Innovadores de Cuba: Chapter One

We said goodbye to our three interns: Gabriel, Gabriella, and Raul a few hours ago after touring AAAS in Washington DC. If all goes well, they will touch down in Havana in 24 hours, totally transformed by their time here.

At lunch today I was impressed with how humble and smart these kids are. They were literally plucked from Havana six weeks ago, became media sensations the second day at GCT, absorbed everything at the office, and outside the office, and in the moment they were called on to deliver at their Innovation Night, they killed it. There haven’t been this many tears at the Goldman auditorium since Greenspan retired.

I was asked at one point today how long I had been thinking of Cuba. Truth is, in January it was not on my radar. By April, it was front and center. Someone asked, incredulously, how thus had come together and my first and final answer was team: they were all here today. John Caulfield of course, but also Frances and (now) now Vaughn from State, Mark from the Cuba desk, the AAAS leadership who made it (or let it) happen, and Marga our secret weapon. The kids had a great wave behind them, and the timing in diplomatic circles didn’t hurt either.

This draws to a close our first chapter; selecting an intern class and completing it in a flash. Chapter two begins tomorrow: selecting our building in Havana and starting our Innovation Center with the founding class. See you in September.

Originally published at www.milesspencer.com on August 18, 2015.

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