Two prominent leaders took to the stage in Des Moines Friday to address world hunger.
One brought a challenge, the other brought speculation.
As with all of the events surrounding the World Food Prize, the goal is to end hunger worldwide. This year, two very well-known people are leading the effort.
How to feed a growing population that’s expected to rise to 9-billion people by 2050 sustainably is the challenge.
That complex task brought hundreds of the most dedicated world leaders to a Des Moines hotel including a billionaire’s son.
Warren’s son, Howard Buffett doesn’t have to work but chooses to farm and guide his foundation to solve global hunger.
“It has to matter to you,” says Buffet.
“It’s either got to appeal to your conscience or your morality or something that makes you better than you have to participate in making the world a better place and that’s a big, broad concept. Poeple can do it every day.”
He suggests if you can’t give money, give time at a place like a food bank, especially if you’re frustrated with government.
Government was also the topic for another world leader in attendance, Tony Blair.
“In America and back in Europe, there are some really big issues they’re grappling with – what the role of government is, the size of government, spending, debt, the same debates are going on both sides of the water.”
Great Britain’s former prime minister wouldn’t choose sides on the cause of the partial US government shutdown but says the world relies on the United States to be stable.
He also raised eyebrows in the audience with the way he praised South Korea’s new female leader, Park Geun-hye.
“Today it’s got a woman president – not a bad idea by the way, that’s another matter. I don’t want to get around your stuff around this.”
Blair has known the Clintons for years. So Channel 13 asked him was he really just joking about Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate.
“Of course I’m a huge fan of Hillary’s. But it’s up to you guys to decide to elect as your president. It’s a comment I make with huge respect to her but just having a bit of fun with you,” Blair says.
The World Food Prize hosts its final night of awards Friday and Blair and Buffett both know the challenge ahead. They need to change mindsets from only about ourselves and only about now.
They want us and our politicians to also think of others, both short term and long term.