Kofi Annan, the first global citizen

I am attending the State of the Planet conference at Columbia University today and tomorrow. (I will have more on that later.)

I just heard Kofi Annan speak for the first time in real life. He is a charismatic and funny story teller. Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, called him the “First truly global citizen of the world.” To prove that he lives up to his expectation, Kofi Annan volunteered a story.

He and his wife were vacationing in a remote corner of the planet one time, trying to stay away from any news, publicity and people. He said they lasted three weeks before it got really boring. When they finally ventured out for the first time, he was–as expected–recognized instantly. A local man came up to him and said: “I know who you are!” Then he shouted. “You are Morgan Freeman!”

Kofi Annan smiled and signed an autograph for him. It said: A Free Man.