebes, the really illiterate and ignorant people amongst us? Other than the Church and handouts, I do not see anyone empowering people out of poverty, filthy water, and public excrement.  Talk, talk, talk. Who is in the trenches? Not the students inside brick and mortar buildings nor their faculty. Who is in the bloody, crappy places where there is no clean water, no roads, no food, but only disenfranchised people? Very few. In several states in this country it is illegal to feed the homeless. I don’t see any university or student movements on behalf of these people.

I find it hypocritical and callous to be talking about feeding people in the year 2050. What about feeding the hungry now? What about salvaging resources now; what about teaching the value of our planet now?

Today, now, here. Not by a committee who just had a working breakfast, sitting in a comfortable chair in some huge assembly discussing how to solve the problems of the distant future.

No, Energime University stands for human empowerment here and now. Energime University is not a place, it is a communications system geared for those people in the fringes of society – 800 million people who cannot read, write, or secure their livelihood. Energime is about shifting the paradigm to focus on reality. Face the problems and solve them.

Not to talk about them, write about them, or photograph them. It is open education, total access to knowledge that is a human right. Energime is about the knowledge, training, and skills to empower those that are on the fringes of society to see a problem, analyze it, understand it and create a solution.

That is what Energime means to me.

Norma Burnson
Director of Fundraising
Energime University