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Obama the Sage: “America may not survive”

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama are broadening out these days. They have recently signed a multiyear deal to create their own production company, called Higher Ground Productions, to produce content for Netflix. The pair has recently been spotted on the road, delivering keynote speeches at corporate events and large conferences.

Mr. Obama delivered a powerful but apocalyptic message about America’s future Wedsenday at a technology conference in Las Vegas hosted by identity security company Okta — where he warned the audience of an uncertain future for America.

Mr. Obama used his time on stage at Okta Oktane 2018 conference to explain what ventures he is pursuing in his post-presidential years, and further warned about division in America. “We live in a culture today where everybody feels the crush of information and the collision of worlds,” Mr. Obama explained.

Okta CEO and co-founder Todd McKinnon chats with former president Obama on stage atOkta Oktane 2018 conference. (Source: Okta) 

At the heart of the issue, the world is more interconnected than ever before, and technology is fundamentally reshaping relationships, as the access to information is rapidly fragmenting society.

Obama said, “the great thing about the United States is that we have had a head start over the rest of the world in trying to figure this all out.”

“We are a people that came from everywhere else, so we had to figure out how to join together and work together, not based on race, or religious faith or even, initially, language, but based on creed and a sense of principals,” the former president said

“All of us are trying to shape and absorb information in ways that can be confusing. If you ask people in Washington DC what identity means, they may well first describe their racial identity.

By definition, we [Americans] are a nation of people that came from everywhere else.

I think the big challenge we have today is how do we maintain a sense of common purpose rather than splinter or divide.

We are seeing this debated on social media every day, but if we don’t figure it out then our society and democracy may not survive.”

Obama expressed several important ways of how Americans can sustain and develop a national identity, where citizens view themselves as Americans first, rather than being members of a political party, or gender, or race, is by communicating with each other through stories. He said the more we can share stories with one another, the more we can view each other as fellow humans, rather than enemies.

Obama makes an interesting point, he suggests — Americans should expand their media sources. So no more CNN?

“Right now part of our polarization is that if you watch Fox News all day, or you read the New York Times, you are occupying two different realities. We have to be able to figure out, in this multiplicity of platforms, to have some common baseline of facts that allow us to meet and solve problems.”

While Obama cautions the audience about division in America and how it could lead to a collapse, the whole keynote speech seems to be a ploy to subliminally drum up support for his next venture of films and TV shows on Netflix.

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